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Posted 7/20/2016

Release no. 16-056


Contact
Jenn Miller
(904) 232-1613
jennifer.s.miller@usace.army.mil

Public meeting scheduled for new Everglades planning effort
Project will provide additional storage north of Lake Okeechobee

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will be hosting a public meeting to discuss and seek input on the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project. Interested individuals, groups and agencies are encouraged to attend the meeting to provide comments and ask questions.

The meeting will be held in the Okeechobee Auditorium, 3800 NW 16th Boulevard, Suite A, Okeechobee, FL 34972, on Tuesday, July 26 with an open house beginning at 6 p.m., followed by an official presentation at 7 p.m.

The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project is a new Everglades restoration planning effort that aims to improve the quantity, quality, timing and distribution of water entering Lake Okeechobee. The objectives of this project are to  improve system-wide operational flexibility, reduce undesirable releases to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries downstream of the lake, improve the quality of water entering Lake Okeechobee, and restore isolated wetlands in the watershed.

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The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project will look at storage options north of Lake Okeechobee, which will help to improve the timing of flows into the lake and better manage lake levels,” said Tim Gysan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District project manager. “Public participation is a key component in our planning efforts and during this meeting we will provide background on the project, discuss the steps needed to develop a final plan and get feedback from those in attendance.”

This public meeting is being held in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), with the sole purpose of soliciting input on the project, such as the project area, constraints, and management measures, as it enters into its preliminary planning stage. Input received during this meeting will be used in the development of the project’s Environmental Impact Statement report. This report will be included as part of the Project Implementation Report that, once completed and approved, will be submitted to Congress for authorization and appropriations. There will also be additional opportunities to provide public input throughout the development of the project.

Comments are currently being accepted on the project through July 28, 2016, and can be sent electronically to OkeechobeeWatershedRestoration@usace.army.mil mailed to:

Gretchen Ehlinger
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District
P.O. Box 4970
Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019


The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project is a component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and is being developed in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District.

Additional information on the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project available online at: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/Ecosystem-Restoration/Lake-Okeechobee-Watershed-Project/
 

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CERP everglades Everglades restoration Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project