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Lake Okeechobee Surges To Highest Level In Decade

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the wet winter weather has raised Lake Okeechobee to its highest level in a decade.

That’s forcing the Corps to release more excess water into coastal estuaries, even though this caused problems before.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will increase the amount of water it is releasing from Lake Okeechobee to coastal estuaries.

The polluted rain water that’s filling Lake Okeechobee will be released to flow east and west through the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers to estuaries. When this was done back in 2013, algae blooms made the water in those rivers toxic.

Water managers closely watch the lake’s level because the dike surrounding it is in poor condition, and a large agricultural community is directly south of it.

Environmental groups like the Everglades Foundation want the states to spend money to send the water south into the Everglades instead of draining Lake Okeechobee to the east and west.

Sen. Bill Nelson and two Florida congressmen have introduced a measure intended to expedite Everglades projects.


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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 »