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    • Okeechobee Waterway Local Notice to Mariners Extracts

      PLEASE CAREFULLY READ OUR DISCLAIMER!
      Below you will discover extracts the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net has copied from the Local Notice to Mariners, that concern the Okeechobee Waterway. The choice of what to extract is based on our appraisal of news that is of primary interest to the cruising community, and should not in any way be considered a comprehensive relisting of all the information that is available in the Local Notice to Mariners’ various editions.
      Also, please note that LNM extracts are listed below in chronological order, based on publishing date.

    • NAV ALERT: LNM: ICW Daybeacon 11 Destroyed, Caloosahatchee River, OWW Statute Mile 127


      Okeechobee Waterway daybeacon 11 marks the southeast corner of an elbow in the channel east of the I 75 Twin Bridges.

      FLORIDA – ST. LUCIE INLET TO FORT MYERS AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE – CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER: Hazard to Navigation
      Caloosahatchee River Daybeacon 11 (LLNR 52180) is reported destroyed; the wreckage is submerged and poses a hazard to navigation. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11428 LNM 09/19

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    • LNM: USACE Seeks Owner of Sunken Sailing Vessel, Daytona Beach, FL AICW Statute Mile 830


      The sunken vessel appears to be in the spoil area on the eastern side of the Waterway’s channel through the Main Street Bridge in downtown Daytona Beach. Our thanks to Specialist Erica Skolte for this notice.

      Corps of Engineers seeks owner of sunken sailboat in Intracoastal Waterway

      JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking the owner of a sunken 39-foot sailboat bearing the name MONIQUE II. The vessel is obstructing navigation in the Intracoastal Waterway in the vicinity of Daytona Beach, just north of the Main Street Bridge at 29 degrees 13.4133 minutes north latitude and 081 degrees 01.1479 minutes west longitude.

      The Corps of Engineers and U.S. Coast Guard have jointly determined that this obstruction presents a hazard to navigation and requires removal under federal law (Title 33, U.S. Code Section 409).

      All attempts to contact the owner of the vessel have failed. The owner, operator or lessee of this vessel is responsible for marking and immediate removal of the wreck. The owner, operator or lessee should contact the Coast Guard directly for marking requirements, and contact the Corps of Engineers concerning intentions and plans for removal of the vessel.

      Failure to commence immediate removal of the vessel and to pursue removal diligently may result in a court judgment against the owner, or a determination of abandonment, subjecting the vessel to removal and disposal by the Corps of Engineers at the owner’s expense. Additionally, the owner may be liable for criminal charges and/or actions against any Coast Guard licenses the owner may carry, as a result of the sinking of this vessel. It is imperative that owner contact the Coast Guard and the Corps of Engineers immediately on this matter.

      Any information concerning this vessel should be forwarded to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, John Bearce, 904-232-3525 or john.w.bearce@usace.army.mil and/or U.S. Coast Guard, 904-714-7557, or d07-dg-secjax-waterways@uscg.mil.

      Amanda D. Parker
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Corporate Communication Office
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
      Jacksonville District
      Office: 904-232-1576
      Cell: 904-614-2240

      www.saj.usace.army.mil
      facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict
      twitter.com/JaxStrong

      Erica Skolte
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Corporate Communications Office
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
      Palm Beach Gardens
      NOTE: NEW OFFICE PHONE 561-340-1527
      Cell: 561-801-5734
      erica.a.skolte@usace.army.mil
      Twitter @JaxStrong
      Jacksonville District Facebook:

      Jacksonville District: A team of professionals making tomorrow better
      “Keep Calm and Essayons”

      0 Facebook Likes, 2 Facebook Reactions

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Heather Nierman -  February 21, 2019 - 7:29 pm

        Hope it gets moved. It has been there for about two years blocking part of channel. Huge navigational threat at night if you do not know it is there!

        Reply to Heather
    • LNM: Good News: NO Width Restriction, St. Lucie Lock, OWW Statute Mile 15 Plus Revision


      St. Lucie Lock, the easternmost Okeechobee lock, lies west of Stuart, FL at Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 15. Our thanks to Specialist Erica Skolte for this latest good news re width restriction.

      2/19/19 Quick note with good news—
      Lake Okeechobee Levels are back up on web: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml with Route 1 and 2 depths; also, issues at St. Lucie have been resolved by the team and there is no longer a width restriction. Of course, we still ask that you call the lock operator to let them know you will be locking through prior to your approach. Save travels, all!
      Erica

      EXPIRED: Notice to Navigation: 2019-003 St. Lucie Lock and Dam Width Restriction on Okeechobee Waterway
      OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY
      ST. LUCIE LOCK & DAM WIDTH RESTRICTION

      1. Notice to Navigation

      Notice is given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is advising commercial and recreational vessels that there is a 22 foot width restriction for vessels wanting to pass through the St. Lucie Lock & Dam. This restriction is due to an equipment failure. Maintenance staff is working diligently to repair issue. All vessels below restriction limit will be able to pass through.

      2/11 REVISION #1: Vessels wider than 22 feet will be able to pass but must call 772-287-2665 prior to arrival in order for operators to manually open the affected gate (please call at least 30 minutes in advance of arrival).

      For daily updated lake and route depths please see our website at: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml

      Point of contact is Gary Hipkins at 863-983-8101.
      Gary L. Hipkins
      Chief Navigation & Flood Risk Management
      South Florida Operations
      ———————————————
      Reminder:
      If you lock through Canaveral or the Okeechobee Waterway, please put the numbers for the Corps locks into your phone. Remember to listen to any direction offered by the lock operator to ensure everyone’s safety as you lock through! And remember to wear your life jacket!

      W.P. Franklin Lock 239-694-5451
      Ortona Lock 863-675-0616
      Moore Haven Lock 863-946-0414
      Port Mayaca Lock 561-924-2858
      St. Lucie Lock 772-287-2665
      Canaveral Lock 321-783-5421
      —————————————————
      NOTICE TO NAVIGATION INTERESTS
      Notice to Navigation
      Notice to Navigation: 2019-003 St. Lucie Lock and Dam Width Restriction
      Read the NTN: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Notices-to-Navigation/Notice-to-Navigation-2019-003-St-Lucie-Lock-and-Dam-width-restriction/
      ———————————————————————————————————————
      Date: 02/08/2019
      US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
      JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT
      ATTN: CESAJ-OD-SN PO Box 4970
      JACKSONVILLE, FL 32232-0019
      863-983-8101
      NOTICE NUMBER: 003
      LOCAL NUMBER:2019003
      WATERWAY: OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY
      EFFECTIVE: 02/08/2019 00:00 thru UNTIL REPAIRED
      POC: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Navigation/NoticestoNavigation.aspx

      Erica Skolte
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Corporate Communications Office
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
      Palm Beach Gardens
      NOTE: NEW OFFICE PHONE 561-340-1527
      Cell: 561-801-5734
      erica.a.skolte@usace.army.mil
      Twitter @JaxStrong
      Jacksonville District Facebook:

      Jacksonville District: A team of professionals making tomorrow better
      “Keep Calm and Essayons”

      Click Here To View the Okeechobee Waterway Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For St. Lucie Lock

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the St. Lucie Lock

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    • LNM: USACE Requests Input on new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual

      Considering that a current movement to keep the lake level at 10.5 feet during the winter dry season is being proposed and considering that 12.5 feet is designated official low water, the level at which navigation alerts are issued, your comments concerning your use of the Okeechobee Waterway became very important. The public comment period ends on March 31, 2019. Our thanks to Specialist Erica Skolte for this notice.

      Corps invites public to provide input on new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual
      The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District invites the public to provide scoping input on the development of the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). A series of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) public scoping meetings will be held throughout south Florida during the month of February and public scoping comments will be accepted until March 31, 2019.

      “At this point in the process, it is critical we hear about concerns and priorities from the public,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds, Deputy Commander for South Florida. “What issues are important to you? What study outcomes do you want to see? How would you measure success? What solutions would you like us to consider? These are some of the important questions we need to explore, and we want to hear your thoughts.”

      “This series of public scoping meetings in south Florida is just the beginning of the process. There will be many other opportunities to become engaged and informed, including two series of workshops and opportunities to review the draft documents,” said Reynolds. “We look forward to working with the many people and groups who have expressed interest, and hope to get even more people involved during this robust public process. We value their time and suggestions, and appreciate their contributions.”

      The Corps is beginning preparation of a NEPA assessment for the LOSOM, which is required by Section 1106 of the 2018 Water Resource Development Act.

      The purpose of this effort is to reevaluate and define operations for the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule that take into account additional infrastructure that will soon be operational. The additional infrastructure that will be taken into consideration includes the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation, Kissimmee River Restoration Project, as well as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir and C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area.

      This effort will result in a System Operating Manual that will include a new lake regulation schedule that addresses the congressionally authorized purposes that include flood risk management; water supply for agricultural irrigation, municipalities and industry, environment, and Native American Tribes; navigation; enhancement of fish and wildlife; and recreation. The process will be informed by public workshops to set goals and objectives, develop and evaluate alternatives (operational scenarios), and NEPA to incorporate CERP projects that will be completed in the near future. Information gained during recent extreme high and low water levels and harmful algal blooms will also be considered. The intent of the new lake regulation schedule is to balance the impacts from operations and achieve multiple authorized project purposes.

      Members of the public are invited to provide scoping comments, including the identification of issues with the current regulation schedule for Lake Okeechobee, what aspects need to be changed, and how those issues and changes should be implemented and evaluated.

      All comments will be summarized, addressed, and used to inform the LOSOM.

      Members of the public are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the water control plan from 2008. It is available for reference at: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll7/id/8423 and on the LOSOM web page at: www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM.

      Public scoping meetings scheduled for the Lake Okeechobee System Operations Manual (LOSOM)

      The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Jacksonville District announces a series of public meetings to begin preparation of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment for the Lake Okeechobee System Operations Manual (LOSOM) required by Section 1106 of the 2018 Water Resource Development Act.

      Members of the public and other stakeholders are invited to learn more and provide input to the team at the following series of public scoping meetings:

      Lehigh Acres
      Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      Lee County Mosquito Control District Training Center
      15191 Homestead Road, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971

      Okeechobee
      Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      Indian River State College
      Williamson Conference and Education Center
      2229 N.W. 9th Avenue, Okeechobee, FL 34972

      Clewiston
      Monday, February 11, 2019, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      John Boy Auditorium
      1200 South W.C. Owen Ave, Clewiston, FL 33440

      Stuart
      Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      Indian River State College
      The Clare and Gladys Wolf High-Technology Center
      2400 SE Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997

      Broward County
      Tuesday, February 26, 2019, Time TBD
      Location TBD

      West Palm Beach
      Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      South Florida Water Management District
      Governing Board Auditorium
      3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406

      Miami Gardens
      Thursday, February 28, 2019, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
      North Dade Regional Library
      2455 NW 183rd Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33056

      Public Scoping Comments

      The Corps believes this effort will benefit significantly from public involvement and encourages participation in the NEPA scoping process. We welcome your views, comments, concerns, suggestions and solutions. Scoping comments may be provided during public meetings, via email or by mail.

      The public comment period ends on March 31, 2019.

      Submit comments by email:
      LakeOComments@usace.army.mil

      Submit comments by mail:
      Dr. Ann Hodgson
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District
      P.O. Box 4970
      Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019

      “Scoping” is the step in the NEPA process when the public is invited to participate in identifying issues, alternatives, and potentially significant effects to be considered in the analysis. This helps the Corps identify and eliminate any issues that are not significant or that have been covered by prior environmental review.

      The Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) is a component of the Central & Southern Florida (C&SF) System Operating Plan.

      Authority:
      Section 1106 of the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) directs “The Secretary shall expedite completion of the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule to coincide with completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike project, and may include all relevant aspects of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan described in section 601 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (114 Stat. 2680).”

      Information will be available at the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) web page: www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM and on social media on the Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict/ and on Twitter @JaxStrong.

      Contact: Erica Skolte 561-340-1527 or cell 561-801-5734 or Erica.A.Skolte@usace.army.mil.

      ————————————
      Thanks for getting the word out!
      Erica

      Erica Skolte
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Corporate Communications Office
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
      Palm Beach Gardens
      NOTE: NEW OFFICE PHONE 561-340-1527
      Cell: 561-801-5734
      erica.a.skolte@usace.army.mil
      Twitter @JaxStrong
      Jacksonville District Facebook:

      Jacksonville District: A team of professionals making tomorrow better
      “Keep Calm and Essayons”

      Be the first to comment!

    • Okeechobee Route 2 Now Open to Sailing Vessels at Torry Island Bridge Statute Mile 60


      This low hanging cable at Torry Island Bridge on Lake Okeechobee Route 2 has restricted navigation to vessels with less than 35ft air draft. See UPDATE: Low Cable from 11/26/18. Our thanks to Office Erica Skolte for this good news for sailing vessels.

      Good news- Route 2 is open for navigation for sail boats. I expect that I will have an additional notice to navigation in the next day or so.
      Erica

      Erica Skolte
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Corporate Communications Office
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
      Palm Beach Gardens
      NOTE: NEW OFFICE PHONE 561-340-1527
      Cell: 561-801-5734
      erica.a.skolte@usace.army.mil
      Twitter @JaxStrong
      Jacksonville District Facebook:

      Jacksonville District: A team of professionals making tomorrow better
      “Keep Calm and Essayons”

      Click Here To View the Okeechobee Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Torry Island Bridge

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Torry Island Bridge

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    • LNM: ICW Daybeacon 40 Destroyed, OWW Statute Mile 144, Fort Myers, FL


      Daybeacon 40 is on the northwest side of the Okeechobee Waterway approaching westbound the Edson Twin Bridges.

      FLORIDA – ST. LUCIE INLET TO FORT MYERS AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY – CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER:
      Hazard to Navigation.

      Caloosahatchee River Daybeacon 40 (LLNR 52630) is destroyed. The remains of the wreckage is marked with a TRLB displaying FL Q R, 4NM characteristics. Chart 11427 11428 LNM 04/19

      Area Sponsoring Marinas

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Legacy Harbour Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Legacy Harbour Marina

      Click Here To View the VA to NC Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Gulf Harbour Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window Zoomed To the Location of Gulf Harbour Marina

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    • LNM: Effect of Water Releases on Okeechobee Waterway Naviagtion

      The water releases can similar to crossing against an outgoing tide, especially at narrow ICW/inlet intersections. Be prepared a for the turbulence and the effect on your vessel.

      FLORIDA – ST. LUCIE INLET TO FORT MYERS AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY: NOTICES TO NAVIGATION INTERESTS.
      Mariners are reminded that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District post regularly “Notices to Navigation” News at: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Notices-to-Navigation/
      Due to the changing water levels of Lake Okeechobee, The Army Corps of Engineers often release water through the Okeechobee Waterway Lock and Dam system. The water released often creates high currents along the waterway. During this time, boaters can expect unfavorable conditions between Port Mayaca lock and St. Lucie lock. Such as, unexpected high current conditions east of the St. Lucie lock where the released water funnels thus creating unexpected hazardous conditions for mariners expecting slack tide where the bridges intercept the waterway.
      https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Navigation-Locks/Bridges/

      LOW LAKE LEVELS CREATING HAZARDOUS NAVIGATION ROUTE 1 & 2: EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1 THRU AUGUST 31, 2019
      Commercial and recreational vessels advised to use extreme caution while traveling the Okeechobee Waterway Route 1 and 2 and be cautious of shallow water and submerged objects when navigating through these sections of waterway. https://www.saj.usace.army
      mil/NTNOkeechobeeWaterwayLowWaterNavHazard/

      CANAVERAL HARBOR AND OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY LOCK PROCEDURES: JANUARY 4 THRU DECEMBER 31, 2019
      https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Notices-to-Navigation/Notice-to-Navigation-2019-001-Guidance-aboutCanaveral-and-Okeechobee-Waterway-Lock-procedures/

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    • LNM: Construction with Divers to Begin Dec 3, Okeechobee Waterway, Statute Miles 104-116


      This longterm construction project involving divers in the water will be on the south side of the Okeechobee Waterway between Miles 104 and 116. This is not a wide body of water and slow speed and a sharp lookout are the order of the day.

      FLORIDA – CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER – TOWNSEND CANAL: WEST BASIN STORAGE RESERVOIR PROJECT – DIVERS
      Harry Pepper and Associates, Inc. will be conducting construction along the south shoreline of the Caloosahatchee River, at the mouth of the Townsend Canal, between Labelle, FL and Alva, FL. The project is expected to commence December 3, 2018 and conclude on or around May 3, 2022; operations will be occurring during daylight hours only. Signs will be posted to notify mariners that work is being conducted at the Townsend Canal, as well as to indicate the installation and location of a temporary manatee barrier. Mariners are advised to exercise caution, as divers will be periodically working inside the manatee barrier in the Caloosahatchee River and inside the weir on the Townsend Canal. Equipment will be conducting work from the banks of the Caloosahatchee River and Townsend Canal with barges present inside the weir. Chart 11428 LNM 46/18

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of LaBelle on the Okeechobee Waterway

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    • LNM: Phone Numbers for Florida Lock Operators

      If you lock through Canaveral or the Okeechobee Waterway, please put the numbers for the Corps locks into your phone. Remember to listen to any direction offered by the lock operator to ensure everyone’s safety as you lock through! Our thanks to Officer Erica Skolte for this information and advice.

      W.P. Franklin Lock 239-694-5451
      Ortona Lock 863-675-0616
      Moore Haven Lock 863-946-0414
      Port Mayaca Lock 561-924-2858
      St. Lucie Lock 772-287-2665
      Canaveral Lock 321-783-5421

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    • LNM: Okeechobee Lock Procedures in Hurricane Conditions

      Let’s hope we never need this information, but it should definitely be included in your Hurricane Procedures folder.

      OKEECHOBEE AND CANAVERAL LOCK OPERATIONS DURING TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES: EFFECTIVE:08/26/2018 00:00 thru 12/31/2018 24:00 EST (REFERENCES: a. 33 CFR Navigation and Navigable Waters
      Notice to Navigation – 72 hours prior to a Tropical Storm or Hurricane making local landfall locks will be open 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM supporting vessel safe harbor passage. Lock operations will stop 8 hours prior to land fall as Rail Road and Drawbridges will be lowered or rotated and locked into a secure position. It’s important that all vessels are at their intended destination before bridges are secured as passage across the waterway suspended.
      For Lock Operator safety the locks will:
      1. Stop locking vessels or working outdoors if lightning is observed within five miles of the lock and operations will not resume until lightning has not been seen in the area for 30 minutes.
      2. Stop locking vessels when winds exceed 35 MPH.
      After a storm it could be days or weeks before the waterway is reopen depending on damage to structures and how quickly debris creating navigation hazards can be removed.
      For up to date Lock information contact the shift operator 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM at;
      Canaveral Lock 321-783-5421
      St Lucie Lock & Dam 772-287-2665
      Port Mayaca Lock & Dam 561-924-2858
      Moore Haven Lock & Dam 863-946-0414
      Ortona Lock & Dam 863-675-0616 WP
      Franklin Lock & Dam 239-694-5451
      Chart 11428 11478 LNM 35/18

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    • NAV ALERT: LNM: Low Cable Restricting Air Space at Torry Island Bridge, Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 60


      This hazard was first posted on Cruisers’ Net in December of 2017, https://cruisersnet.net/168847, and, obviously, no progress is being made to raise the cable from 35ft to its charted height of 52ft.

      FLORIDA – ST. LUCIE INLET TO FORT MYERS AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY – LAKE OKEECHOBEE (ROUTE
      2): Hazard to Navigation

      The US Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has identified a low hanging fiber optic cable at the Torrey Island Bridge in RT-2 of the Okeechobee Waterway. The fiber optic cable is estimated to be 35 feet above the water; high mast vessels are encouraged to use RT-1 until the cable is raised to 52 feet. Recreational and commercial boaters are to use caution when navigating through these sections of waterway. Once the cable is raised to the required 52 feet normal traffic will be restored. USACOE POC is Gary Hipkins at 863-983-8101.
      Chart 11428 LNM 21/18

      Click Here To View the Okeechobee Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Torry Island Bridge

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Torry Island Bridge

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    • Florida USACE Prepares for Matthew

      Our thanks to Communications Specialist Erica Skolte of the Jacksonville USACE for this notice.

      All,
      US Army Corps of Engineers is preparing for impacts from Hurricane Matthew. We have adjusted the operating hours at the locks on the Okeechobee Waterway, and are ensuring users of our recreation facilities are aware they may need to evacuate. More information is attached and copied below.
      Please contact me if you have questions. Thanks for your help.
      John H Campbell SAJ

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
      Corps prepares for Matthew; issues guidance to boaters & campers

      As Hurricane Matthew makes its way through the Caribbean islands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District is preparing to respond as needed and providing information to boaters and campers on operational adjustments that will take place at navigation locks and recreation facilities.

      The Jacksonville District activated its emergency operations center (EOC) at 7 a.m. today (Oct. 4). This action allows district staff to devote added attention to the response actions that might be necessary should Matthew cause impacts as it passes near Florida.

      “Our staff is coordinating with state and local officials,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for Jacksonville District. “We are adjusting our operations to ensure the safety of those who use our facilities and our staff in south Florida.”

      Jacksonville District is issuing the following guidance on its operations in south Florida:
      * For boaters, the Corps has extended operating hours for its navigation locks on the Okeechobee Waterway; they will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 4) and Wednesday (Oct. 5). Operating hours on Thursday will depend on the track of the storm. To ensure safety of lock operators, the Corps will suspend operations when lightning is in the area, or when winds exceed 35 mph.
      * For campers and visitors to recreation sites, Jacksonville District park rangers will monitor conditions at Corps’ campgrounds and recreation areas. If a county government issues an evacuation order for mobile homes or RV parks in an area where there is a Corps’ campground or recreational facility, rangers will order an evacuation of the facility and advise on shelter locations. Visitors should move all campers, motor homes, tents, vessels, and trailers from facilities under evacuation orders.
      * Today, field staff are conducting a pre-storm evaluation of the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee. The current lake stage is 15.78 feet. While no immediate threat exists, the Corps advises people living and working around the lake to be prepared to take action should conditions warrant.

      More information on Jacksonville District response actions can be found at www.saj.usace.army.mil.

      John H Campbell
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Jacksonville District, US Army Corps of Engineers
      Jacksonville, FL
      Office: 904-232-1004
      Mobile: 904-614-9134

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    • Floating Vegetation Clogging Lake Okeechobee Routes, 10/1


      Until this vegetation is cleared, whether you take the rim route or the lake route, you are going to be delayed in crossing Lake Okeechobee. We will keep you posted as notices come in from the Corp of Engineers.

      Notice is given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is advising commercial and recreational vessels to use extreme caution traveling the Okeechobee Waterway Route 2 from Port Mayaca to Clewiston and Rim Canal from Clewiston to Moore Haven due to floating vegetation blocking sections of canal. Corps of Engineers is working to clear blocked areas as quickly as possible when found. Point of contact is Carl Williams at 863-983-8101.
      Thanks for helping to get the word out!
      Erica
      Erica Skolte
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Corporate Communications Office
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
      South Florida Restoration Office, West Palm Beach

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Clewiston

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    • Changes in Lock Schedules, Okeechobee Waterway

      This notice of schedule changes was copied from East Coast Alerts by Mel Neale, April 9, 2015.

      Changes in Okeechobee Waterway Lock Schedule, April 1, 2015:
      a. 33 CFR Navigation and Navigable Waters
      1. Notice to Navigation Notice is given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will change hours of operation at all five Locks along the Okeechobee Waterway beginning 1 April 2015. Changes will affect operations at the St Lucie, Port Mayaca, Moore Haven, Ortona and W.P. Franklin Locks. Hours of operation will be 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily with lockages at St Lucie and WP Franklin based on Lake Okeechobee’s water level as outlined below.
      Lake Okeechobee Level:
      1) Above 12.5′ Lock operations on demand 07:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.
      2) Below 12.5′ Lock operations every 2 hours (07:00 AM, 09:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:30 PM)
      3) Below 12.0′ Lock operations 4 per-day (07:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 4:30 PM)
      4) Below 11.5′ Lock operations 3 per-day (07:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 4:30 PM)
      5) Below 11.0′ Lock operations 2 per-day (07:00 AM, 4:30 PM)
      Lake Okeechobee water level can be viewed on the Corps of Engineers web site at http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml
      Canaveral Lock near Canaveral Harbor will continue to operate from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. (from NOTICE TO NAVIGATION INTERESTS Date: 03/19/2015 NOTICE NUMBER: 003 US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS LOCAL NUMBER: 20150319 JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT)*

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    • Request for Comment on Lake Okeechobee Restoration

      This request asks for your comments on lake restoration in South Florida, including Lake Okeechobee.

      fwc
      Public input sought on permit request allowing FWC lake restoration in south Florida
      Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission sent this bulletin at 03/11/2015 10:06 AM EDT March 11, 2015

      The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has applied for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District to conduct restoration activities on four lakes and water bodies in the FWC’s South Region.
      This permit is required pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The request is part of an overall initiative in which the FWC is working with the Corps to obtain permits for routine restoration work in 95 lakes and water bodies throughout Florida.
      The public can review the request and comment on it (see link below).

      The following water bodies within the FWC’s South Region are included in the permit application:
      ‘¢Lake Okeechobee in Glades, Hendry, Okeechobee, Martin and Palm Beach counties;
      ‘¢Lake Trafford in Collier County;
      ‘¢Lake Hicpochee in Glades County;
      ‘¢Lake Osborne in Palm Beach County.

      The Corps permitting process requires the opportunity for public comment. The Corps has published a Public Notice for the proposed work on its website at: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx. To view the notice, click on the following file number to open the Public Notice: SAJ-2015-00641 (SP-SLR). If you would like to provide comments or have any questions regarding the Corps permit process, please follow the directions included in the Public Notice. Note that the Web address is case sensitive and should be entered as it appears above.

      Click Here to read the complete Bulletin

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