Hobe Sound, FL (STL.News) Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Board of Directors on a visit to Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers to observe current conditions. This visit comes as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works to finalize a new water control manual, the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM), for Lake Okeechobee.
The Governor urged the U.S. Army Corps to improve lake management to make more beneficial releases and send more water south during Florida’s dry season and to allow for flexibility to avoid harmful discharges in Florida’s northern estuaries. Reducing harmful discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers is critical for water quality in these vital ecosystems. Additionally, Governor DeSantis joined Florida’s bi-partisan congressional delegation in calling on the Biden administration to invest $725 million for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration to ensure critical Everglades restoration projects are completed as expeditiously as possible.
“In Florida, we are doing our part to expedite Everglades restoration projects and restore the flow of water south from Lake Okeechobee. Under my administration, we have expedited the EAA Reservoir Project, begun constructing the Stormwater Treatment Area 12 months ahead of schedule, and invested over $2 billion in water quality and Everglades funding,” said Governor DeSantis.