Army Corps of Engineers will not send discharges east, businesses relieved

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- The Army Corps of Engineers announced Friday that it will not be sending discharges east toward the Treasure Coast.

This comes after days of speculation that The Army Corps of Engineers might have to start discharging water after lake levels went up following several rain events.

Friday's news comes as relief for many business owners on the Treasure Coast who spent the week on edge, worrying about what could happen if the discharges resumed.

Now, the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon are clearer and more full of life.

Coastal Paddleboarding is back to taking tours onto the water. "Now we can go wherever we want and have fun," co-owner Rochelle Neumann

Neumann and her husband are still getting back on their feet after business took a big hit last summer, when the water was too polluted for business. "It looked like black coffee," Neumann said.

So, when the Army Corps of Engineers explored releasing more water toward the Treasure Coast, Neumann said even the threat of sending water releases east hurt business.

"People hear the locks are open, and they're not going to come here to paddle."

The Army Corps could still send water west.

U.S Senator Bill Nelson was in Fort Pierce Friday to remind river advocates and scientists to keep pressure on the Army Corps to find somewhere else to send the releases.

"They've got to get their act together, get a plan, and let's go on with it and get it funded," Nelson said.

Nelson also says he is taking a motion to Washington to continue funding Indian River Lagoon improvement projects.

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