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Senate panel told more Lake Okeechobee water being diverted from estuaries

Ernie Barnett of the South Florida Water Management District discusses the agency's efforts to divert discharges from Lake Okeechobee away from the estuaries of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. Photo by Bruce Ritchie.

Water discharges from Lake Okeechobee to coastal estuaries have been reduced by 10 billion gallons with actions taken since Aug. 1, a South Florida Water Management District official told a Senate committee on Tuesday.

The nutrient-rich lake water has killed seagrass and aquatic life in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, scientists say.

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