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State Plan To Stop Toxic Algae By Disposing Of Water Underground Sparks Opposition

Amy Green/WMFE
The Florida Channel
The sun sets behind the lock and dam on Lake Okeechobee and St. Lucie Canal.

A state plan to protect estuaries by moving water north of Lake Okeechobee underground is sparking opposition.

The plan is aimed at preventing toxic algae blooms like last summer’s by disposing of excess water through some 60 deep injection wells north of Lake Okeechobee.

Cara Capp of the National Parks Conservation Association says the plan defies the mission of Everglades restoration, which is water conservation.

“Deep well injection that seeks to get rid of excess flow in the northern estuaries does nothing for cleaning up that water and sending it to Everglades National Park. So we want to look for a solution that’s inclusive of all the needs throughout the region and protects the national park that Americans really love.”

The South Florida Water Management District is moving ahead with the plan even as its federal partner on Everglades restoration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, wants further study.