Institutional Evolution in Lake Okeechobee Management in Florida: Characteristics, Impacts, and Limitations

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The management of Lake Okeechobee in Florida has undergone significant changes in the last decade. Socio-political, environmental and demographic factors have driven changes in the environmental and water policy, which in turn have led to wide-ranging institutional changes and a shift toward multiobjective planning and implementation in the Lake management. This article describes the changes in the philosophy and practice of water resources management in South Florida hydrologic system, of which Lake Okeechobee is a crucial component. The impacts of the changes on management goals and decision processes are illustrated through a case study of the use of climate information in Lake management. The article concludes with a brief examination of the implications of the institutional changes, including greater public participation, for the long-term sustainability of the social-ecological system in South Florida.



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