DEP'S DAILY UPDATE ON LAKE OKEECHOBEE. The figure depicts various flood control structures that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the South Florida Water Management District (District) operate. Courtesy of DEP.
DEP'S DAILY UPDATE ON LAKE OKEECHOBEE. The figure depicts various flood control structures that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the South Florida Water Management District (District) operate. Courtesy of DEP.

Daily Update On Lake Okeechobee

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Lake Okeechobee Water Release Conditions, Monday, February 22. åçCourtesy Of DEP.

DEP’S Daily Update On Lake Okeechobee, Monday, February 22

“Caloosahatchee Salinity Conditions: Salinity (based on optimal conditions for adult oysters) increased and are in the good range at Sanibel and at Shell Point and in the poor range at Cape Coral.  St. Lucie Salinity Conditions: Salinity at the U.S. 1 bridge remains the same and continues to be in the poor range.”

The Department of Environmental Protection issued the following news release.

For Immediate Release: February 22, 2016, 2:14 PM/E

Summary of the State of Florida’s Actions:

  • On Feb. 19, the South Florida Water Management District announced it would take additional steps to lower water levels within its regional water management system. Click here for more information.
    • The District is now moving up to 96 million gallons of water per day into the C-4 Emergency Detention Basin in southern Miami-Dade County to help relieve high water level in the Everglades Water Conservation Areas.
    • The District will also start injecting up to 5 million gallons of water per day into the Hillsboro Aquifer Storage and Recovery Pilot well, located just south of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.
  • By raising the L-29 canal level, per an order from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and at the request of Governor Rick Scott, the South Florida Water Management District has been able to move approximately 3.36 billion gallons of clean water (water that meets water-quality standards) into the northern portions of Everglades National Park, as of midnight on Feb. 21, 2016.
  • On Feb. 15, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to Governor Scott’s request to raise water levels in the L-29 canal in order to move water south through Shark River Slough to ease the effects of flooding in the Everglades.
    • The South Florida Water Management District began operation of the S-333 structure at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2016, after the state received an execution order from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • On Feb. 11, 2016, Governor Rick Scott requested that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers take immediate action to relieve flooding of the Everglades Water Conservation Areas and the releases of water from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. Click here to read the letter.
    • The Governor requested that the Corps raise the level of the L-29 canal to
      8.5 feet so that substantial volumes of water be moved from Water Conservation Area 3 to Everglades National Park through Shark River Slough.
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) issued orders on Feb. 11, 2016, that would allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move forward with this request. Click here to read the orders.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Update:

Everglades Wildlife Management Area (671,831 acres):

Last week, FWC conducted wildlife and habitat surveys in Water Conservation Area (WCA) 3A South in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Habitat conditions on tree islands are indicating light use by wildlife at this time. A low number of deer were observed on tree islands.

  • Water level as of Feb. 15 at WCA 3A North in Broward County = 12.02 feet
  • High water closure criteria = 11.60 feet
  • Recession rate for the last week = (0.02) feet
  • Average ascension rate for the last 3 weeks = 0.26 feet/week

Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area (29,700 acres):

  • Water Level as of Feb. 15 = 13.22 feet
  • High water closure criteria = 13.50 feet
  • Recession rate for the last week =  (0.24) feet
  • Average recession rate for the last 3 weeks = (0.03) feet/week

Holey Land Wildlife Management Area (35,350 acres):

  • Water level as of Feb. 15 = 12.43 feet
  • High water closure criteria = 12.50 feet
  • Recession rate for the last week = (0.09) feet
  • Average ascension rate for the last 3 weeks = 0.12 feet/week

Lake Okeechobee Management Information:

Lake Okeechobee Water Release Schedule, February 22, 2016.

Salinity Conditions:

Caloosahatchee Salinity Conditions: Salinity (based on optimal conditions for adult oysters) increased and are in the good range at Sanibel and at Shell Point and in the poor range at Cape Coral.

St. Lucie Salinity Conditions: Salinity at the U.S. 1 bridge remains the same and continues to be in the poor range.

Rainfall Information:

In January 2016, South Florida experienced the wettest January on record since recordkeeping began in 1932. Over the past three days, there has been no rainfall over the region.

South Florida Water Management District’s Rainfall Forecast:

Rainfall for the current week is forecast to be widespread with moderate to heavy rain Tuesday and Wednesday.


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