The US Army Corps of Engineers is under fire in Florida following a disastrous release of algae-infested water into the local waterways from the state’s largest lake- and one Lieutenant Colonel has become particularly unpopular in the aftermath of the fiasco.
US Army Corps of Engineers South Florida District Commander Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer A. Reynolds was booed and shouted at during a Cape Coral Yacht Club gathering last Tuesday after the US Army released water into the Eastern and Western waterways, rather than push the flow of the water into the Everglades.
The water released from Lake Okeechobee was contaminated with a certain kind of algae that blooms in high temperatures, killing massive numbers of wildlife and causing untold damages to both nature and tourism.
“I want to send it South,” Reynolds said to the crowd. “But I don’t have the infrastructure to send any more South than what I’m currently sending.”
Reynolds’ answer was met with angry accusations, insults and boos, as well as accusations of criminal misconduct.
The Lieutenant Colonel told FOX 4 that the Army will look into revising the Lake Okeechobee release schedule at the end of this year, hopefully preventing this kind of thing from happening again.
“It will potentially change the amount and timing of water that’s released to the northern estuaries,” she said, “As well as take into account many of the projects that we’ve been able to implement over time that allows us to move more water South.”
The Army is currently working on a project to create a larger reservoir in the Everglades- but for many locals, it is a case of “too little, too late.”
An Army officer since 1995, Reynolds has the Deputy District Commander for South Florida since leaving her previous post at the USACE Headquarters in 2015, where her bio says she “was responsible for managing current and future operations that provide situational awareness and advice to the leadership on national disasters and contingency operations world-wide.”
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