SFWMD Begins Test to Help Reduce Discharges to Coastal Estuaries
October 12, 2016
Kissimmee, FL – Three years ahead of schedule, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) engineers have begun a test to retain additional water in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, which will reduce the flow of water into Lake Okeechobee. This critical step in the nearly $800 million public investment in Kissimmee River Restoration will allow scientists to measure the ecological benefits of this new operating plan for the river and its floodplain. This action is consistent with the SFWMD Governing Board's direction to reduce freshwater releases from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes into Lake Okeechobee and then to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.
"Holding water north in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes provides the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages Lake Okeechobee, more flexibility when it comes to releasing water to the coastal estuaries," said SFWMD Chairman Dan O'Keefe. "Beginning this operation early also allows us to test the Kissimmee Headwaters project to ascertain the benefits to the ecology of the river system."