Indian River Lagoon Report Card Shows Water Quality Improving; However, Seagrass Is Not Recovering As It Has Historically
Water is clearer, and harmful algae is on the decline in the Indian River Lagoon, which stretches along more than one-third of the east-central coast of Florida, according to the annual Indian River Lagoon Report Card, published by Marine Resources Council (MRC).
“We’re making important progress,” said MRC Executive Director Leesa Souto, PhD. “While we continue that progress, we need to consider a new and concerning phenomenon.”
The report card also shows that seagrass, the essence of life in the lagoon, is continuing to die. Historically, seagrass has recovered as water quality improves. Florida currently bases water quality in the lagoon on the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a, as well as turbidity, water clarity.
“Many other pollutants, herbicides and pesticides need to be added to lagoon water quality testing to determine what’s causing the seagrass to die,” said Dr. Souto. “Our theory is that new or increased loads of contaminants may be causing this new seagrass phenomenon; however, more extensive testing is needed to determine the cause.”
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MRC is a member-supported, non-profit organization. Discover more, and get involved in calling on the State of Florida to broaden its water quality testing, to allow seagrass in the Indian River Lagoon to recover and thrive again. Join us today, sign up for our email updates, or call 321.725.7775 for more information.
MRC Is Now Seeking “Friends of the Indian River Lagoon”
Friends of the IRL is a group of businesses, organizations, clubs, individuals, HOAs, and stakeholders dedicated to funding the IRL Report Card. The proposed support is $1,000+ per stakeholder, intending to raise over $100,000 each year to add more tributaries to the data set, include fisheries data, and expand outreach. To become a Friend of the IRL, please email Ken@mrcirl.org or visit http://weblink.donorperfect.com/mrc100.