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Environment

Florida Governor Wants More Excess Water Sent South Toward Everglades

Florida Governor Rick Scott is calling on the US Army Corps of Engineers to push more excess water south toward the Everglades.  The action is aimed at alleviating pressure on coastal estuaries and the Everglades' wildlife after the winter's record rainfall.

It’s been a rainy winter and excess water at Lake Okeechobee had been pushed east and west into delicate estuaries. When that was done back in 2013, it caused toxic algae blooms. But if the Corp of Engineers follow the governor’s request for Lake Okeechobee and other places, the water will flow south toward the Everglades. Tom Van Lent, a hydrologist for the Everglades Foundation, says that’s a better plan.

"The major obstacle we face is that this is how the water management system in Florida was designed to work", Van Lent said. "So everything is operating as it should from an engineering perspective. It's just creating a lot of problems for people and the environment."

Currently, water levels at Lake Okeechobee are at a ten-year high.

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