JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (July 12, 2012) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has announced it will conduct another release of water from Lake Okeechobee as part of efforts to improve environmental conditions in the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
The new water release is scheduled to begin Sunday (July 15). The Corps is making the release in a pulse-like manner to mimic a rainfall event. 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 Caloosahatchee is dependent on occasional fresh-water releases from Lake Okeechobee during dry conditions to offset high salinity (salt-water content) in the estuary. The releases also provide circulation of water to prevent stagnation which can lead to algal blooms.
“Although recent rains have helped with salinity in the Caloosahatchee, this small amount of fresh water from Lake Okeechobee is important to helping maintain circulation and prevent water stagnation,” said Jorge Tous, chief of Jacksonville District’s water management section.
Today, the lake stage is 11.97 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. 12-057