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New Sea Grass Signals Small Recovery In Indian River Lagoon

The Indian River Lagoon. Photo courtesy Brevard County

The ailing Indian River Lagoon is sprouting new sea grass.

It’s a sign of recovery.

Aerial mapping in 2013 shows a small gain in sea grass from 2011, when a massive algal boom wiped out more than half of the lagoon’s sea grass.

Ed Garland of the St. Johns River Water Management District says scientists consider sea grass to be a barometer of the lagoon’s health.

“When they’re flourishing they know the water quality is in pretty good shape in the lagoon. And when they’re diminished greatly like they did after the superbloom you know there are some serious issues with the water quality.”

Garland says sea grass is important because it provides habitat for juvenile fish and crustaceans and is a food source for larger animals like manatees.

The Indian River Lagoon stretches the length of nearly half of Florida’s East Coast.

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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 »