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Posted 4/2/2015

Release no. 15-043

Jenn Miller
(904) 232-1613

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will temporarily suspend flows from Lake Okeechobee to the east over the coming days to support a science research project in Martin County and will reduce flows to the west to address salinity conditions in the upper Caloosahatchee Estuary.

The Corps will suspend releases starting tomorrow (Apr. 3) to the St. Lucie Estuary, with a target flow of 0 cubic feet per second (cfs), as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart for the next week.  The new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary is a seven-day average of 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers.  Flows at one or both locations could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins — those flows will be allowed to pass through structures as necessary.

"We want to continue to help ensure the success of the microbial source study Martin County is conducting in connection with the Florida Department of Environment of Protection, so will suspend flows to the east so they can collect water samples,” said Jim Jeffords, chief of Jacksonville District’s Operations Division. “However, it is likely flows to the east will resume next week as we work to bring down the lake level."

Today, the lake stage is 13.99 feet.  It is currently in the Operational Low Sub-Band as defined by the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS).  Under current conditions, LORS authorizes the Corps to discharge up to 3,000 cfs to the Caloosahatchee and up to 1,170 cfs to the St. Lucie. 

For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx.