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New Lake O Operating System, LOSOM, in Final Stages

May 24, 2024
LOSOM Franklinlockanddam

On May 24, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM), the updated management plan for Lake Okeechobee. The plan seeks to maximize the number of days the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie watersheds receive low or optimal flows from Lake Okeechobee, as well as increase the volume of water conveyed south to the Everglades and Florida Bay. 

Read the FEIS >>

Throughout the five-year LOSOM development process, SCCF has provided modeling, evaluation, and commentary on the proposed plans. Now in the home stretch, the FEIS is in a 30-day review period, after which a Record of Decision (ROD) will likely be issued and signed, putting it into effect. 

“With the wet season quickly approaching, we welcome today’s announcement from the Army Corps. LOSOM will provide the operational flexibility to avoid some of the worst ramifications from harmful algal blooms (HABs) in our northern estuaries,” said SCCF Environmental Policy Director Matt DePaolis. “LOSOM won’t solve all of our problems, but it will lower the number of damaging discharges that transport massive amounts of polluted lake water into our estuarine ecosystems. As our recent study showed, even one HAB event can be hugely destructive to the economies of our coastal communities.” 

Some of the intended outcomes of LOSOM include recognizing the Seminole Tribe of Florida as a separate and distinct water supply user, reducing stress to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries, sending more water south, and better addressing HABs. 

“With LOSOM online we will be one step closer to protecting our estuaries, strengthening our communities, and restoring America’s Everglades,” DePaolis said.

Despite the operational improvements from LOSOM, the FEIS states that more water storage is still needed as envisioned in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.  And as a recent study from SCCF’s Marine Lab highlights, fully protecting the Caloosahatchee Estuary will require finding solutions for the pollutants generated within our own watershed.

Public Meeting July 24
A virtual LOSOM meeting and listening session — which the public can attend and provide comment during — will take place from 10-11:30 a.m. on Monday, July 24.

LOSOM Project Delivery Team Meeting
Release of Final Draft Water Control Plan and listening session
Monday, July 24, 2023, 10-11:30 a.m.
Call-in toll-free number (ATT Audio Conference): 1-844-800-2712
Call-in number (ATT Audio Conference): 1-669-234-1177
Access Code: 1997788788

Questions concerning the FEIS can be submitted by email at or mailed to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
Attn: Jacob Thompson, Project Biologist
701 San Marco Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32207-8915


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