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Water Flows To Increase From Lake Okeechobee To Coastal Estuaries

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Water managers announced Thursday they will increase flows from Lake Okeechobee to coastal estuaries.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the news as the state’s largest lake remains near a historic high with seven weeks remaining of Florida’s rainy season.

But Paul Gray of Audubon of Florida says the releases of excess polluted water will not be as large as during the summer, when toxic algae blooms fouled coastal estuaries.

“They’re only increasing them to what we consider the threshold of harmful releases. And what that means is this is the highest we can release without causing a lot of harm to the estuaries.”

Lake Okeechobee has been rain-swollen all year, pressuring its aging dike. The influxes triggered the toxic blooms, which prompted emergency declarations in multiple counties.

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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 »