Controversial Lake Okeechobee Water Releases Suspended By Corps Of Engineers

JACKSONVILLE, FL

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced suspension July 10 of water flows from Florida’s Lake Okeechobee into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Corps says it will give water managers time to be able to fully assess system conditions.

"We acknowledge the continued interest in water releases from elected officials and the public which stem from limitations of the current water management system," said Col. Jason Kirk, Jacksonville District Commander. "We will continue to work with state officials and the South Florida Water Management District to implement all possible measures to create additional options. However, we will likely have to resume releases later in the week to reduce the flood risk that a rising lake presents to people living and working around it."

The Corps had previously stopped the flows on June 30 with the intent to restart the flows nine days later.

The reprieve will, at least temporarily, please local residents and business owners who have been behind a protest movement against “slimy” water releases spoiling the local waterfront and associated tourism. The protest movement has also attracted support from US environmental activist Erin Brockovich.

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