Water-Related News

Experts concerned Lake O water releases would worsen Caloosahatchee estuary

LEE COUNTY – Water experts from Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation urged the Army Corps of Engineers to continue to not release water from Lake Okeechobee down the Caloosahatchee.

Experts said the river’s estuary is at a breaking point for how much freshwater it can handle, although water to the south of Sanibel looked crystal clear and blue Thursday.

“I’m pretty happy with the conditions right now,” said SCCF Environmental Policy Director James Evans. “If we see regulatory releases coming from the lake over the next couple of weeks as the lake starts to creep up a bit, that’s very concerning.”

The stormwater runoff into the river estuary that’s typical for this time of year has already put the water conditions into the “stressful” range. Any higher and Evans said it will move into the “harmful” range.