This is a big one.
On Tuesday, June 29, the South Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board will host a workshop on the proposed Lake Okeechobee Systems Operating Manual, the new “playbook” being developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Painstaking work over the past two years by the Army Corps has produced six “finalists,” detailed proposals to manage the lake and water flow throughout the South Florida region. SFWMD board members will hear detailed presentations on each of the six plans — AA, BB, CC, DD, EE1 and EE2 — and take public comment.
That’s where you come in.
None of the plans are perfect. But Friends of the Everglades — along with a coalition of other environmental groups, businesses and government partners — believes Plan CC, if amended to send more water south to the Everglades and eliminate harmful discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, is the most balanced proposal and provides the most benefits to the most stakeholders.
Others, including Florida’s powerful sugar industry, disagree. And they’ll likely be out in force at the June 29 meeting, urging SFWMD board members to back their preferred plan, Plan BB — which would ensure disastrous discharges to both the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee for at least another decade.
We’ll be there to make our case for change. But we need you to add your voice to the chorus demanding an equitable new Lake O schedule that no longer inflicts ecological disaster and imperils human health along the fragile northern estuaries.
Consider attending the district board workshop in person, beginning at 10 a.m. June 29 at SFWMD Headquarters, B-1 Building, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406. Or if you can’t make it in person, register for the online Zoom simulcast here.
After two years of hearings, impassioned testimony, detailed analysis and high hopes, the end of the LOSOM process is in sight. The Corps will host one more online gathering, open to the public, on June 30.
Then, on July 7, each of the stakeholder agencies represented on the “Project Delivery Team” will be asked to identify their preferred plan. You can join that meeting at 9 a.m. July 7 by CLICKING HERE.
We’ve come too far and fought too hard to stop now.
Help us turn this toxic tide for good