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U.S. ARMY CORPS SEEKING PUBLIC INPUT


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is seeking public input on the development of a new set of regulations to operate the water releases from Lake Okeechobee. The current Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS) has been in operation since 2008. The new proposed schedule will be the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). LOSOM will determine management strategies for regulating Lake levels.

The current strategy takes into account:

  • Safety and integrity of flood control engineered structures
  • Water supplies and safety of the approximately 8 million Florida residents in the vicinity of the Lake
  • Agriculture water supply     
  • Expected rainfall
  • Time of the year
  • Salinity of the estuaries (both east and west coast)
  • Many other conditions listed here: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll7/id/8423

The USACE is accepting comments until April 22, 2019.

Visit USACE website, write a letter, call the USACE at (561)340-1527 or text at (561)801-5734.

The water releases from Lake Okeechobee affect Cape Coral’s water quality so make your voice heard today.







BLUE-GREEN ALGAE: 
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Health, water management districts, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services all work together to respond to algal blooms, each with a specific role.

MORE INFORMATION:
FDEP Algal Bloom Response & Reporting Tool (includes map of sampling results)

Blue-green algae FAQs


BEACH WATER QUALITY: 
The Florida Department of Health's Healthy Beaches Program monitors beaches by collecting bi-weekly water samples throughout the year and analyzes them for enterococci. 

Based on EPA guidelines, when these organisms reach high levels, a health advisory is issued by the department. Public notifications include results entered on the Healthy Beaches Website, signs posted at the beach, notifying the media, and informing the local government officials. Health advisories are not lifted until samples collected show acceptable water quality. 

For information visit: Florida Healthy Beaches Program Web Page

The Beach Conditions Report provides several types of information about Southwest Florida beaches during Red Tide events: whether dead fish are present, whether there is respiratory irritation among beachgoers, what the water color is, the wind direction and what flags are currently flying at the beaches (for lifeguard-monitored beaches).

For information visit: https://visitbeaches.org/


RED TIDE:
Red tide is a naturally-occurring microscopic alga that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year. Blooms, or higher-than-normal concentrations, of the Florida red tide alga, Karenia brevis, frequently occur in the Gulf of Mexico. Red tide begins in the Gulf of Mexico 10 to 40 miles offshore and can be transported inshore by winds and currents.

For information visit: http://myfwc.com/redtidestatus