Important Water Workshop Next Week

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Water quality is a huge topic here in Southwest Florida. Making sure our area is treated fairly when the Army Corps of Engineers approves a new Lake Okeechobee Operating Manual has been a top priority for elected officials throughout Lee County. Here’s how you can also provide input.

On June 29th at 10AM you can participate in a workshop being held by the Governing Board Workshop for the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual.
Here’s the Zoom Registration Link

The workshop will provide the Governing Board with an overview of the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual. No action will be taken at the meeting, it’s informational only.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District is the federal agency responsible for developing the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual. The Corps is updating the Lake Okeechobee operations manual to reevaluate and define operations for the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule that take into account additional infrastructure that will soon be operational. The additional infrastructure that will be taken into consideration includes the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation, Kissimmee River Restoration Project, as well as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir and C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area.

The South Florida Water Management District has adopted the following position statement on LOSOM: “The South Florida Water Management District (District) works to safeguard and restore South Florida’s water resources and ecosystems, protect our communities from flooding, and meet the region’s water needs while connecting with the public and stakeholders. LOSOM allows us to capitalize on recent infrastructure improvements including rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike and CERP features. The District views balancing the differing interests across the system, including flexibility to adapt to current situations to achieve that balance, as integral to the success of the LOSOM process. Those interests include: equitably delivering water supply to society and the environment for beneficial uses during the dry season; increasing the tolerance for temporary/short term higher lake stages during the wet season in order to avoid harmful estuary discharges; and maintaining the other congressionally authorized purposes of flood control, navigation, and recreation.“

The agenda containing information on this workshop will be posted to the District’s website www.SFWMD.gov/meetings, seven days prior to the meeting.

Or, you can email Rosie Byrd at rbyrd@sfwmd.gov