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Florida Governor Wants Excess Water Sent South Toward Everglades

The Everglades. Photo courtesy the National Parks Conservation Association.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to push more excess water south toward the Everglades.

The action is aimed at alleviating pressure on coastal estuaries and the Everglades’ wildlife after the winter’s record rainfall.

It’s been a rainy winter, and excess water at Lake Okeechobee had been pushed east and west into delicate estuaries. When that was done back in 2013 it caused toxic algae blooms.

But if the Corps follows the governor’s request for Lake Okeechobee and other places the water will flow south toward the Everglades.

Tom Van Lent, a hydrologist for the Everglades Foundation, says that’s a better plan.

“The major obstacle we face is that this is how the water management system in Florida was designed to work. So everything is operating as it should from an engineering perspective. It’s just creating a lot of problems for people and the environment.”

Currently water levels at Lake Okeechobee are at a 10-year high.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author 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 ... Read Full Bio »