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Summer Water Worries: June Rains Spur Back Pumping to Lake O

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Photo: South Florida Water Management District

Florida's rainy summer season began with a sopping wet June, which saw nearly twice the amount of rainfall across South Florida compared to past years. The heavy rain caused water emergencies in some areas of South Florida that saw as much as 200 percent of their average rainfall. Now the South Florida Water Management District is back pumping into Lake Okeechobee amid a flurry of efforts to control the water across the region.

The heavy rains put wildlife at risk and threatened to damage plants considered critical for the Everglades ecosystem. That saw state wildlife managers close some areas to recreation in the name of protecting wildlife and reducing water levels. 

Randy Smith with the South Florida Water Management District joins Gulf Coast Live to discuss what actions the district has undertaken so far this summer to control the deluge of rain after months of drought-like conditions, as well as the ongoing management of South Florida's ever-present water concerns.

Also joining the program is Pete Quasius, the advocacy director for the Audubon of Western Everglades, to discuss the impacts to Southwest Florida and the ongoing projects underway addressing water quality and quantity in Southwest Florida.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week.  Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.