State Senate hearing to focus on impact of Lake Okeechobee discharges on St. Lucie Estuary

STUART, Fla. -- As concerns over toxic algae and high levels of bacteria in the St. Lucie Estuary continue to grow, the Florida Senate Select Committee on Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee Basin will hold a marathon hearing today to discuss short-term solutions or alternatives to reduce or eliminate current releases from Lake Okeechobee.

RELATED: Flow from Lake Okeechobee reduced bitly link:

The committee was created earlier this year to investigate state and federal policies, spending and other government activities that may have impacted water management in the Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee Basin.

Representatives from the South Florida Water Management District, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, the Everglades Foundation, the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute of Florida Atlantic University, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have been invited to participate.

The eight-hour hearing begins at 1 p.m. at the Charles and Rae Kane Center in the 900 block of SE Salerno Road.

The committee will use the information gathered at today's hearing to prepare a report for Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

The report is expected to be submitted to the committees no later than November 4th.

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