NAPLES NEWS: Damaging freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee to continue

Naples News: Written by Chad Gillis. October 1, 2017.

What's been described as a dark wall of freshwater is moving miles into the Gulf of Mexico, and that plume could grow larger through the weekend as a tropical disturbance moves into the area.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for Lee County this weekend, which will only add to the damage the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary have experienced this year.

The combination of heavy rainfall, stormwater runoff and Lake Okeechobee releases have driven freshwater miles into the Gulf of Mexico and has made the Caloosahatchee estuary virtually disappear.

"You can see the movement of dark water through the passes: Boca Grande, Blind Pass," said John Cassani, with the watchdog group Calusa Waterkeeper. "You can see the dark water moving out into the Gulf and now it looks like it’s miles offshore."

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