The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will suspend flows from Lake Okeechobee to the east to support a science research project in Martin County.
The Corps will suspend releases starting tomorrow (Feb. 20) to the St. Lucie Estuary, with a target flow of 0 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart for the next week. The target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary is unchanged at a seven-day average of 1,700 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (S-79) near Fort Myers. Flows at one or both locations could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins—those flows will be allowed to pass through structures as necessary.
"Martin County requested the temporary suspension of Lake Okeechobee releases to collect water samples for a microbial source study being done by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection," said Jim Jeffords, chief of Jacksonville District’s Operations Division. "We want to do our part to help ensure success in this study. However, we want to be clear that it is likely flows will resume next week as we work to bring down the lake level."
Today, the lake stage is 14.78 feet. It is currently in the Operational Low Sub-Band as defined by the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS). Under current conditions, LORS authorizes the Corps to discharge up to 3,000 cfs to the Caloosahatchee and up to 1,170 cfs to the St. Lucie.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx.
Release no. 15-021