Corps offers webinars about lake

Starting Monday, May 20, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will offer a series of lunchtime webinars to provide background information on water management in South Florida as it pertains to Lake Okeechobee and the region.

Jacksonville District staff will conduct six webinars, the first beginning at noon, May 20. The intent is to provide information to the public on the Central & Southern Florida Project water management system as work continues on the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM).

“We are conducting this series of webinars to give people who are interested an opportunity to learn more about the various aspects of water management in south Florida,” said Tim Gysan, LOSOM project manager. “Each webinar will provide information on the fundamentals of water management, and an overview of some of the major considerations we must take into account when making decisions. We encourage everyone to attend these webinars so they come prepared with a good working knowledge of the basics of water management and associated issues in advance of the upcoming public workshops.”

The corps will conduct the LOSOM webinars on the following dates:
• May 20 — Fundamentals of the Central & Southern Florida (C&SF) Project: Learn more about the C&SF Project, the series of canals, pumps and associated infrastructure which makes it possible for us to live and work in South Florida.
• May 22 — Lake Okeechobee Ecology: Learn more about the ecology of Lake Okeechobee, and the special issues associated with alterations to the natural system.
• May 24 — Dam Safety and the Herbert Hoover Dike: Learn more about dam safety issues and the Herbert Hoover Dike, which surrounds Lake Okeechobee and protects the surrounding communities.
• May 28 — Estuary Ecology: Learn more about the ecology of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, east and west of Lake Okeechobee, which are very different in both their size and requirements.
• May 30 — Water management and the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule: Learn more about how the corps and South Florida Water Management District work together to manage water in the large South Florida water management system and some of the many technical considerations they take into account when making decisions.
• June 4 — Kissimmee River Restoration: Learn more about the Kissimmee River Restoration Project, which restored more than 40 square miles of river floodplain and provides storage and treatment for water coming from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, north of Lake Okeechobee.
Each one-hour webinar will begin at noon, with a 20- to 30-minute presentation, followed by a moderated question-and-answer period.
To ensure the best possible audio experience for the participants, all phone lines will be muted during the webinar. Questions may be asked in one of two ways: through the webinar’s chat function or through the email address LakeOComments@usace.army.mil (NOTE: please write “LOSOM Webinar Question” in the subject line of your email). Online questions will be addressed as time allows, and similar questions may be grouped together.

Please follow the instructions below to participate in the one-hour webinars, starting at noon.
Webinar Link (accommodates 200 people):
https://usace.webex.com/meet/lakeocomments
Dial-in (accommodates 500 people):
USA Toll-Free: 877-336-1831
USA Caller Paid/International Toll: 404-443-6397
ACCESS CODE: 8993438

If participation exceeds 200, attendees may download the presentation from the LOSOM web page at saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM and dial in. You may submit questions during the webinar using the chat function or via email at LakeOComments@usace.army.mil.

Members of the public are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with the water control plan from 2008. It is available for reference at: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll7/id/8423 and on the LOSOM web page at: saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM.

Information regarding the upcoming LOSOM workshops will be announced when the locations and schedule are finalized.

The purpose of the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) effort is to reevaluate and define operations for the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule that take into account additional infrastructure that will soon be operational. The additional infrastructure that will be taken into consideration includes the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation, Kissimmee River Restoration Project, as well as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir and C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area.

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