Good News: No Immediate Lake Releases to the St. Lucie or Caloosahatchee Estuaries


Coastal watersheds are spared for now

Coastal watersheds are spared for now

Addressing reporters in West Palm Beach, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Executive Director Drew Bartlett and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District Commander Col. Andrew Kelly announced Friday there are no Lake Okeechobee releases bound for east or west estuaries in the District’s immediate future.

Speaking at a joint press conference today, the officials detailed the cooperative efforts the two agencies are undertaking to reduce the need for harmful lake releases and move water south of Lake Okeechobee.

Kelly said the good news comes as a result of the work SFWMD is doing and because of dry rainfall projections for the next week. USACE nevertheless will continue to monitor lake levels.

Bartlett said SFWMD is moving the maximum amount of water possible south out of Lake Okeechobee to storage areas to help avoid the need for discharges. The District is also working to hold water in Lake Kissimmee and Lake Istokpoga to control the flow of water into the lake from the north, Bartlett said.

The press conference was broadcast on Facebook Live and can be viewed on SFWMD’s Facebook page. A high-quality version of the press conference is also available HERE.

For more updates on SFWMD’s work, visit SFWMD’s website.