JACKSONVILLE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will continue flows from the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) to the Caloosahatchee estuary at a 7-day average rate of 457 cubic feet per second (cfs). Flows to the St. Lucie estuary remain at zero cfs as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80). Releases are made in a pulse pattern which begin on Saturday. In addition, their partners at the South Florida Water Management District have coordinated with the corps as they mobilize pumps and modify water management operations to help control a wildfire in Everglades National Park.
“We’ve been releasing 457cfs to the Caloosahatchee Estuary since the beginning of April, and will continue to do that as long as we can,” said. Andrew Kelly, Jacksonville District commander. “We’re also working with our partners at the South Florida Water Management District and doing whatever we can to raise groundwater levels to keep the marsh and peat soils wet, in an effort to help control a fire that’s been burning in Everglades National Park.”
Friday’s lake stage is 11.36 feet NGVD. During the past week, lake levels have decreased 0.02 feet, with an overall 0.76 foot decrease in the past 30 days. The corps will continue to monitor conditions closely and adjust flows as necessary. Any changes in flows to the estuaries will be announced to the public.
This schedule will remain in effect until further notice. Additional runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed one or both targets. The Corps will continue to closely monitor conditions and coordinate with its partners at the South Florida Water Management District to reevaluate releases weekly.
NOAA and NASA satellite imagery from April 21 indicates an increase in algal bloom potential on the northern sector of Lake Okeechobee. “Potential” does not mean there is a visible bloom.
An important reminder from our partners at the South Florida Water Management District: South Florida is currently experiencing hot, dry conditions typical of this time of year. Everyone can help prevent wildfires by fully extinguishing cigarettes, reporting smoke and fire immediately, and carefully monitoring and fully extinguishing any outdoor fires.