Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Dec 30th, 2020
Millions of federal dollars are slated for Everglades restoration in the state.
In the middle of a 5,600-page spending bill, $250 million is approve for restoration that impacts Southwest Florida.
Clean water advocates see it as a win-win plan, since the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir would send water south from Lake Okeechobee down to the parched Everglades and Florida Bay. That would mean fewer damaging releases sent to Southwest Florida.
“Today, the good news is that we’re only getting 800, a little over 800, 828 cubic feet per second from the lake,” said Chris Wittman, the co-founder and program director of Captains for Clean Water.
Wittman can sometimes be found at W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam on the Caloosahatchee River near Olga in Lee County.
“It’s good we’re no longer getting those damaging discharges from the lake, but the water that’s been pushed out into the estuary over the last three months is, the nutrients is there,” Wittman explained.
Slowing releases from Lake Okeechobee are among reasons why Wittman is excited the EAA Reservoir project just got a boost.