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Lake Okeechobee Plan - Milestone for Water Fairness

July 29, 2022 - This week's release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) is an important milestone in the multi-year collaborative effort to establish water fairness in South Florida. The Everglades Foundation commends the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) on maintaining its commitment to transparency while addressing this vital matter.

LOSOM represents a much-needed seismic shift in Lake Okeechobee water policy. The status quo of prioritizing the water desires of a single industry over the actual needs of Florida’s public, environment, and economy is about to become history. Thank you to Governor Ron DeSantis and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) for their support of balance and steadfast partnership with the Corps throughout this exemplary process.

Lake Okeechobee’s water schedule will be modernized to yield increased economic and environmental benefits throughout South Florida. In addition to the substantial reduction in harmful discharges to the east and west coasts, considerably more freshwater will be sent south to America’s Everglades and Florida Bay, especially in the dry season. LOSOM is poised to advance water policy that will protect the public’s water supply and align with the goals and objectives of Everglades restoration.

The Everglades Foundation looks forward to LOSOM’s official implementation in 2023 when all users can benefit from a flexible and meaningful water plan that serves the public at large.

Eric Eikenberg, CEO, The Everglades Foundation

Photo USACE - Port Mayaca Lock and Dam into Lake Okeechobee


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