Originally published by The News-Press on October 15, 2021 by Chad Gillis

A proposed Lake Okeechobee management plan is still drawing concerns from state water managers and the public as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to finalize what’s called the Lake Okeechobee System Operation Manual, or LOSOM.

The plan will be in place until at least 2030 and will guide lake releases to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers as well as south toward Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.

Ben Butler, a South Florida Water Management District governing board member, said Thursday that the plan, at this stage, won’t fix many of South Florida’s water problems.

“It looks like we’ve got more work to do,” Butler said. “Lake ecology is just going to suffer and we’re not going to see the (submerged aquatic vegetation) if the lake reaches these levels.”

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