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Researchers Consider More Fresh Ocean Water For Ailing Indian River Lagoon


The Indian River Lagoon. Photo by Amy Green

There’s new research underway into whether fresh ocean water might help rescue the ailing Indian River Lagoon.

The research is focused on the lagoon’s north end, where a long stretch of barrier island prevents much exchange with the Atlantic Ocean. Pollution that flows there stays there.

The Florida Institute of Technology is leading the research, which is supported by a $800,000 state grant. Gary Zarillo is among the researchers.

“We no longer allow the barrier islands to breach. We fill the beaches. We try to hold the coast, if you will, and in doing so we limit the exchanges between the Indian River Lagoon and the coastal ocean. And so in a sense we’re trying to reintroduce that.”

He says the year-long study will consider pumps and other methods of reviving more natural flows between the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean.


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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 »