White House approves huge reservoir for Lake Okeechobee overflow

Photo: Algae collects along the the shore of Shepard Park on the St. Lucie River near downtown Stuart on June 12, 2018. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

A massive reservoir to hold Lake Okeechobee overflow got White House approval this week, a key step for the fast-tracked plan to spare northern estuaries from extended assaults of harmful lake water.

The $1.4 billion project slated for state-owned land in western Palm Beach County is a partial answer to activists’ calls to “send the water south” and could alleviate the blue-green algae blooms plaguing the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. An announcement late Tuesday by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget sends the plan to Congress for inclusion in its Water Resources Development Act, which is expected to be approved by year’s end.

“You couldn’t get any more compelling of an argument for the project than seeing this algae bloom,” said Daniel Andrews, executive director for the Fort Myers-based Captains for Clean Water. “We’ve been fighting hard for it.”

Photos posted by Captains for Clean Water of a pea soup-looking Caloosahatchee River have garnered thousands of views on social media. “It’s the worst we’ve ever seen […]

More about Florida’s Lake Okeechobee water and algal blooms:

SFWMD: Water district board OKs leasing reservoir’s land to sugar grower

NOAA: 40% of Lake Okeechobee covered in harmful algae

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich on water releases from Lake Okeechobee

Toxic Lake: The Untold Story of Lake Okeechobee

Warming drives spread of toxic algae in US, researchers say

Gil Smart: What’s behind push for deep injection wells near Lake Okeechobee?

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White House approves huge reservoir for Lake Okeechobee overflow
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White House approves huge reservoir for Lake Okeechobee overflow
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A massive reservoir to hold Lake Okeechobee overflow got White House approval this week, a fast-tracked plan to spare estuaries from harmful lake water.
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Palm Beach Post
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2 Replies to “White House approves huge reservoir for Lake Okeechobee overflow”

    1. You’re right that everyone is eager for effective, long-term solutions!

      Unfortunately, if we read this item correctly, the so-called approval only gets the project written into the Water Resources Development Act. Sharp eyes will need to watch and ensure that it makes it through the legislative process this fall, intact if not improved.

      And, of course, after surviving that far, the project must actually be funded. We will feel most hopeful about the result if Florida’s citizens stay awake and alert, ready to hold their representatives accountable for the state of Florida’s waters and wildlife, its recreation and tourism, and the public health.

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