SWFL leaders push for maximum ‘Lake O’ flows

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Mayors of some cities in Lee County are asking to return to maximum releases from Lake Okeechobee after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reduced water discharges last week.

The amount of water released was lowered from an average of 6,500 cubic feet per second, to 4,000.

“We’re not going to see blue water even with 4,000 cubic feet per second coming out, we’re not going to see it,” said Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki. “Let’s go ahead and get maximum release now and then try and get three weeks so it stops and give our spawning season a chance.”

Fish spawning season begins in this area, in the next week or two.

“What she should be saying is our local leadership is to demand buying the land south of Lake Okeechobee from the sugar industry and sending the water south naturally,” said John Heim with the Southwest Florida Clean Water Movement who disagrees with the mayor’s point of view.

Mayors Randy Henderson of Fort Myers, Kevin Ruane of Sanibel, and Ben Nelson of Bonita Springs all support the Sawicki’s views.

The Army Corps of Engineers says it has no plans to change the flows in the next week.

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