JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 29, 2012) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has started releasing small amounts of water from Lake Okeechobee in a continued effort to reduce saltwater content in the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
The new water release began on Saturday, May 26. The Corps is making the release in a pulse-like manner to mimic a rainfall event, similar to releases that began in December, 2011, and ended in March, 2012. The target flow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary for this release is an average of 300 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.
“Additional rainfall has returned tributary hydrologic conditions to normal,” said John Kilpatrick, chief of Jacksonville District’s Multi-Projects Branch, which has oversight of water management at the lake. “The rain, combined with other factors outlined in the 2010 Adaptive Protocols, allows the Corps to undertake this release in order to provide environmental benefits to the estuary.”
Today, the lake stage is 11.71 feet. The lake is currently within the Beneficial Use Sub 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. 12-045