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Demonstrators to Join Hands Across Ailing Indian River Lagoon

September 27, 2013 | WMFE - Thousands are expected to gather Saturday at seven coastal bridges, where they'll join hands to draw attention to the plight of the Indian River Lagoon. Large numbers of dolphins, pelicans and manatees have died in the lagoon this year.

The lagoon, which stretches from Florida's Space Coast to Fort Pierce, also is suffering from sea grass die-offs and algal blooms.

John Weber of Merritt Island has boated and fished on the lagoon for 20 years. 

"The river's not clear. You cannot see four, five, six feet down to the bottom like you used to be able to, easily. And I'm not talking about after a rain. It always clouds up a little bit. I'm talking about in general. When we go a stretch without rain the river's not clear anymore."

Researchers suspect water releases from a rain-soaked Lake Okeechobee are adding to decades of runoff carrying fertilizers and other waste.

The "Hands Across the Lagoon" event includes causeways in New Smyrna Beach, Melbourne, Titusville and Cocoa Beach.

Volunteers will begin lining up across the causeways at 9 a.m.


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