Brevard County introduces new ship to clean up Indian River Lagoon

New technology turns algae into fuel

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – “(The) environment is my thing,” News 6 Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells said. “I’m from the age of give a hoot don’t pollute.”

So, when he heard Brevard County was partnering with AECOM to unveil an algae harvesting ship to help clean up the Indian River Lagoon, he was excited to talk more about it with one of the experts on Talk To Tom.

AECOM Algae Practice Founder Dan Levy said the new tool is designed to address the overload of nutrients that have caused harmful algae blooms in Florida’s waterways.

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Wednesday, Brevard County unveiled the new ship on the Indian River Lagoon where Levy said it will spend the next several months purifying the water.

The goal is to make the water safer for the manatees after years of soaring deaths and for the people who want to enjoy it without fear of getting sick.

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Levy told Sorrells the ship is like a massive filtration system.

“We are using air to essentially create an air pocket that allows us to raise and keep the algae at the surface long enough that we can scrape it off the top and return back crystal-clear water,” he said.

Levy said the company doesn’t stop there. AECOM is also using the left-over biomass to create crude oil.

You can see the 110-foot-long AECOM Algae Harvesting ship going up and down the Indian River Lagoon over the next few months.

You can learn more by watching Talk to Tom. It airs every Thursday at 3:30 p.m. on News 6 and anytime on News 6+.

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About the Author:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.