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Army Corps to reduce Lake O discharges

By Staff | Mar 3, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Army Corps of Engineers announced today that, starting Friday, it will begin reducing the amount of water being released from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers.

The Corps says it will reduce discharges into the Caloosahatchee by more than half, from 9,000 cubic feet of water per second to 4,000, and discharges into the St. Lucie Estuary by nearly three-quarters from 6,971 cubic feet per second to 1,800.

“This is certainly welcome news for all those whose livelihoods depend on these waterways,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a long-time supporter of Everglades restoration projects to help alleviate the need to release water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers, in a prepared statement. “But we’ve still got work to do. We’ve got to keep the pressure on lawmakers to fund these Everglades-restoration projects that will provide a more permanent solution to the problem.”

Last month, Nelson introduced legislation to expedite all Everglades-restoration projects that the Army Corps of Engineers deems ready to begin in the next five years.

One of the projects that would be authorized immediately if Nelson’s legislation passes is the Central Everglades Planning Project, or CEPP, which is designed to increase water flow south into the Everglades, thereby reducing harmful discharges into the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie estuary, his office said.

The Corps release may be found in full her: www.billnelson.senate.gov/sites/default/files/NR_16_020_Corps_to_reduce_flows_from_Lake_Okeechobee.pdf

Source: Office of Sen. Bill Nelson