The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District continues to monitor conditions and has adjusted releases from Lake Okeechobee accordingly.
Starting Saturday, March 30, the Corps reduced the pulse release to the Caloosahatchee estuary to a 7-day average rate of 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) from the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79), as planned. In addition, the Corps reduced flows to the St. Lucie estuary down to zero cfs as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80). Additional runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed one or both targets.
“We’ve been successful in lowering the lake this year, which should help regenerate some of the submerged aquatic vegetation, make it easier to do controlled burns, and may help reduce releases during the hot summer months when algae is most likely to bloom.,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds, Deputy Commander for south Florida. “Drier conditions and the windy weather we’ve been experiencing lately means that evapotranspiration has increased, and the lake has receded more than three-quarters of a foot within the past month. As a result, we have adjusted the flows to the St. Lucie down to zero this week.”
Today’s lake stage is 11.90 feet NGVD. During the past week, lake levels were reduced by 0.24 feet, with an overall 0.86 foot reduction in the past 30 days. The Corps will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary. Any changes in flows to the estuaries will be announced to the public.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx.
Release no. UNRELEASED