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New Indian River Lagoon report card expected to show more pollution concerns

‘Pea soup’ green algae bloom recorded this month

PALM BAY, Fla. – A scientist will present the Marine Resources Council’s third annual report card scoring the health of the Indian River Lagoon and it’s once again expected to show continuing challenges.

Dr. Leeza Souto said algae blooms are still happening even four years into Brevard County’s 10-year, $400 million restoration plan with hundreds of cleanup projects.

Green water was recorded this month in Merritt Island in a Sykes Creek canal.

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“It was just stunning, like pea soup,” Souto said about recent blooms.

Souto said that despite progress in certain areas, the overall health of the lagoon is still not where it needs to be.

Since 2018, the Marine Resources Council has presented an annual lagoon report card.

The first one was in the aftermath of the 2016 fish kills and Brevard County voters approving the tax plan.

The report card scores each region of the lagoon on algae, seagrass, phosphorus, nitrogen and turbidity.

Souto said the lagoon is resilient and it can still recover from decades of pollution, but she does have infrastructure concerns.

“We can’t continue to grow the way we have in the past and expect a different result. We do need to start planning our growth better,” Souto said.

The third annual report card will be presented on Dec. 8.

To join the virtual event, register at SaveTheIRL.org or call 321-725-7775.

Those interested in donating to the research can also contact the Marine Resources Council.


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