Record Rain Prompts Emergency Action On Florida Everglades’ Excess Water
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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