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Corps maintains current releases to Caloosahatchee

By Staff | Mar 27, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jacksonville District continues to monitor conditions and will maintain flows from the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) to the Caloosahatchee estuary, officials reported today.

The Corps will continue a pulse release to the Caloosahatchee estuary to a seven-day average rate of 650 cubic feet per second (cfs) from the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79). Flows to the St. Lucie estuary remain at zero cfs as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80). The schedule will remain in effect until further notice. Additional runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed one or both targets.

“Very little rain has fallen on the lake in March,” Jacksonville District Commander Col. Andrew Kelly said. “We will continue to monitor lake levels while continuing with low-volume releases to the Caloosahatchee to help with the saltwater-freshwater mix in the estuary. We are working closely with our partners at South Florida Water Management District to ensure we balance all project purposes for the benefit of the people we serve in the region.”

As of Mtoday, lake stage was 12.05 feet NGVD. During the last week, lake levels decreased 0.22 feet, with an overall 0.71 foot decrease in the past 30 days. The Corps will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary. Any changes in flows to the estuaries will be announced to the public.

Partners at the Department of Environmental Protection report for the week ending on March 19 stated the most recent viable satellite imagery indicated that harmful algal bloom potential is low to moderate on Lake Okeechobee and no significant bloom potential was observed in the visible areas of the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie rivers and estuaries.