Corps to change flow pattern for St. Lucie Canal

Published Aug. 21, 2017

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is making plans to send runoff that collects in the St. Lucie Canal (C-44) in Martin County to the east through the St. Lucie Lock & Dam structure (S-80). 

For most of the summer, the Corps has allowed runoff to flow west into Lake Okeechobee.  However, with water levels in the lake accelerating their rise over the past few days, Jacksonville District water managers are advising they could send runoff from future rain events toward the south fork of the St. Lucie River as is typically the case during this time of year.

“When the lake level was lower, we wanted to capture the water to ensure we had enough to get us through the dry season,” said Luis Alejandro, chief of the Water Management Section for Jacksonville District.  “With water levels rising, it become harder to gravity flow water from the canal into the lake.  The only remaining option for water that collects in the canal is to send it east through the St. Lucie structure.”

Today, the lake stage is 13.39 feet.  The Corps isn’t releasing water from the lake at this time through the Port Mayaca Lock & Dam (S-308); only runoff that collects in the St. Lucie Canal will pass through the spillway at the S-80 structure.  Should the Corps decide to release water from Lake Okeechobee, the agency will make additional notifications to the public.

For more information on flows around Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management page at the Jacksonville District website:


John Campbell

Release no. 17-034