Water-Related News

Army Corps’ big reveal: How different is new Lake O management plan?

The suspense for those waiting for the big reveal of a new Lake Okeechobee management plan ended Tuesday afternoon.

Kind of.

As he opened the meeting announcing the federal plan, Project Manager Tim Gysan stressed that what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has chosen is a skeleton, not a fleshed-out final blueprint.

“This is the framework of the preferred alternative,” said Gysan, project manager for the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). “This is not the end of the process by any means.”


The model the Corps chose for the plan’s foundation (No. 260467) should cut lake releases to the St. Lucie River by about a third, while increasing beneficial flows to the Caloosahatchee River and the southern Everglades, said Eve Samples, executive director of the nonprofit Friends of the Everglades, while still allowing for massive discharges east and west when Lake Okeechobee is near or above 17 feet, depending on the time of year.