Our mission is to preserve this ecosystem for generations to come
Get to Know Us
AFLO focuses on creating solutions to stop large influxes of water and nutrients from entering the lake and it aims to protect the lake's vegetation, which serves as the filter and lifeblood for this God-given lake. We want to see Lake Okeechobee cared for, the estuary crisis fixed, spraying of poison chemicals stopped and our fishery protected for generations to come.
To address these issues, it going to take support and engagement from all of us, scientific expertise and long-term efforts in Tallahassee and Washington to prioritize the necessary actions.
Let’s unite our voices and work hand in hand to preserve the beauty and abundance of Lake Okeechobee. Together, we can make a difference!
What We Believe
We support science-based solutions that will bring additional storage and treatment to the SOURCE of Lake Okeechobee, located to the north. The University of Florida Water Institute conducted a study that includes proposals for additional storage north of the lake, such as aquifer storage recovery wells, deep storage reservoirs, shallow storage impoundments, and dispersed water management. Additionally, an analysis by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) estimates that the completion of storage and treatment projects north of Lake Okeechobee, when combined with other planned initiatives, would help achieve an "80% reduction in discharge events from Lake Okeechobee." These projects will also aid in protecting the filter marshes and grasses that play a vital role in cleaning the lake's water on a daily basis. We believe that Lake Okeechobee needs 100,000 acres of submerged vegetation (SAV), while current estimates indicate that only 2,000 acres exist.
With data showing that 95% of the water flowing into Lake O comes from the north, we believe that the answer to our water quality issues lies at the lake’s source. We also believe in the importance of transitioning away from using chemical sprays to control water hyacinth and non-native grasses in the water. Instead, we advocate for the use of mechanical harvesters, as they can safeguard our native grasses and the underwater soil necessary for the growth of submerged aquatic vegetation. By slowing down the flow of water entering the lake during periods of heavy rainfall and seeking alternatives to spraying, we are confident that we can effectively preserve the habitat of Lake Okeechobee, maintain its filtering capabilities, and prevent discharges from adversely affecting Ft. Myers, Stuart, and other nearby coastal communities.
What is AFLO?We are a community fishing group dedicated to protecting Lake Okeechobee. We are anglers (professional and recreational), marina owners, boat owners, and fishing guides. After recognizing that a voice for Lake Okeechobee’s health and restoration was desperately needed, AFLO was founded with the mission of advocating for the Lake O region by focusing on solutions to stop large influxes of water and nutrients from entering the lake. We want to see Lake Okeechobee cared for, the estuary crisis fixed, spraying reduced and it’s going to take science and a long-term effort in the halls of Tallahassee and Washington to ensure that becomes a priority.
Do you have to be an angler or fishing guide to join AFLO?No. Our crew is made up of those who care for and want to protect Lake Okeechobee, not just now, but for generations to come.
What does AFLO support?As data shows that 95% of the water flowing into Lake O comes from the north, the answer to our water quality issues lies at the source. We believe we can help save Lake Okeechobee and prevent discharges from impacting coastal communities like Ft. Myers and Stuart by slowing the flow of water from the watershed to the north. Additionally, we are looking for alternatives to spraying on the lake and explore methods like mechanical harvesting.
Where can I find a credible source to learn more about the impacts of storage north?The University of Florida Water Institute’s 2015 report effectively detailed the best solutions. These solutions include additional storage north of the lake which, according to the South Florida Water Management District, the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project combined with other planned storage and treatment projects will help achieve the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)’s goal of achieving an 80 percent reduction of coastal discharges from Lake Okeechobee.
Do you believe in sending water south?Yes. We believe in sending clean water south to Everglades, but we need to focus on storing and cleaning the water from the north first. That helps every water body to the south, east and west. If your tub is overflowing, would you clean up the water outside of the tub, or look to fix the problem at the source?
What is the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project?The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project is a part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Together the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District are actively looking for ways to improve quality, timing, and distribtuion of flows into Lake Okeechobee. These efforts aid our mission to Slow The Flow from the watershed to the North. For more information visit sfwmd.org
What happens if Lake Okeechobee water levels are managed at a low level?When the lake reaches extreme low levels the estuaries that are home to the filter grasses dry up and are replaced with non-native, non-filtering grass and trees. This results in a huge loss of filtering for the lake and additionally makes is extremely difficult to fish due to the loss of navigation. Slowing the flow into Lake O will help the anglers on the east and west coasts too, because it will keep the lake from getting too high and reduce the need for the Army Corps to make damaging releases. With additional storage solutions for water to the north, we will eliminate the need for harmful discharges while maintaining the critical ability to control the Lake’s water levels.
What about discharges to the coasts?To protect Lake Okeechobee, we must focus on stopping uncontrolled run-off from the northern watershed from ever entering the lake. If we keep it out of the lake, it won’t have to be discharged to Ft. Myers or Stuart.