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Stop the pulse releases

October 16, 2008

Dear PURRE Members and Friends:

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' own Web site, on

October 7, they sent more than 26,100 gallons of polluted fresh water pouring through the Franklin Lock every second down the Caloosahatchee River and into our estuary. Similar volumes -- as high as 100,777 gallons per second -- had already been pouring into the river for weeks.

You can track the releases yourself at the Corps' Web site at www.saj.usace.army.mil/h20/index.htm. Sometimes you'll see "NR" listed under the data for that day's release. This stands for "not recorded," and does not mean there was no release that day. If you check back in a few days, you may see a number where previously "NR" was listed.

PURRE has been urging the Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider its plan and switch from devastating pulse releases to "trickle releases." Pulse releases, even if the water were not polluted, are simply too much water all at once for an estuary -- and the fragile life it contains -- to withstand.

During trickle releases, however, the locks at the lake are opened only slightly, but for a longer duration. This allows a gradual release of the water from Lake Okeechobee to be absorbed into our system of rivers, canals and estuaries.

Please take a few moments to send a hand-written letter stressing the need to stop the pulse releases from Lake Okeechobee and stating your strong preference for trickle releases. Ask for futher investigation into the impact of pulse releases from Lake Okeechobee on our rivers, bays and estuaries.

It takes a little more time, but hand-written letters are the most effective communcation, followed by typewritten mail, and then e-mail. Here's who to write to:

Gov. Charlie Crist

The Capitol

400 S. Monroe Street

Talahassee, FL 32399-0001

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

South Florida Operations Office

525 Ridgelawn Road

Clewiston, FL 33440-5399

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

3900 Commonwealth Boulevard

M.S. 49

Tallahassee, FL 32399

Thank you. This is time well spent helping our precious environment and our wonderful, but now precarious, way of life.

Read more about How You Can Help.

think about this...

"We must build a peace in South Florida - a peace between the people and their place, between the natural environment and man-made settlement, between the works of man and the life of mankind itself. "
~ Florida Gov. Reubin Askew ~