The Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing its rules for managing Lake Okeechobee, and they want to hear whether discharges or toxic blooms have impacted people’s lives and livelihoods. This is your chance to be heard on how Lake O discharges are messing with your home waters, your health, your work and your community.
The Army Corps gathering comments in a series of public forums, called National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping meetings, to guide planning on the upcoming Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). Your personal story can shape the way the federal government manages South Florida’s waterways. So can your silence.
Public scoping meetings scheduled for the Lake Okeechobee System Operations Manual (LOSOM)
Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Lee County Mosquito Control District Training Center
15191 Homestead Road, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971
Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Indian River State College
Williamson Conference and Education Center
2229 N.W. 9th Avenue, Okeechobee, FL 34972
Monday, February 11, 2019, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
John Boy Auditorium
1200 South W.C. Owen Ave, Clewiston, FL 33440
Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Indian River State College
The Clare and Gladys Wolf High-Technology Center
2400 SE Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997
Tuesday, February 26, 2019, Time TBD
West Palm Beach
Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
South Florida Water Management District
Governing Board Auditorium
3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Thursday, February 28, 2019, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
North Dade Regional Library
2455 NW 183rd Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33056
If they don’t hear much about toxic algae, red tide, respiratory problems, poisoned dogs, lost revenue, cancelled vacations, closed beaches, dead manatees (and dolphins and turtles and fish and everything else that dies in toxic blooms)–no matter what they saw on the news last summer–they’ll record that the current system is working fine and doesn’t need major changes.
Please don’t let that happen. (You don’t have to be a Florida resident, and you don’t have to be in the room to tell your story.)
If you’ve seen the impacts of toxic blooms, discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee, or the collapse of Florida Bay and the health of the Everglades, the Corps needs to hear from you. Here’s how to participate:
Attend a Meeting
The schedule is here and on the Bullsugar website. Please prepare an honest, brief, sharp (but respectful) comment on your experience. Focus on whatever means the most to you: concerns over your family’s health, worries about links to liver failure and neurological diseases like ALS, financial stress from lost business or dropping home values, losing access to the water or the fishery or the activities you love… anything that affects you.
Send Comments by Email
Email your comments to the Corps directly, addressed to Dr. Ann Hodgson, USACOE, Jacksonville District at LakeOComments@usace.army.mil.
Send Comments by Mail
Address your letter to Dr. Ann Hodgson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Jacksonville District, PO Box 4970, Jacksonville FL 32232-0019.
The deadline is March 31st but please don’t wait. The sooner your voice becomes part of the public response, the better our chances for a new policy that doesn’t poison our communities, kill our pets, wipe out our fisheries, or destroy the way of life that makes Florida’s water worth fighting for.