On Thursday, the Joint Legislative Budget Commission approved a request from the Department of Environmental Protection to spend $2,769,525 to improve water quality in the St. Lucie River and Caloosahatchee River basins.  According to the DEP, projects will include operational and structural changes to existing system infrastructure that will help mitigate the estuary flows by moving excess Lake Okeechobee water to the south.   The funding will also go toward additional water storage projects to reduce the flow of water to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.