CLEWISTON, FL. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has announced it will continue releasing water from Lake Okeechobee, sending additional fresh water into the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
The new release began today (Mar. 8). The Corps is making the release in a pulse-like manner to mimic a rainfall event, similar to releases that began on December 16. The target flow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary for this release is an average of 450 cubic feet per second (cfs) over a 10-day period, as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) east of Fort Myers. The 10-day pulse release will allow relatively larger discharge rates du ring the first half of the 10-day period.
This will be the third 10-day pulse release since February 17. These releases are expected to help reduce impacts and degradation of aquatic resources due to high salinities.
"The 10-day pulse releases are helping to reduce salinities in the Caloosahatchee estuary," said John Kilpatrick, Chief of the Jacksonville District’s Multi-Project Branch, which has oversight of water management at the lake, "we are hoping to adequately observe and record the response of the ecosystem to this 10-day release pattern to learn what we can to provide a more consistent operation."
Today, the lake stage is 12.83 feet.