JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (March 16, 2012) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has announced it will begin another release of water from Lake Okeechobee this weekend in a continued effort to reduce saltwater levels in the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
The new release is scheduled to begin Sunday, March 18. The Corps is making the release in a pulse-like manner to mimic a rainfall event, similar to releases that began in December 2011. The target flow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary for this release is an average of 450 cubic feet per second (cfs) over a 10-day period, as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) east of Fort Myers. The 10-day pulse release allows relatively larger discharge rates during the first half of the 10-day period.
“The Corps, in consultation with our stakeholders, will continue the 10-day release pattern that we began four weeks ago, with the continuing hope the average salinity will remain stable or start falling,” said John Kilpatrick, chief of Jacksonville District’s Multi-Projects Branch, which has oversight of water management at the lake.
Today, the lake stage is 12.83 feet. The lake is currently within the Operational Band of the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (2008 LORS). The Corps and partner agencies will continue to closely monitor and assess system conditions, and may decrease releases if local basin runoff contributes to flows.
Release no. 12-025