Stuart Businesses Struggle to Survive as Lake Okeechobee Discharges Cause Decline in Customers

Stuart business owners facing challenges due to Lake Okeechobee water releases

In Stuart, Fla., business owners like Russell Singson of Barracuda Dive Service are struggling to keep up with the decline in customers due to the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The murky water caused by these discharges has reduced visibility underwater, making it difficult for divers to complete their work efficiently. This has resulted in smaller paychecks and delays in completing boat cleanings, with many boats remaining in late status.

Singson and his divers have taken extra precautions with sanitation after diving, concerned about potential infections from the contaminated water. Meanwhile, At the Helm Training, located along the St. Lucie River, has seen a 50% decrease in bookings compared to the previous year due to concerns about water cleanliness. Operations Manager Nancy Husk emphasized that clients are avoiding water-related activities due to fears of the water quality, recalling the severe algae bloom in 2018.

Both Singson and Husk hope for a change in the Army Corps of Engineers’ approach to water releases from Lake Okeechobee, with the anticipation of a plan to reduce discharges and improve water quality. The businesses in Stuart are hopeful that these changes will be implemented soon to mitigate the negative impacts on the local economy and community.

In Stuart, Fla., business owners like Russell Singson of Barracuda Dive Service are struggling to keep up with the decline in customers due to the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The murky water caused by these discharges has reduced visibility underwater, making it difficult for divers to complete their work efficiently. This has resulted in smaller…

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