Get the Army Corp of Engineers to Fix Lake Okeechobee

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As we all know, the Treasure Coast is once again experiencing significant toxic blue-green algae invasion on the St. Lucie River and the Indian River Lagoon. The incredible devastation of the 2016 toxic algae bloom on our economy and environment are about to be repeated.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently discharging nearly four billion gallons of water per day to the east and west of Lake Okeechobee. These releases from Lake Okeechobee we are experiencing are a direct contributory factor in the development of these toxic algae blooms. 

The State of Florida has taken significant steps to address the releases from Lake Okeechobee within the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan expending over $2.5 billion since its inception as well as the passage of the Legacy Florida Act which I was pleased to sponsor, and Sen. Negron’s SB 10 . This year over $248 million was allocated to Legacy Florida projects and the planning process for the deep-water reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee is well underway. 

Although these critical projects will provide long term solutions to the problems created by the releases from Lake Okeechobee, we are currently facing an immediate crisis in our estuaries.

I have asked Governor Scott to declare a State of Emergency on the Treasure Coast and seek a Executive Order from the President of the United States to direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to override the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS) to permit additional water to be held with the Lake and stop the releases from Lake Okeechobee into our rivers

I will also be traveling to Washington D.C. this coming week to meet with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to once again press them to take action.  The Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS) must be revised to permit additional water to be held within the lake.  Raising the level of the Lake 6 inches would prevent approximately 76 billion gallons of water from coming into our estuaries and would stop the releases from Lake Okeechobee for 15 days into our rivers. 

Please join me in writing to the U. S. Army Corps and signing the attached petition to urge their immediate action to stop the releases.

Gayle Harrell,

Florida House of Representatives, District 83

 



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