Water into Lake Okeechobee

Here it is as retrieved from the US Army Corps http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Media/News-Stories/Article/479659/lake-okeechobee-following-the-flow/

“Water generally flows into Lake Okeechobee from several sources, including the Kissimmee River, Fisheating Creek, Lake Istokpoga, Taylor Creek and smaller sources such as Nubbin Slough and Nicodemus Slough. The Kissimmee River is the largest source, providing more than 60 percent of the water flowing into Lake Okeechobee. Fisheating Creek is the second largest source for the lake, with about nine percent of the total inflow.”

Real time data is available at http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20drought%20%20and%20%20flood/waterconditionsodssregionalrealtimedata

The condition of Lake Okeechobee is directly related to what flows into the lake from the North.    We must find a way to reduce nutrients from the north into the lake.    As sea level rises we will surely want to have a lake with a high quality of fresh water.

The outflow of Lake Okeechobee,  historically was to the south not the east or west.  We must improve the water quality of lake Okeechobee as we think of where we want to divert the freshwater.   Removing HHD  might not be the ideal long term goal.   We need to product more models of waterflow that are ideal over the next century prior to jumping to flow changes.

With the increase of sea level, may of our freshwater estuaries will be lost to higher levels of salt.   The flow across the everglades is probably the best estuary to look to protect as the flora and fauna will gradually change with the increase in sea level.

The most important thing we must do immediately is reduce nutrient runoff along the Kissimmee River Basin,   as well as what is flowing into creeks, rivers and canals along both our east and west coast.

On a side note as we work on structure to add relief for oyster restoration efforts on both sides of Florida as well as estuaries around the world,  I highly recommend the use of Reef Balls, a patterned structure with 24 years of success.  They can be used now for oyster restoration but coral and  essential fish habitat is what they were originally designed for.  So let’s place structure in the water that will be a quality reef as sea level and salinities change.


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