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A First-Ever Effort To Restore Indian River Lagoon’s Vanishing Seagrass

Indian River Lagoon. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Indian River Lagoon. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

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A first-ever effort is underway to replenish the ailing Indian River Lagoon’s seagrass with new grass raised in an onshore nursery.

The seagrass was planted a year ago near the Merritt Island Airport, where a restoration was underway. It had been raised nowhere near the Indian River Lagoon, in a Tampa-area nursery.

Environmental advocate Laurilee Thompson, who also owns Titusville’s Dixie Crossroads restaurant, says recent monitoring shows the one-acre bed is thriving.

“It was functioning the way a healthy seagrass bed can function. The manatees were coming in and grazing on the grass and not affecting it. It was miraculous.”

Ongoing water quality problems have killed off some 60 percent of the 156-mile Indian River Lagoon’s seagrass in recent years. The beds serve as important nurseries for wildlife.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist whose work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. She began her career at The Associated Press. Her book on the Everglades, under contract with Johns Hopkins ... Read Full Bio »

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