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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 the St. Lucie River. Photo by Amy Green

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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 WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s work has been heard on NPR and ... Read Full Bio »