Lake Okeechobee

B A Bowen Photography

Residents of the Glades have a message for Tallahassee lawmakers: The proposed construction of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee would be a death knell for their communities.

Army Corps Reverses Field, Says Reservoir Must Wait

Mar 15, 2017

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reversing its stance and now says it must follow a schedule calling for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee in 2021.

Mary Ann Martin motors the trails carved among the grassy bulrushes rimming Lake Okeechobee, emerging on a watery expanse that ends where blue meets blue at the horizon.

"This is the Big O. Isn't it beautiful? Blows your mind. You can't see hardly across the lake."

She cuts the pontoon boat's engine. In the distance anglers fish for bass, catfish and crappie. Cormorants and pelicans take flight from a small island, their wings beating the water's surface.

Image: U.S. Geological Survey via Wikimedia Commons

Scientists say the earth has entered a new geological epoch, one defined by humanity's growing impact on the planet, climate, and ecosystems. The proposed name for the possible new epoch is the Anthropocene, and scientists say they're concerned about what this "era of man" means for the plants and animals disappearing or facing extinction during these rapid changes in the natural world.

It's a concern that's bringing scientists in Southwest Florida together for a biodiversity conference at FGCU next week.

Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via Wikimedia Creative Commons

A water resources bill in front of Florida lawmakers is proposing the State of Florida buy roughly 60,000 acres of land Lake Okeechobee to store excess water and avoid water discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers. The plan could cost billions of dollars and require purchases of land from private and corporate landowners.