US Army Corps of Engineers
Jacksonville District Website

Corps accepts comments on Draft RECOVER Lake O Stage Envelope Performance Measure

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
Published Dec. 5, 2019
Submerged aquatic vegetation in Lake Okeechobee

Submerged aquatic vegetation in Lake Okeechobee

UPDATE DEC. 20:  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has extended the comment period on the draft performance measure for an additional two weeks.  The Corps will now accept comments through Jan. 3, 2020. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District announces a public and agency review and comment period on the Draft RECOVER Lake Okeechobee Stage Envelope Performance Measure. Comments are due Dec 20.

The 15-page Draft RECOVER Lake Okeechobee Stage Envelope Performance Measure is available at www.saj.usace.army.mil/RECOVER/ for a 15-day public and agency review period prior to final acceptance by the multi-agency RECOVER (REstoration, COordination & VERification) Executive Committee.

RECOVER (REstoration COordination & VERification) is a multi-agency team of scientists, modelers, planners and resource specialists who organize and apply scientific and technical information in ways that are essential in supporting the objectives of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).

The RECOVER team conducts scientific and technical evaluations and assessments for improving CERP’s ability to restore, preserve and protect the south Florida ecosystem while providing for the region's other water-related needs. RECOVER applies a system-wide perspective to the planning and implementation of the CERP and communicates and coordinates the results of these evaluations and assessments to managers, decision makers and the public.

“The RECOVER recommendation represents the conclusions of scientists and planners charged with researching and applying scientific information to restore and protect the Everglades,” said Angie Dunn, Jacksonville District’s Environmental Branch Chief. “Performance measures are tools to allow managers to assess and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of CERP implementation.”

In most years, the lake’s water level, known as the lake stage, will vary within a certain range or “envelope,” depending upon on how much water comes into and leaves the lake each year. Based on a large body of scientific data, gathered over more than 50 years, RECOVER lake scientists identified a target range of lake stages called the “ecological envelope,” based solely upon the health of animals and plants within Lake Okeechobee.

“The Draft Lake Okeechobee Stage Envelope Performance Measure varies between Normal and Recovery conditions following high water events, and allows for seasonal fluctuations around a 12 to 15 feet stage target,” said Dr. Gretchen Ehlinger, a senior biologist with the Corps.

The Lake Okeechobee Stage Envelope Performance Measure was last updated in 2007 and included a range of 12.5 to 15.5 feet.

As restoration of the Everglades progresses, it is important to be able to estimate the ecological response to restoration projects and the program as a whole. Performance measures are tools to allow managers to assess and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the CERP.

As restoration of the Everglades progresses, it is important to be able to estimate the ecological response to restoration projects and the program as a whole. Performance measures are tools to allow managers to assess and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the CERP. The Draft Lake Okeechobee Stage Envelope Performance Measure currently available for review has been developed to establish a target stage envelope for lake ecology, but is not a proposed operational plan.

Comments on the 15-page Draft Lake Okeechobee Stage Envelope Performance Measure will be accepted through December 20, 2019. Please submit comments via email to Gretchen.S.Ehlinger@usace.army.mil, if possible, (recommended subject RECOVER Lake O Stage Envelope PM Comments) and reference the line and/or page numbers to expedite the review process.

Comments may also be mailed to:
Dr. Gretchen Ehlinger
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District
P.O. Box 4970
Jacksonville, FL 32232‐0019

Additional information on RECOVER is available at: www.saj.usace.army.mil/RECOVER/


Contact
Erica Skolte
Erica.A.Skolte@usace.army.mil

Release no. 19-092