Water-Related News

USACE to stop Lake Okeechobee Releases

Lake Okeechobee will start the wet season around 14.5 feet (above sea level) according to estimates shared by Col. James Booth, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District in a March 29 media call.

Booth said during the 2023-2024 wet season, the El Nino weather pattern brought above average rainfall. In a normal dry season, Lake Okeechobee drops about 3 feet due to evapotranspiration (a combination of evaporation and plant transpiration). This past winter, the lake level did not drop and even started to rise.

According to RECOVER, the lake’s normal ecological envelope ranges from 12 feet at the end of the dry season to 15 feet at the end of the wet season. The lake’s recovery envelope uses a low of 11.5 to 12.5 and a high of 14.5 to 15.5. RECOVER (REstoration COordination & VERification) is a multi-agency team of scientists, modelers, planners and resource specialists who organize and apply scientific and technical information in ways that are essential in supporting the objectives of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).