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Record Rain Prompts Emergency Action On Florida Everglades’ Excess Water

The Everglades. Photo courtesy the National Parks Conservation Association.

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Water managers are moving more excess water south toward the Everglades.

The emergency action is aimed at protecting coastal estuaries and wildlife threatened by the region’s wettest winter since record-keeping began in 1932.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott had asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ease regulatory restrictions, allowing the water to move south.

The problem is that Lake Okeechobee is at its highest level in a decade. The excess water pressures the ailing dike surrounding the state’s largest lake.

Sending the water east and west pollutes coastal estuaries. Holding it in reservoirs south of the lake robs wildlife of vital habitat.

The South Florida Water Management District says it is releasing the water into Everglades National Park to prevent flooding and “dire conditions” for wildlife.

The Florida Everglades once spanned nearly all of south Florida. A complex system of canals, pumps and dams makes the region as we know it today possible.


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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 »

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