Stuart business owners feeling effects of Lake Okeechobee water discharges

Lake Okeechobee Discharges Hurt Diver and Water-Based Business Owners in Stuart, Florida

Diver Russell Singson suits up every day to clean boats underneath in Stuart, but business has been suffering due to discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The murky water makes it challenging for divers like Singson to see clearly underwater and complete their work efficiently. Singson, the owner of Barracuda Dive Service, shared how the decreased visibility has affected his business, leading to smaller paychecks and delays in servicing boats.

Nancy Husk, operations manager of At the Helm Training located down the St. Lucie River, echoes Singson’s concerns. They have seen a significant decrease in bookings for training sessions due to worries about the cleanliness of the water stemming from the discharges. Husk emphasized that younger clients are hesitant to rent boats and engage in water activities due to the current water conditions.

Both Singson and Husk are hopeful that changes will be implemented by the Army Corps of Engineers to reduce discharges into their area. Singson mentioned that they have a plan in progress to release less water in their direction, and he is optimistic that this will come to fruition. Husk highlighted the importance of addressing this issue before it escalates into severe algae blooms similar to what occurred in 2018, which could further harm local water-based businesses and deter visitors from enjoying the area.

Singson’s concerns are shared by Nancy Husk, who is an operations manager at At The Helm Training located downstream from where Boat Cleaning Company operates. Both Singson and Husk are hoping for changes by Army Corps of Engineers to reduce discharges into their area as they believe it is affecting their businesses negatively.

According to Singson, his business has suffered due to discharges from Lake Okeechobee which make it hard for him and other divers like him see clearly underwater while completing their work efficiently.

Husk expressed concern about young clients who are hesitant to rent boats or participate in water activities due to current water conditions caused by discharge from Lake Okeechobee.

Singing shared that he hopes Army Corps of Engineers will implement changes such as releasing less water towards them which would help him improve his business prospects.

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