The top Florida official of the U-S Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday the agency needs to do a better job keeping residents informed. The Corps has come under fire for its past Lake Okeechobee water releases and its efforts to restore the Everglades. Colonel Paul Grosskruger has just signed on for a three-year stint to head the Army Corp’s Florida division. He takes over amid worries that Lake Okeechobee’s aging dike could collapse, environmental concerns about freshwater releases out of the lake and striking a balance between growth and conservation. Speaking on Gulf Coast Live, Grosskruger said he plans to have an open dialog with all involved.
“I think we need to move forward and ensure that we together with a team and communicate effectively. I think communication is two ways. We need to hear what’s being said and we need to listen and we need to communicate what is being decided upon.”
Grosskruger says the Army Corps plans to hold a series of meetings next month to discuss their Lake Okeechobee water release schedules. Many residents, government leaders and environmentalists say those releases have fouled the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary.
The U-S Army Corps of Engineers plans to hold a series of meetings next month on their Lake Okeechobee water release schedules. In past years, the Corps has sent lake water down the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers to ease pressure on the lake’s dike. Those releases of nutrient-rich water have led to environmental problems. Colonel Paul Grosskruger is the new Florida commander of the Corps. He says so far this year, they haven’t released any lake water to the west.
“We want to manage it at a smart level that addresses any fluctuations that we may have with a wet year and coupled with that, we also want to have it at a level that precludes from having water supplies in a dry year.”
Grosskruger made the comments on W-G-C-U’s Gulf Coast Live. He says he’s already met with Sanibel’s mayor to discuss the release schedule and soon the Corps will hold public hearings to listen to residents’ concerns.
Friday, 01 September 2006 01:00
U.S. Army Corp's Top OfficialWritten by WGCU Newsroom