Comments from Friends of the Everglades Executive Director Eve Samples made at the March 22, 2021, meeting of the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) Project Delivery Team. The new lake plan will have widespread impacts on the Greater Everglades ecosystem.
Col. Andrew Kelly put it well when he said “this is the tough part” of the LOSOM process. This is where the Army Corps of Engineers will have to make some challenging decisions about the new management plan for Lake Okeechobee.
It will be a difficult balancing act, with plenty of opportunities (and perhaps excuses) to avoid taking needed action to prevent public exposure to toxic-algae blooms. However, we at Friends of the Everglades implore the Army Corps to remember 2018 and 2016, and the years of toxic-algae blooms prior, and seize this opportunity to bring the greatest relief possible to the long-abused northern estuaries. Doing so will allow for more water to move south to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay during the dry season, when it’s needed.
More information about the LOSOM process, and opportunities for public involvement, can be found here: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM/
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