By: Randy Schultz, Sun Sentinel
South Florida has had record recent rainfall. Lake Okeechobee is rising. The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water. Trouble could be coming for estuaries on both coasts and the Everglades.
Worse, there’s trouble with the plan to prevent this regular environmental and economic damage.
Last year, the Legislature approved a reservoir south of the lake. It would receive and store water that now goes east and west, into the St. Lucie River and farther into the Indian River Lagoon on this coast.
Discharges last pounded the estuary in 2016, but it’s happened regularly for two decades. Canals turn green. A brown plume spews from the St. Lucie Inlet into the ocean. Current conditions don’t match 2016, so luck may hold.
For years, conservation groups had urged creation of a southern reservoir to mimic the historic flow of water. Yet it took a Florida Senate president from the Treasure Coast — Joe Negron — to get the reservoir through the Legislature. Sugar growers opposed it and got the size reduced…