Lake Okeechobee Discharges Are Back After Nearly 2 Years

Lake Okeechobee-Eblast

Photo: Getty Images

For the first time in almost two years, there is water being discharged from Lake Okeechobee and that has environmentalists concerned.

The levels of the lake are just above 16 feet, higher than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prefers to keep them during this time of the year. The preemptive discharges to the St. Lucie Estuary are being done in anticipation of the upcoming rainy season.

Republican Congressman Brian Mast has been urging the Army Corps to lower lake levels in the dry season to avoid the need for discharges in the rainy season.

The fear is a toxic algae crisis like ones the area has suffered in the past.

One member of the Board of the South Florida Water Management District says water hasn't receded from the lake fast enough following Hurricane Ian. Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch says releasing water now is better for the algae bloom risk.

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