Brevard County to request $200M for dredging to prevent future fish kills

'We're doing everything we can,' Gov. Rick Scott says

VIERA, Fla. – The Brevard County Board of Commissioners did not accept the resolution to call on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency for the Indian River Lagoon after thousands of pounds of dead fish washed up along the shoreline.

[WEB EXTRA:  Read the agenda]

According to the Tuesday meeting agenda, two resolutions are on the table.

The first is listed as "Declaring the Indian River Lagoon as the Highest Priority, Second to None, in Brevard County."

The second is "Requesting Governor Rick Scott to Declare a State of Emergency for the Indian River Lagoon."

Commissioners didn't accept the resolution to ask Scott to declare the State of Emergency, but are planning to make a request to ask for $200 million for dredging to prevent future fish kills.

Scott told News 6 on Monday that several agencies are working to resolve the issue, including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the St. John's Water Management Department and the Department of Environmental Protection.

"We're doing everything we can. On top of that, we funded $80 million just in the last three years to make sure we take care of the Indian River Lagoon," Scott said.

Scott also said it's not an issue affecting the health of humans, but the acting surgeon general is monitoring the cleanup.

According to News 6 partner Florida Today, the $82 billion budget that Scott signed includes $21.5 million to dredge nutrient-laden muck from the central and northern Indian River Lagoon and the Banana River in Brevard County.

The funding requires Brevard County to provide $1.5 million to the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute at the Florida Institute of Technology to determine environmental benefits from the project.


About the Author: