indian river lagoon

Biologists say a mysterious disease is making a comeback in the northern Indian River Lagoon, where nine manatees have died since the end of May.

An outbreak of brown tide being blamed for a massive fish kill in the northern Indian River Lagoon is dissipating, according to the latest reports.

Fertilizer and septic tanks are possible contributors to a massive fish kill in the Indian River Lagoon, says a top regulator with the Department of Environmental Protection.

FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute via twitter

A study linking Floridians’ seafood consumption, dolphins, and increased levels of mercury is leading researchers to say dolphins may be the key to identifying public health risks in humans.

On average, Floridians consume more seafood than the general U.S. population. And, human exposure to mercury tends to come from the consumption of fish and shellfish. Too much could become a health hazard.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

A discovery into dolphin genetics may have brought research scientists one step closer to finding out the source of a mysterious animal die-off last year in the troubled Indian River Lagoon.

“Now, I gotta good one for you: if you’re swimming in the water and a fin comes up right by you, how can you tell instantly whether it’s a shark’s fin or a dolphin’s fin,” asked Barry Legé.

The answer? A shark fin is more straight, while a dolphin’s fin is more curved.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

About 160 bills are expected to take effect Tuesday, including this year’s budget. One research institute is hailing it as a victory, after the Governor signed the budget into law containing a provision that helps fund projects to help the Indian River Lagoon.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU News

The Florida House and Senate are $400 million apart in their state spending plan proposals for the upcoming fiscal year. The House is pushing a $75.3 billion proposal while the Senate's comes in at $74.9 billion. That’s a lot closer than the chambers have been in recent years, thanks to an influx of cash from a recovering economy. But the proposals take different routes to funding two key areas: water projects and school construction.

Water, Water Everywhere

FAU Harbor Branch Institute

A group of Florida lawmakers is deciding how much money to spend cleaning Florida waterways polluted by Lake Okeechobee runoff. A Wednesday committee hearing focused largely on helping the Indian River Lagoon, but some presenters differed over funding requests.

Before listening to presenters stating why the funds were needed, Umatilla Republican Senator Alan Hays set the tone of the meeting by describing how his Senate Appropriation Subcommittee on General Government could be swayed.

LHatter / WFSU News

What happens when it rains nearly every day for more than a month during the hot, summer months?

Last July in Central Florida it meant an overflowing Lake Okeechobee and the dumping of millions of gallons of polluted freshwater into the region’s rivers and estuaries. The rain also helped spark toxic algae blooms that have some calling for a $220 million water conservation and clean-up plan Florida lawmakers could take up next session.

What Happens In 'Lake-O' Doesn't Stay In 'Lake-O'

Capital Report: 01-07-2014

Jan 7, 2014

Before Disney World, Sea World and Busch Gardens, visitors flocked to Florida for a different kind of tourist experience, But Regan McCarthy reports as the stat’s springs face pollution and over pumping, that legacy is fading along with the local economies that depend on it.

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute

Finding out the source of a mysterious animal die off in the Indian River Lagoon is the goal of many researchers and scientists across the state. They’re searching for clues into the massive amount of unusual deaths of manatees, dolphins, and pelicans in what’s known as one of the nation’s most biologically diverse estuaries.

CSI: Indian River Lagoon

Taking a tour of the Southern part of Indian River Lagoon, Its Riverkeeper Marty Baum points out a small pod of dolphins frolicking in one part of the 156-mile estuary.

Florida Channel

Florida officials are considering dredging the floor of the Indian River Lagoon to remove the muck of the estuary that’s already been plagued by massive animal die-offs and the loss of thousands of acres of sea grass.

Dr. John Trefry is a Marine and Environmental Systems Professor at Florida Institute of Technology, who’s been studying muck in the Indian River Lagoon—which he describes as “black mayonnaise.”

“And, much like the algae bloom, it blocks sunlight and inhibits sea growth,” said Trefry.

Apalachicola Bay
Ebyabe

Heads of the agencies that help manage Florida’s water supply told state lawmakers Tuesday it’s time to make smart water-management policies a legislative priority. The state’s water quality and water quantity problems don’t have clear quick fixes.

Water policy is the top concern for state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

"There is now not a single corner of the state that is not impacted by this," he said.

Putnam asked lawmakers on two House committees to keep the long-term picture in mind when making any laws or spending money relating to water this session.