Terry Ryan: Lake Munson Needs More Help

Terry Ryan: Lake Munson Needs More Help

Hundreds of citizens have called for Leon County and the City of Tallahassee to review the erroneous decision to drawdown Lake Munson in light of the discovery of a Florida Department of Environmental Protection 2011 Lake Munson Drawdown Report which concluded drawdowns only address 20% removal of phosphorus, the main instigator of toxic harmful blooms (https://www.change.org/RestoreLakeMunson).

Attachment #3 of the Leon County’s Commission September 12th’s commission meeting for Agenda #34 shows an alarming uptick in total phosphorus in 2022, yet, blatantly omits 2023’s eight months of available data! Water sampling analyses conducted during the current drawdown by noted biologist and Lake Munson historian, Dr. Sean Mcglynn, indicate increased cause for concerns of phosphorous nutrients and possibly toxic contaminants flowing to Wakulla Springs.

A review of the County’s Science Advisory Meeting minutes in October, 2022 indicate its recommendation for the county to establish testing protocols at Wakulla Springs to monitor nutrients and toxic contaminants flowing from Lake Munson’s drawdown event starting in November. FDEP declined to participate and county staff recently indicated, no awareness of any protocols being established!

This same Attachment #3 starkly shows the enormous increase in phosphorous after the 2011 drawdown. Residents, scientists and advisors point to this historical event as the cause of numerous unreported to FDEP toxic harmful algae bloom events from 2013 through 2021. I reported an event to FDEP in April, 2022. Causes for concern, naturally, are the resulting skin, respiratory and mortality issues around the Lake.

Commissioner Christian Caban, Lake Munson’s freshman representative, mailed a highly controversial, tax payer funded, flyer which omits total phosphorous information and promotes the “County Line” that over $290 million has been invested to restore Lake Munson since 1982.

However, a list of 28 projects show many are related to flood control in Tallahassee and enhancements for commercial development. A public records request for commission agenda items detailing specific Lake Munson restoration efforts for each project, including reduction in toxic harmful algae blooms, skin and respiratory issues of residents and citizens visiting the lake, and mortality issues remains outstanding after several weeks.

A review of approximately 1,000 public records of communications between the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC), citizens, and Leon County staff indicate no discussion in mid to late-2022 related to the removal of harmful lake bed sediment, although numerous studies and recommendations in prior years indicate strong support to do so.

The Petition (https://www.change.org/RestoreLakeMunson) calls for a joint Citizen-County WorkGroup to ask potential sediment removal companies to present ideas to better facilitate the removal of at least the phosphorous.

Yes, the rumor mill is correct. I am mentoring a study to determine why FDEP is only testing for four toxins in Lake Munson when HAB’s occur, aka LR, YR, LA and RR. Whereas toxins such as Lipopolysaccharides noted for skin irritations are not. Plus, why are salt water tests, which test for more toxins, not being used in today’s highly toxic fresh water lakes and ponds?

Please sign the petition and share this post with friends and associates (https://www.change.org/RestoreLakeMunson) and consider attending the Leon County Commission meeting, September 12th, 3pm.

J. Terry Ryan is co-founder of the Tallahassee Sewage and Wakulla Basin Advocacy Group. He can be reached at terry@thetrakker.com, or by calling 850-321-9352.

6 Responses to "Terry Ryan: Lake Munson Needs More Help"

  1. TR

    It would be nice to have some investigative reporting on what PR firm produced the “taxpayer” funded (propaganda flyer) sent out by Commissioner Caban.

  2. Lake Munson is a constant source of reliable campaign contributions from gratefull contractors who over the years have been and will be awarded contracts to do “this, that, and the other thing under the guise of making Munson a little less stinky, a little less weed infested, and expensive wildlife and water quality contracted projects.
    Fix Munson in a Democratic Leftist ran communitty – what??? Have you compleatly lost your mind? Our reliable campaigne contributions would just dry up forever. Munson under continued Democratic oversight will always be Munson
    Jeeze I dont know where some of you got the idea that fixing Munson was really ever a thing.
    Well at least now you all know what I know because I just told you how Munson will be for the rest of your lifetime.

  3. Back in the early 90s, Lake Munson was a heck of a fishery. Not a lot of people fished it so the lake found its own natural equilibrium. It was almost routine to fish the lake from late fall to mid spring and catch a trophy. Practicing catch-and-release put those hawgs back in the lake to be caught and admired again.

    Then the Democrat’s outdoor writer published a column praising Munson and the big fish there. But article didn’t contain t the necessary reminders not to remove the trophy fish. And worse, it was published in mid-summer with the water temp well into the 90s. People descended on the lake and the big fish, even when released, didn’t survive the stresses of being caught and the lake hasn’t been the same since.

    Munson is the “natural” drain for everything from the reservation to the lake, and all of the runoff that enters the system anywhere along that route. Construction, fertilizers, spills at the sewage plant, etc., all wind up in Munson.

    If you really want to preserve Lake Munson, the materials will need to be filtered out before it gets to the lake, or most of the drainage will need to be diverted around the lake. The continued development and construction along the Capital Circle Southern area will keep making things worse.

  4. Lake Munson has needed help from at least the early 70’s. What I want to know is, WHY does the Sewage Plant always seem to spill into that Lake? Why can’t they fix THAT problem? Even with all the Improvements at the Treatment Plant every time their is a big Sewage Spill, it still drains into the Lake Munson Basin, WHY?

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