STUART, Fla. (AP) — A plan to divert some of the Lake Okeechobee water now dumping into the St. Lucie Estuary took a small step forward.
The South Florida Water Management District Board of Governors tentatively approved a draft plan Thursday for the Central Everglades Planning Project. Florida Treasure Coast Newspapers reports that the approval sets in motion a process designed to get the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project included in the federal Water Resources Development Act that Congress is considering.
The $1.8 billion project would send about 65.2 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water south each year rather than east toward the St. Lucie Estuary and west to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
The project would use land south of the lake that's already in public hands. It is scheduled to take at least 10 years to complete.