Florida, federal wildlife officials prepare to aid manatees ‘in the years to come’
After a record number of manatee deaths mostly linked to malnutrition, state and federal wildlife officials hope to double rescue and rehabilitation capacity before the sea cows again congregate in warm waters during the winter.
Titusville eyes paying for sewage infrastructure projects with federal relief funds
Under increasing firefrom environmentalists for recent sewage spills impacting the beleaguered Indian River Lagoon, the city of Titusville is eyeing funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to cover the costs of a pending list of infrastructure plans.
Disappearing seagrass hurting beloved manatees in Florida
The situation is threatening a number of species, including manatees, who depend on seagrass for food. An expert who has spent 40 years studying manatees in Central Florida said dead manatees are being found with nearly nothing in their stomachs. Essentially, it’s an emergency.”Rose and others blame the seagrass loss for a spike in manatee deaths this winter. In all of 2020, there were 637 manatee deaths across Florida. AdThe Indian River Lagoon system stretches 165 miles from Volusia County south to Port St. Lucie.
Indian River Lagoon report: Water quality steady or improving while seagrass continues to decline
PALM BAY, Fla. – Seagrass is disappearing from the Indian River Lagoon causing hungry manatees to have to migrate to find their food. It’s one of the concerning conclusions from Tuesday’s virtual presentation of the third annual lagoon report card. That score was before the river suffering new fish kills like Thanksgiving at State Road 520 in Merritt Island. After the 2016 fish kills, Brevard County voters approved paying hundreds of millions of dollars over 10 years for cleanup efforts. “I think that we have not reached a point of no return,” Dr. Souto said.
Indian River Lagoon fish kill reports continue to rise, worrying officials
Barbara Williams noticed an odor emanating from the ailing Indian River Lagoon on Saturday in Cocoa. And when she walked toward her dock at her Indian River Drive home, she spotted washed-up casualties from an ongoing algal bloom. The St. Johns River Water Management District and partner organizations continue receiving reports of fish kills in the Indian River Lagoon from the past few days, News 6 partner Florida Today reported. Low dissolved-oxygen concentrations have also been recorded in lagoon water in Titusville, SJRWMD officials reported Saturday. To report an Indian River Lagoon fish kill, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hotline at 800-636-0511 or visit the agency’s online fish kill report page.
New Indian River Lagoon report card expected to show more pollution concerns
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. Since 2018, the Marine Resources Council has presented an annual lagoon report card. The report card scores each region of the lagoon on algae, seagrass, phosphorus, nitrogen and turbidity. The third annual report card will be presented on Dec. 8. Those interested in donating to the research can also contact the Marine Resources Council.
Algae blooms turn Indian River Lagoon green and stinky, again
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Algae blooms are turning parts of the Indian River Lagoon green again in Brevard County. Brevard County Public Information Officer Don Walker said for the last couple weeks the weather conditions have helped and the county has not received reports of any major fish kills. On Sept. 11, county officials warned of a possible fish kill like the ones seen in 2016 and 2018 due to the wet weather in recent weeks. Brevard County voters approved a half-cent sales tax in 2011 to generate more than $400 million for restoration of the lagoon. Ron DeSantis signed bills designed to address environmental issues ranging from sea level rise to blue-green algae blooms.
Launch gives spectators pride, reprieve from troubled times
We’re back in the race,” as the SpaceX rocket lifted through clouds above Kennedy Space Center. Saturday's launch was the first of NASA astronauts from Florida since 2011, when the space shuttle program ended, and the first by a private company. Many spectators had been there just days earlier on Wednesday for the first launch attempt, which was scrubbed due to the weather. At Space View Park in Titusville, few spectators wore masks and there wasn't much social distancing. “Now look at all the people who are here seeing astronauts leave from U.S. soil.”___Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter: @MikeSchneiderAP