BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A weekend of clean water events kicked off on Earth Day with a group planting 100,000 clams in the Banana River.
Dr. Todd Osborne of the University of Florida said the clams Friday added to the 13 million that were released in the lagoon over the last three years.
‘’I think the lagoon’s in big trouble. That’s no secret’' Osborne, with the Whitney Laboratory of Marine Bioscience, said.
Brevard County Commission candidate Sandra Sullivan is advocating for testing and monitoring of chemicals like pesticides and herbicides.
Sullivan spoke Thursday during a Right to Clean Water public hearing at the Brevard County government center.
‘’It’s very concerning that the lagoon plan does not include pollution,’’ she said. ‘’This is a health and safety issue as much as it is an environmental issue.’’
Osborne said the ten-year tax plan, approved by voters in 2016, includes fertilizer control and septic to sewer conversion to help limit nutrients.
Pollution is blamed on the lagoon’s loss of seagrass.
Of Florida’s 500 manatee deaths so far this year, the FWC says 300 were in Brevard County.
‘’For the naysayers, it took a long time to bend this system or push it beyond its natural threshold. Using good, modern science, I don’t see how we can’t pull this off,’’ Osborne said.
The Coastal Conservation Association said the group will continue planting clams on Saturday, and then on Sunday, they’ll be picking up trash along the river.