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Water Flows To Increase From Lake Okeechobee To Coastal Estuaries

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Water managers announced Thursday they will increase flows from Lake Okeechobee to coastal estuaries.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the news as the state's largest lake remains near a historic high with seven weeks remaining of Florida's rainy season.

But Paul Gray of Audubon of Florida says the releases of excess polluted water will not be as large as during the summer, when toxic algae blooms fouled coastal estuaries.

"They're only increasing them to what we consider the threshold of harmful releases. And what that means is this is the highest we can release without causing a lot of harm to the estuaries."

Lake Okeechobee has been rain-swollen all year, pressuring its aging dike. The influxes triggered the toxic blooms, which prompted emergency declarations in multiple counties.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.
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