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A Plan To Save Estuaries By Targeting Water North Of Big O

The sun sets behind the lock and dam on Lake Okeechobee and St. Lucie Canal. Photo by Amy Green

There’s a new draft plan for more water storage north of Lake Okeechobee.

It comes as harmful algae blooms spread across the state’s largest lake and into coastal estuaries.

The $1.4 billion plan calls for underground wells, wetlands restoration and a reservoir providing temporary storage during times of high water.

Paul Gray of Audubon Florida says algae blooms are a symptom.

“The problem is the watershed from Okeechobee all the way up to Orlando pretty much is overdrained and polluted. So this project will help catch water in the reservoir to help deal with the drainage, and it will give us a chance to maybe treat that water before we put it in the lake.”

The draft plan is part of a multi-billion-dollar restoration of the Everglades. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is calling for public comment through Aug. 20.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »