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Brevard County commissioners approve $303 million Indian River Lagoon clean-up

Fish kills are just one thing that can be reported on the FWC app. /File photo, Amy Green
The fish kill in March clogged much of the northern Indian River Lagoon with floating carcasses, like this residential canal in Cocoa Beach. Photo by Amy Green

Brevard County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a $303 million clean-up of the Indian River Lagoon.

The measure will appear in November on the ballot as a referendum, allowing voters to decide whether to fund it with a half-cent sales tax.

Nearly two-thirds of the Save Our Lagoon Project Plan's funding targets the muck fouling the lagoon's bottom, and the rest is aimed at pollution and restoration.

Lauralee Thompson owns Titusville's Dixie Crossroads seafood restaurant. She says commercial fishermen are among those hardest-hit by the lagoon's problems.

"Our watermen have lost their livelihoods. They can no longer make a living on the water. If we don't fix our water we're looking literally at our last generation of Indian River Lagoon commercial fishermen."

Half of the 156-mile Indian River Lagoon lies within Brevard County. The estuary is considered the most diverse in North America.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.