Large amounts of nutrient-rich water released from Lake Okeechobee could once again flow down the Caloosahatchee River if a last-minute Florida Senate bill becomes law. The last-minute bill, SB 2508, effectively returns control of Lake Okeechobee’s water management to agricultural interests and was filed by the Republican-led Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. In addition to largely giving deference over the lake’s water usage to South Florida’s farming interests, critics of the bill say it would jeopardize water quality and lower water quantity in the Everglades, and threaten the viability for the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir.
The Army Corps of Engineers has been releasing water from Lake Okeechobee as Tropical Storm Eta bears down on South Florida. This can be problematic in more ways than one.