News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Environment

Officials Are Releasing Less Water From Lake Okeechobee This Year, So Far

Water from Lake Okeechobee released into the Caloosahatchee River last year.
Water from Lake Okeechobee released into the Caloosahatchee River last year.
Water from Lake Okeechobee released into the Caloosahatchee River last year.
Credit Dale (rist2796) / Creative Commons
Water from Lake Okeechobee released into the Caloosahatchee River last year.

 Officials are not releasing as much water from Lake Okeechobee as they did during last year’s rainy season.

Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers said the past few months have not dumped as much rain into Lake Okeechobee as last year.

Last summer, estuaries east and west of the lake were inundated with dirty, nutrient-rich water due to the Corps releases and poor water quality was the source of a lot of frustration in surrounding communities.

However, things are a little different this year. Lt. Col. Thomas Greco with the Corps’ Jacksonville District said they are releasing less water into the Caloosahatchee and aren’t releasing any water east into the St. Lucie River.

“Obviously different conditions—I think we all understand that— this year,” he told reporters during a conference call. “Same goes with flows to the St. Lucie, which were also higher last year at this time.”

Right now lake levels are around 13.9 feet. At the same time last year, the lake levels topped out at 15.8 feet.

The Corps releases water from Lake Okeechobee in an effort to reduce pressure on the aging Herbert Hoover dike.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.