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As Indian River Lagoon spirals, scientists eye fresh flows of sea water

The vast majority of manatee deaths have been in the Indian River Lagoon, a biologically diverse east coast estuary that has been plagued with water quality problems and widespread seagrass losses. Photo courtesy the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission


New research suggests flows of sea water could help rescue the ailing Indian River Lagoon. 

Scientists at the Florida Institute of Technology are moving ahead with a plan to run a pipe near Port Canaveral that would bring fresh sea water to an isolated cove. 

Jeff Eble is one of the scientists. He says early studies suggest that even small amounts of sea water can have a big impact on the nutrient pollution ailing the lagoon.  

“By improving oxygen concentration in the water, and particularly in the sediments, can actually increase nutrient removal, nutrient processing on-site there in the Banana River, rather than just exporting the problems elsewhere.” 

The pollution has led to widespread harmful algae blooms and seagrass losses, most notably causing an unprecedented die-off of manatees in Florida. 


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »

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