JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 15, 2012) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has started another release of water from Lake Okeechobee as part of an ongoing effort to reduce salinity (saltwater content) in the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
The new water release began today (June 15). 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. The Corps is making the release in a pulse-like manner to mimic a rainfall event.
The Caloosahatchee is dependent on occasional fresh-water releases from Lake Okeechobee during dry conditions to offset high salinity in the estuary. The releases also provide circulation of water to prevent stagnation which can lead to algal blooms.
“Tributary hydrologic conditions remain near normal,” said Jorge Tous, chief of Jacksonville District’s water management section. “This and other factors allow the Corps to release this water to provide environmental benefits to the estuary as outlined in the 2010 Adaptive Protocols.”
Today, the lake stage is 11.86 feet, and has risen over the past week. 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. 12-050