The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is inviting local stakeholders – government representatives, scientists, environmentalists, agricultural operators and others – to attend a meeting (Wednesday, Sept. 17) to discuss development of the Lake Okeechobee restoration plan.
This is part of a series of meetings meant to develop and identify specific pollutant reductions necessary and strategies to improve the lake’s water quality.
“The restoration of Lake Okeechobee is at the heart of improving water quality for all of South Florida,” said Tom Frick, director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “The actions identified in this plan are a significant step toward that goal.”
The restoration plan, known as a basin management action plan or BMAP, is a plan with specific pollutant reduction projects and milestones. The Lake Okeechobee BMAP development process has been a collaborative effort between DEP, the South Florida Water Management District, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and other stakeholders.
The BMAP includes a monitoring plan to keep track of progress and water quality, project reporting and periodic follow-up meetings to discuss ongoing and future projects.
At this meeting, DEP representatives will discuss the draft BMAP language and solicit stakeholder input before the BMAP is ultimately adopted by Secretarial Order.
Located in the heart of the greater Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades ecosystem, Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in Florida and the second largest freshwater lake within the contiguous United States.
Press Release, September 15, 2014