FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - The Army Corps of Engineers could decide Friday whether to increase freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee. They say it's an effort to regulate lake water levels ahead of rainy season and to keep waterways around the Gulf from getting too salty.
Freshwater releases haven't stopped since last summer when large releases turned the Gulf a murky, brown color. They're just flowing at a much slower rate. The Army Corps said that the maximum amount they could release at this point in the year would be a little less than half of what we saw at the peak of the 2013 rainy season.
The appropriate balance of freshwater and saltwater around the Gulf of Mexico is crucial to plants and marine life. There can't too much or too little of either. Public Affairs Specialist John Campbell said that if the maximum amount of water is released at 3,000 cubic feet/sec, we
could notice changes in the river and Gulf. Because of it, he said they're taking the environmental impacts very seriously.