FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla - At 7 a.m. Tuesday morning the Army Corps of Engineers reduced the amount of brown, murky water flowing into the Caloosahatchee River from Lake Okeechobee. The Corps says because lake levels started falling, it's safe to cut off some of the flow.
Locals on Fort Myers Beach say it's just in time for the hectic tourist season.
For much of the summer, businesses, tourists and beach goers have had to deal with brown mucky water released from Lake Okeechobee.
"I'm disappointed really because when we came back a few years ago, it was blue and lovely," says Jackie Wilkins, visiting Fort Myers Beach with her husband from England.
Margaret Schafer says, "you notice there's a definite color to it and you know something's not right."
Margaret Schafer has lived and worked on Fort Myers Beach for 16 years. She says, she has never seen the water this bad.
"We had company and I was afraid for the children to go in the water. They just went in the pool," says Schafer.
Good news quickly spread across the island that in just a few hours, beach goers will get a break from the brown water. Tuesday morning, the Army Corps of Engineers will reduce the flow from Lake O.
Lillian Morris says, "thank goodness. I am happy about that."
Will Krause of Ft. Myers Beach adds, "it's about time."
A spokesperson with the Army Corps says it's too hard to tell if the reduction will be enough for the water to fully recover before the busy tourist season, but anytime you cut the flow, you kick-start the recovery process and that is good news.
"I don't think it's ever too late. We're always happy when they do it and we can't do anything about what's already been done but hopefully the reduction will make a big difference from here on out," says Schafer.
The Army Corps will continue to monitor the level of the lake and adjust releases when they need to. A lot will depend on rainfall in the coming weeks. The current lake level is 15