Lake Okeechobee Discharges to East and West

Everglades restoration key to preventing the need for future releases.

Last week, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that they would be discharging water from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries to lower lake water levels. While water levels in Lake Okeechobee have been too high for the lake to be healthy, water discharges could create conditions for harmful algal blooms on both coasts.

To keep Lake Okeechobee healthy and avoid harmful discharges in the future, we must continue moving towards the goal of a fully restored Everglades. Audubon has been advocating for Everglades restoration for more than 100 years, a goal that will deliver dividends of both a healthy ecosystem and resilient South Florida communities.

Our water managers need more options to better manage high water level conditions. We must continue creating additional water storage infrastructure projects, like the EAA Reservoir, including those north of Lake Okeechobee. And, we must continue to fully fund Everglades restoration to maintain the current pace, with more projects breaking ground and coming online than ever before.

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