WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Lake Okeechobee Discharges Continue At Maximum To Florida Coastal Estuaries

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

Water managers continue to send as much water as possible from a rain-swollen Lake Okeechobee to delicate coastal estuaries.

Worry is growing about their impact on the estuaries east and west of the lake nearly a month after the discharges began.

The discharges are necessary because a rainy winter has driven Lake Okeechobee to its highest level in more than a decade, putting pressure on its aging dike.

Mark Perry of the Florida Oceanographic Society says the bursts of polluted fresh water are so damaging, people are being warned to avoid contact with the water.

“The water is a dark, dark brown color,” says Perry. “It’s suspended silt and sediment in the water. You can’t see probably two or three inches below the surface of the water if you put your hand in.”

Water managers can’t send more water south of the state’s largest lake because those reservoirs are full, too, after the wettest January since record-keeping began in 1932.

Perry says the problems likely will persist as the summer rainy season approaches.

 


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida COVID-19 news, updates on special programs and more. Support our extended coverage.

GET THE LATEST

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist whose work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. She began her career at The Associated Press. Her book on the Everglades, under contract with Johns Hopkins ... Read Full Bio »

TOP