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Lake O Meeting to be held in Southwest Florida

By Staff | Sep 11, 2019

Southwest Florida residents will have a chance to have their voices heard and listen in on a meeting that will discuss Lake Okeechobee releases.

On Monday, Sept. 16, the Army Corps of Engineers will host a Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual public workshop at the Cape Vineyard Community Church in Cape Coral.

The time of the meeting was still being determined at press time.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District invites the public to be engaged with the development of the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). A series of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) public scoping meetings were held throughout south Florida during February and March 2019,” states the ACOE Jacksonville District website. “The purpose of this effort is to reevaluate and define operations for the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule that take into account additional infrastructure that will soon be operational. The additional infrastructure that will be taken into consideration includes the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation, Kissimmee River Restoration Project, as well as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir and C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area.”

The meeting will see representatives from different government agencies be able to provide input, comments and concerns as the LOSOM plan is continually developed.

PDT members include only the Federal officials and elected officers of state, local or tribal governments or their employees with authority to act on their behalf.

“LOSOM workshops will provide additional opportunities for members of the public to learn about the project, receive status updates, and ask questions,” the ACOE website outlines. “Workshops will also include an opportunity for the public to run through a release decision exercise for Lake Okeechobee and view the simulated outcome and consequences of their recommended actions.”

The ACOE website also features “webinars,” where presentations of various topics pertaining to LOSOM can be downloaded and viewed.

“We are conducting this series of webinars to give people who are interested an opportunity to learn more about the various aspects of water management in south Florida,” said Tim Gysan, LOSOM Project Manager, in a release. “Each webinar will provide information on the fundamentals of water management, and an overview of some of the major considerations we must take into account when making decisions. We encourage everyone to attend these webinars so they come prepared with a good working knowledge of the basics of water management and associated issues in advance of the upcoming public workshops.”

To stay up to date on meeting times and to view ACOE webinars, visit www.saj.usace.army.mil.

Cape Vineyard Community Church is at 923 S.E. 47th Terrace, Cape Coral.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj