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Lake O discharge water now moving south

By Staff | Feb 16, 2016

Local officials have been notified that overflow waters discharged from Lake Okeechobee are now being sent south towards the Everglades instead of east and west.

The discharges to the west have impacted area waters and beaches, particularly off Sanibel where brown tannin and pollution laden waters have flowed into the gulf.

“Our prayers and our voices have been heard,” said Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane stated upon being advised late Monday that Lake O waters were now being sent into the Everglades National Park. “The unprecedented volume of water that fell in January required emergency responses from the State and Federal government.”

He said officials here especially thank Gov. Rick Scott “for his tenacity in addressing this critical issue. This change in course is possible only because many entities with varying interest came together for a collective solution. We especially appreciate the efforts of our citizens and business owners that made certain that Caloosahatchee and our local waters are protected.” The water moving south into the Everglades passes through a reservoir which will clean the water, according to the release issued by the city of Sanibel.

“In the past this type of release to the south has only been permitted following hurricanes and tropical storms,” the release states. “The current release of water to the south is the first made in the typically dry season and required the cooperation of many federal agencies including the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the South Florida Water Management District and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.”

Source: City of Sanibel