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Algae bloom likely cause of Indian River fish kill

Indian River Council: $1 billion expected to get laguna back on track

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Alex Gorichky has been a fisherman in the area for nine years and said he knew something was wrong when the waters started turning brown.

"It's hard to see something you've loved your whole life kind of disappear in your face. It's tough," he said. "The whole thing is on the ropes from one end of the Brevard County line to the other Brevard County line. It's been brown for four months. The fish just started dying six days ago."

It wasn't long before thousands of dead fish started washing up near restaurants, causeways and beaches.

"Basically it's devastation of every marine creature that swims in the Banana River," Gorichky said. "We've seen everything from snails to crabs to the largest beautiful red fish that people would pay me hundreds of dollars to catch." 

State Wildlife officials believe an algae bloom is what's causing the cobblestone road of dead fish in the Banana and Indian rivers.

Wednesday night a packed house at an Indian River Council meeting addressed the problem.

"We're going to have to address the infrastructure, that's expensive, so that's going to take public will, public intent, a clear vision," said Director Duane Defreeze.

Many are now asking how long it will take to get the lagoon back to normal, but the council said it's still unclear.

"These systems are resilient," Defreeze said. "They're hard to predict and I don't care who the scientist is -- we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow." 

The council told people its currently testing the waters to see what can be done, but told News 6 it will take at least $1 billion to get the lagoon back on the right track.