The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District announces a Project Delivery Team (PDT) Meeting for the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP) from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 7, 2022.
“The purpose of the March 7 meeting is to update the Project Delivery Team and stakeholders on the changes to the Lake Okeechobee Restoration Project since the release of the Final Project Implementation Report and Environmental Impact Statement in August 2020. The Draft Revised document is currently out for public review and comments are due on April 4,” said LOWRP Project Manager Tim Gysan. “We also plan to announce two National Environmental Policy Act Public Meetings for mid-March, after everyone has had time to read and digest some of the information in the draft revised document.”
The Project Delivery Team (PDT) members include only the federal officials and elected officers of state, local or tribal governments or their designated employees with authority to act on their behalf acting in their official capacities.
Members of the public (PUBLIC) are welcome to attend the government agency PDT meeting and provide comment during the designated Public Comment periods.
Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP) Project Delivery Team Meeting
Monday, March 7, 2022, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WebEx Meeting Link: https://usace1.webex.com/meet/earl.t.gysan
Call-in toll-free number (ATT Audio Conference):1-844-800-2712
Call-in number (ATT Audio Conference):1-669-234-1177
Access Code: 1997788788
The LOWRP Draft Report of the Chief of Engineers, released for state and agency review in October 2020, described a Recommended Plan (previously identified as Alternative 1BWR with a Wetland Attenuation Feature (WAF), 80 Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells, and two wetland restoration areas. Concerns related to acceptability and cost of Alternative 1BWR received during state, agency, and tribal review of the Draft Report of the Chief of Engineers, resulted in an agency decision to refine the Recommended Plan by removing the WAF and its 25 co-located ASR wells.
The revised Recommended Plan (identified as Alternative ASR) consists of 55 watershed ASR wells with a maximum storage volume of approximately 308,00 acre-feet per year and two wetland restoration sites, Paradise Run (approximately 4,700 acres) and Kissimmee River Center (approximately 1,200 acres), to restore wetland areas. Implementation of the Proposed Action will improve the quantity, timing and distribution of water entering Lake Okeechobee, provide for better management of lake water levels, reduce undesirable regulatory releases to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries, improve system-wide operational flexibility, and will restore portions of the historic Kissimmee River channel and floodplain. The Proposed Action is located within Okeechobee, Highlands, Hendry, Lee, Glades, Martin, and St. Lucie counties, Florida.
The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project is an Everglades restoration planning effort that will improve water levels in Lake Okeechobee; improve the quantity and timing of discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries; restore degraded habitat for fish and wildlife throughout the study area; and increase the spatial extent and functionality of wetlands.
The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP) is one part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).
For more information on the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project, including project documents and how to provide NEPA comments, visit: www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOWRP/.