US Army Corps of Engineers
Jacksonville District

Lake O flows adjusted to support Corps algae research

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
Published July 16, 2019
Overview of the HABITATS research test site at Moore Haven Lock and Dam, as seen from the top of the spillway.

Overview of the HABITATS research test site at Moore Haven Lock and Dam, as seen from the top of the spillway.

Floating weir skimmer and boom for focusing and collecting algae from water upstream of Moore Haven spillway.

Floating weir skimmer and boom for focusing and collecting algae from water upstream of Moore Haven spillway.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will adjust flows from Lake Okeechobee to support scientific research on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) currently being conducted by USACE’s Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC).

Starting Wednesday, July 17, the Corps will increase target flows from Lake Okeechobee to 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) at Moore Haven Lock and Dam (S-77) for eight hours daily over a period of 10 days. The adjustment will provide the flow required to support ERDC’s HABITATS pilot-scale demonstration project upstream of the structure at Moore Haven.

“The Corps’ Engineer Research and Development Center is doing the important scientific research that’s required to help us understand the dynamics of algal communities,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, Jacksonville District Commander. “We hope the research that the Corps is working on right now, in partnership with other scientists and experts, will provide the answers we need to help us find solutions to deal with HABs nationwide, and even worldwide.”

The research at Moore Haven will assess the performance and scalability of a new system for removing and disposing of blue-green algae from large water bodies to reduce the potential environmental and economic impacts of HABs on ecosystems and communities.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) received $2.3 million to undertake multiple activities this year, aimed at detecting, treating, and removing harmful algal blooms. Activities currently underway include basic scientific research on algae community dynamics and genomics, testing of algae treatments and demonstration of algal removal systems.

Starting Saturday, July 13, the Corps reduced the release to the Caloosahatchee estuary to zero cubic feet per second (cfs) from the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79). Flows to the St. Lucie estuary remain at zero cfs as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80). This schedule will remain in effect until further notice. Additional runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins will likely result in flows that exceed both targets.

Today’s lake stage is 11.47 feet NGVD. 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.

 


Contact
Erica Skolte
561-801-5734 (cell)
Erica.A.Skolte@usace.army.mil

Release no. 19-040