Water-Related News

New Lake O release plans: One would be bad for the Caloosahatchee River

Water managers are working to create new Lake Okeechobee release regulations and the alternative that's getting the most attention would be bad for the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary.

The South Florida Water Management District governing board met Thursday [Jul. 15th] in West Palm Beach to discuss what's called the Lake Okeechobee System Operational Manual, or LOSOM.

LOSOM is a water release management tool being developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to guide future Lake Okeechobee releases, and one of five alternatives will be selected by the Army Corps next week.

One of five alternatives, called CC, would cut down flows to the St. Lucie River and instead depend more on the Caloosahatchee to relieve swelling Lake Okeechobee waters.

"Volume and intensity for the Caloosahatchee River was horrible with (the) CC (alternative)," said Jennifer Reynolds, a water management district engineer and former head of the Army Corps' district office in Jacksonville. "That’s a large volume of water that I’ve got to do something with. I have to put that water some place, so I tried to put it to as many places as I could and some of it had to go to the St. Lucie.