Water managers race to drain rising Lake Okeechobee risking wide spread damage to estuaries

Lake Okeechobee’s aging dikeThe Corps could begin sending as much as 4.9 billion gallons of water — about 7,400 Olympic swimming pools — daily into the St. Lucie river on the east coast. Even more would be released into the larger Caloosahatchee on the west coast. Such massive dumps in the past have caused widespread damage to the estuaries at the mouths of the rivers, where seagrass beds and oysters can’t tolerate such high amounts of freshwater. Already, a brown plume has spread off the coast of Sanibel. The last time so much water was released, in 2013 and following a 1998 El Niño, fish kills and dead sea life lasted for months, infuriating local communities. Read the rest here 11:19

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