VIDEO: Growing Problems Loom For Brevard County’s Indian River Lagoon
By Nancy Lewis, Sunshine State News // April 14, 2018
"lagoon has lost 95 percent of its seagrass..." says marine biologist
ABOVE VIDEO: Fox 35’s Derrol Nail reports on Indian River Lagoon and the impact of the real estate market.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – (SUNSHINE STATE NEWS) – It’s good to see a Florida waterfront county where citizens — if not the majority of their county commissioners — are prepared to do whatever it takes to rid local waters of sewage effluent. Many of them, anyway.
The Indian River Lagoon at Brevard County needs the kiss of life.
“The lagoon has lost 95 percent of its seagrass, it’s suffered not only massive fish kills, but die-off of endangered manatees, dolphins, and pelicans,” says Harbor Branch and Florida Atlantic University marine biologist Brian Lapointe, whose four peer-reviewed studies of local waters show where the bulk of the problem is coming from.
Sewage in the water.
Lapointe says over the years Brevard County has paid out millions of dollars for muck research and removal from the lagoon bottom, but has spent very little on the root cause of the problem — sewage.
The issue came to a head at Tuesday night’s Brevard County Commission meeting when commissioners were set to discuss how to spend the $44 million, more than originally anticipated, raised in 2017 by the county’s half-percent sales tax for lagoon restoration.
Call it an unfortunate coincidence for commissioners … earlier that day, neighborhoods of waterfront residents were left desolate and crying on canal banks near Merritt Island where hundreds of dead fish floated in brown water.
The Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island area of the lagoon is in its third month of a brown algae bloom that’s been killing seagrass and other lagoon life since 2012.