Lake Okeechobee Releases: Federal, State, and Local Leaders Respond
Thursday, April 28, 2016
7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. EDT
Fort Myers, FL, United States
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After the rainiest January in more than 80 years, the Army Corps of Engineers began releasing more than 10 billion gallons of water a day from Lake Okeechobee in early February in an effort to avoid flooding the communities around the lake. Releases into the Caloosahatchee River have poured into the gulf, causing environmental impacts that are affecting local fish and wildlife, as well as the local economy. Join us as we discuss this complicated challenge and hear how government, businesses, and concerned citizens are working to find solutions. This presentation will give attendees an understanding of the complexity of the challenges that we face in our efforts to reduce high volume freshwater flows to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and move more water from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades. The discussion will highlight the recent actions of federal, state, and local governments and will assess the impacts to our environment and economy. Speakers will include scientists and engineers to discuss the technical issues and associated solutions. There will also be presentation on federal, state and local legislative actions regarding water quality, strategy implementation, and funding mechanisms. Discussion will include weather trends and climate change statistics that directly impact this issue. Lastly, there will be economic development focus on the local impacts and regional approaches to protect the tourism and agricultural industries.