Indian River Lagoon- Open the Port Locks- Drain the Poop

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(this is a serious impact to tourism and the economy, who wants to live in Brevard or near the Poop Lagoon- the impact is more than drainage issues, it is now impacting people moving to or visiting the East Coast)


Top photo-imagery of Chlorophyll a – an indicator of the Brown Tide. To the left is an image from February 2016 at the time of the fish kill. The other two images are recent. Images are dated. Anything at or over 4 µg/L is high. Image from last week show numbers at or greater than 140 µg/L just north and south of the Cocoa Beach wastewater plant. We're fixin' to see another fish kill...



Flushing the lagoon, is it the best solution to buy us time to really fix the problems?

If you doubt its ability to work, please read some of the science behind it. The lagoon is shallow and could be cleared in 70-100 days, at which time the system could be closed to see how the lagoon then reacts and recovers with reduced nutrients. The system would not keep running 24/7 indefinitely, we just need to reduce the get the nutrient load out of the lagoon.


The lagoon doesn’t have time left for the current solutions, most of Brevard is poised for another fish kill.

It’s going to cost billions of dollars to fix Brevard. The lagoon tax is only going to raise $360 million. Citizens are already complaining, if there isn’t any progress, a return on investment, then Brevard will never convince its citizens to pass another tax, and the funding will dry up even more than it already is.


Derrol Nail FOX 35February 22 at 1:58pm
Walking along the shore of the Indian River Lagoon in Palm Bay, a marine scientist easily plucked a clump of stringy algea out of the shallow water that he says is feeding on human sewage.

"It's really not a good place to fish, or recreate anymore" says Peter Barile, a Senior Scientist at Marine Research and Consulting, who just released the results of his two year study on human sewage pollution’s impact on the IRL. “It's downright dangerous at this point."

Barile says it's no secret the Indian River Lagoon is dying-- but his newly published research is the first to point to human sewage as the primary culprit for harmful macro algae blooms in the IRL.

“We’re seeing harmful algal blooms and fish kills" said Barile. "And, we’re seeing infections of dolphins with antibiotic resistance and bacteria, that can only come from one place: human sewage“

Barile says he was able to find a scientific link between human sewage, and the algea growing in the lagoon. He says the nitrogen isotopes found in the algae are the same nitrogen isotopes found in human sewage.

“This is a smoking gun. Until now, the nitrogen sources that are feeding the Lagoon’s algal blooms have been an enigma,” said Barile, who’s study was funded by the non-profit Florida Wetlands Forever.

One of the sewage sources, he says, are thousands of homes septic tanks clustered around lagoon fed canals in Brevard County.

"We know that by measuring the algea within those canal systems, that the area is hot” said Barile. “It’s receiving a lot of septic tank nitrogen that's coming down the tributary and into the Indian River Lagoon."

Another source: failing wastwater plants in Brevard County. Barile says during heavy rains-- millions of gallons of raw sewage is directly dumped into the lagoon by overloaded treatment plants. Recently, the county dumped 20 million gallons of raw sewage diluted with rain water after Hurricane Irma. The American Society of Civil Engineers says Brevard is in need of more than $3 billion dollars of wastewater upgrades.

In 2016, voters in Brevard County passed a half cent sales tax to raise $300 million dollars over ten years for lagoon restoration projects. But so far, only fraction of the the first $70 million of projects approved by the county are for wastewater improvements. Instead, most are for muck removal and stormwater improvements. Barile says that’s a mistake.

"It's very clear that resource managers on the IRL need to be much more aggressive at addressing human wastewater as a significant source driving harmful algal blooms” said Barile.




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