DEP Provides $115,000 to Indian River Isles for Sediment Removal Project to Benefit Indian River Lagoon

Oct. 23, 2014

~Funding will reduce nutrient input on the lagoon and improve water quality~

A $115,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will provide funding for Brevard County to complete a sediment removal project for a canal in the town of Indian River Isles that will help reduce harmful nutrient input into Indian River Lagoon.

“DEP is committed to improving water quality across the state by reducing what flows into our waterways,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “This is an example of collaborative funding for much-needed projects to protect and restore our most precious natural resource — our water.”

Over the last few decades, runoff caused by erosion from nearby agriculture, recreational facilities and residential areas has led to an accumulation of organic sediments, or muck, within the canal. These accumulated muck sediments contain significant “legacy” nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorous, from historic runoff to the Indian River Lagoon. Muck sediments also negatively impact navigation, damage seagrass beds and can lead to detrimental conditions for lagoon organisms.

The project will remove approximately 12,000 yards of muck soils from the East-West canal of the South Indian River Isles subdivision. The muck soil contains approximately 20,904 kilograms of total nitrogen and 4,476 kilograms of total phosphorous. Removal of this sediment prevents the nutrient pollution from reaching the lagoon and eliminates the opportunity for these nutrients to impair water quality.

“This partnership is a critical component of restoring the health and resilience of our Indian River Lagoon,” stated Ernie Brown, director of Brevard County’s Natural Resources Management Department. “There are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions to restore the balance of the lagoon. This project furthers the restoration strategy of reducing the nutrient inputs, removing the legacy muck and sources of muck and restoring the filter feeders, while bringing sound research to the effort.”

This project is part of a statewide effort to reduce nutrients and restore water quality in the Indian River Lagoon. The department adopted water-quality restoration plans (basin management action plans, or BMAPs) covering Indian River Lagoon and Banana River Lagoon in 2013. Reducing nutrient loading to the Indian River Lagoon system is essential to protecting and restoring the health of this valuable estuary.This muck-removal project is one example of collaborative efforts to reduce nutrients and restore the water quality of the Indian River Lagoon.

Completion of the project is scheduled for March 2017. The project will be managed by Brevard County with oversight by DEP.

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