Professional Angler Scott Martin: “The Water Releases from Lake Okeechobee during the Hurricane and Rainy Season have caused a lot of division among many in Florida. This idea on how to solve much of the releases to the East and West Coast of Florida and the Everglades is the most common sense and economic idea I have heard yet.”

Northern Water Storage Projects Are Vital 

Too much nutrient polluted water is flowing into Lake Okeechobee. SFWMD research shows that more than 95% of the water and the nutrients originate from areas to the north of the lake. In heavy rain events, water flows into Lake Okeechobee six times faster than it can be drained via canals! 

This untreated lake water is then discharged to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries when Lake Okeechobee levels get too high. The coastal estuaries require a unique balance of saltwater and fresh water. Too much or too little freshwater from the lake causes the estuary ecosystem to suffer.

Capturing water north, before it enters the lake, is paramount. If water is collected, cleaned and stored north of the lake, it can then be released into the system during dry times. Northern storage will benefit Lake Okeechobee, the coastal estuaries, the Everglades, and water supply users. Water managers and scientists put together this fact sheet to stress the importance of water storage projects north of Lake Okeechobee.