JACKSONVILLE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District (USACE) announces the availability of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the North of Lake Okeechobee Storage Reservoir Section 203 Study, also known as the Lake Okeechobee Component A Storage Reservoir (LOCAR) Section 203 Study being conducted by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). The review period ends Feb. 26, 2024.
The USACE has evaluated the SFWMD Section 203 Study and its recommended plan. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) preferred alternative, and SFWMD Section 203 Study’s recommended plan, is a 200,000 acre-feet (ac-ft) aboveground storage reservoir along the north side of C-41A and various recreational features. Implementation of the preferred alternative would improve the volume and timing of flows entering Lake Okeechobee. The preferred alternative would increase the frequency of time Lake Okeechobee water levels are within the preferred ecological envelope by reducing the time lake elevations are higher than levels desired to benefit ecology, resulting in increased vegetation diversity, increased coverage of short-hydroperiod communities, improvements to woody habitats that support wading bird nesting, and recovery of submerged aquatic vegetation beds.
The final EIS evaluating the North of Lake Okeechobee Storage Reservoir Section 203 Study is available for public review at: www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOCAR. The review period ends Monday, February 26, 2024.
A paper copy of the final EIS and its appendices will be available for in-person review at the Lake Placid Memorial Library, 205 West Interlake Blvd, Lake Placid, FL 33852. Please call the library at 863-699-3705 for hours and directions.
Review comments can be submitted to LOCAR@usace.army.mil (recommended subject line: “LOCAR Public Comments”) by Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.
For more information on the proposed project, please go to the following website: www.sfwmd.gov/LOCAR Instructions on how to provide review comments to USACE can be found at www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOCAR
SFWMD also encourages stakeholders to read the LOCAR Section 203 Draft Final Feasibility Study and Report at SFWMD.gov/LOCAR.