The natural rainy season has arrived in Florida, creating high water levels in Lake Okeechobee. The US Army Corps of Engineers once again began releasing billions of gallons of water from the lake into the estuaries two weeks ago. Pictures soon emerged that were reminiscent of the discharges from 2016 – blue-green algae and brown water invading coastal areas. Harm occurs to the estuaries when flows are over 2,800 cubic feet per second – and as of Wednesday, flows were around 7,300 cubic feet per second. Congressman Brian Mast and others have called for the Army Corps to stop the discharges before they cause more harm.
While it is tragic to watch, we all need to take action. This November’s election will be critical in ensuring a clean water future for Florida, and electing candidates who share our vision is an important step forward. Our chosen elected officials must prioritize implementation of the reservoir south of Lake O that will address some of these problems, and must continue to strive for clean water and healthy ecosystems for Florida. The future of South Florida’s water is in our hands.