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Is a new inlet the answer for Indian River Lagoon? attemt #3

What flows into the Indian River Lagoon stays there for months, sometimes years.

So some want to forge new openings through the barrier island to flush the stagnant estuary’s pollution out to the sea.

Maybe a new inlet could go along some of the barrier island’s skinniest, lowest locations, like just north of Patrick Air Force Base, at some remote spot along the Kennedy Space Center or in the South Beaches area. Or maybe a wider Sebastian Inlet or a pump-out station at Port Canaveral or elsewhere could let more clean ocean water into the lagoon and more pollution out. A hurricane might someday decide for us, carving small, temporary inlets we could leave open to benefit the lagoon.

The idea might sound far-fetched but four of the lagoon’s six inlets are manmade,and the other two natural inlets were fixed in place with jetties.

“It is feasible, it is doable,” Gary Zarillo, a professor in the department of marine and environmental systems at Florida Tech, said of the prospects of a new lagoon inlet. “Of course, it’s going to be expensive. Most likely it would have to be stabilized if it’s going to be permanent.”

With brown tide and other algae blooming this year, many are once again pushing a century-old idea of a new inlet to let in more ocean water to flush out pollutants and algae. But any new openings to the ocean would have to overcome steep sticker-shock and lengthy federal and state permitting hurdles, as well as concerns about beach erosion, potential lawsuits and other unwanted consequences.

But the idea isn’t as farfetched as it might seem, experts say.

Today at the Brevard Zoo, Zarillo will give a presentation about the possibility of new inlets during a meeting of the advisory board to the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program. He models where inlets are created, widened or moved.

Today’s inlet discussion comes at the request of Douglas Bournique, an advisory board member and member of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board. Bournique had brought up the idea at the panel’s previous meeting inApril. He wants a small, shallow recreational inlet.

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20131030/NEWS01/310300018/Experts-discuss-adding-an-inlet-Indian-River-Lagoon
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Replies

  • PP1PP1 Posts: 332 Deckhand
    I seem to remember seeing this subject somewhere else :huh.....thanks for making a new thread.

    Copy/paste from before.

    .....I think the fertilizer and other nutrient loading is the majority of the problem with the lagoon system. While an inlet may help with that, the old saying that "dilution is not the solution to pollution" stays in the back of my mind.
    "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
  • bay20bay20 Posts: 1,490 Officer
    I would love to see it might not be the best solution but as slow as the state is in getting anything done this might be the quickest way to somewhat of a recovery. Plus got some good fishing spots right off PAFB that I could get to a lot quicker if they put a new inlet in that area.
  • shamrock1188shamrock1188 Posts: 272 Deckhand
    A new inlet would be great but does not solve the real problem to many people not enough resources.
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    well hopefully if they actually do carry on with this (which i doubt), i hope they really do their homework on all the possible side effects.. man aint got the best track record when it comes to helping the lagoon
  • tunamantunaman Posts: 3,767 Captain
    like everyone else say, maybe it would help but heck the ariel photos of the mouth of the St.Lucie river showed obvious somehing flowing from the river. I agree with the general concenus that pollution is most likely the problem,. Maybe chobe discharge is the culprit in St.Lucie, seems it is, but that has nothing to do with Musquito Lagoon. I another linlet would help maybe 3 more and we could run raw sewage in the river!!! The old origional canal in Edgewater that has drained the lands of west Edgewater for eons is basically replaced by drainage culverts etc. The only portion near the river is 1/2 mile beside Indian River Blve from rt1 to the river, like I say, about 1/2 mile. What is being dumped into that canal that we can't even see. Why one of the drainage canals next to my property, 2 miles from the river looked exactly like the river off and on this summer??? The sewage treatment plant is just west of 95. Where does the runoff from that go?? Just food for thought. My suspicion is authoritys know exactly what the problem is and have no real solution to stop the pollution. SOOO, we may pay millions for a new inlet. Like an aspirin for a migrane headache, the headache WILL be back.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    The one word answer is....NO!

    Make it F**K NO! if you would like it as a two word answer.

    No F**kin' way ...stretches it to three....


    I could go on..but won't.....
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    As I said before...

    If there is a **** in your punchbowl...the only logical answer to make the punch better...is dilute it with more punch :rolleyes
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • MadScientistMadScientist Posts: 3,402 Officer
    I don't think it would take a new inlet, just deepen the existing inlets, channels and canals. This would increase the amount of salt water getting in. I think this would work as a short term fix for the IRL and the other areas effected by Lake O too.

    I like this approach because dredging is sort of "shovel-ready". It is a self-attenuating remedy, so by the time the land-based remedies are accomplished, the inlets, channels and canals would have naturally infilled, to an extent, and over time will return to there natural equilibrium. The long term costs may be negligible considering that these waterways need to be dredged periodically anyways. The primary negative for this approach would be a disruption of the natural salinity regime, but the may acceptable given the magnitude of the current problems.
  • bay20bay20 Posts: 1,490 Officer
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    As I said before...

    If there is a **** in your punchbowl...the only logical answer to make the punch better...is dilute it with more punch :rolleyes

    well on your thought process what your saying is keep peeing on the **** till dissolves instead of pulling the handle and flushing.
  • bay20bay20 Posts: 1,490 Officer
    Like the idea of bringing in the oysters to help with the filtering process. As far as current goes most of it is wind driven unless you are down by Sebastian or Edgewater. Till we get the people to stop trying to keep their lawns fertilize and the septic systems down by water front this is always going to be a problem.
  • shamrock1188shamrock1188 Posts: 272 Deckhand
    If the river was healthy enough for oysters they would grow naturally. How bad is it just look at Google earth south of Miami There is a large sewage plant you can see a big brown cloud in the water just flowing over Miami Beach. If only the people swimming at Miami Beach knew they where swimming in sewage.
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    this is the most pointless debate.. man f'ed it up... and in an effort to fix it theys just gonna f it up more :)
  • anejo22anejo22 Posts: 1,511 Officer
    just a bandaid the nasty **** is still flowing and killing the shoreline and close reef,to use it to cleanse is great but they gotta quit pumping **** in our salt water period
  • bay20bay20 Posts: 1,490 Officer
    well then lets do nothing let it rot. Hell I don't fish the anymore why should I care
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    bay20 wrote: »
    well on your thought process what your saying is keep peeing on the **** till dissolves instead of pulling the handle and flushing.

    I said no such thing...

    You seem to favor " quick and easier " ....with no regard to
    "Effective and long term"

    The Indian River is an estuary...It is not in need of more salt water...What *IT DOES* need...IS CLEAN FRESH WATER.

    I cannot believe how this is just beyond some peoples grasp......
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    If the river was healthy enough for oysters they would grow naturally.

    Just this part of your post shows you are above the curve in your understanding..Bravo!
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,778 Captain
    When I moved down to Brevard from North FL in 1983 the lagoon was in much better shape.
    It also had a hell of a lot more clams and a hell of a lot less sea cows.

    On another note, does anyone other than me find it strange they are suddenly acting giddy about a new inlet being the fix at the same time the Port is trying to leverage the recreational boaters to go somewhere else, or make do with less ramp and amenities?
    :wink
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG

    On another note, does anyone other than me find it strange they are suddenly acting giddy about a new inlet being the fix at the same time the Port is trying to leverage the recreational boaters to go somewhere else, or make do with less ramp and amenities?
    :wink


    Interesting gambit....
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • tunamantunaman Posts: 3,767 Captain
    I agree with Duckman, There has to be a balance betwen fresh/salt water. More salt may do as much harm as good. Hopefully there have been impartial studies proving me wrong. I still say the sewage treatment plants have as much to do with it as anything else. I also thing some normal cooler winters may help. Theres no way the problem is attributed to any single thing. I also do not believe othe water went from good to pea soup in just a couple yrs. Something was added to the equation a couple yrs ago. I also can't believe it should be that hard to find out what it is. There's been dozens of water samples taken and everyone is still guessing???? BULL!! They know what is causing it but don't know how to stop it. Take the St. Lucie area, obviously the problem is to much polluted, fresh water. Notice I said FRESH as well as polluted. BUt no one knows what to do about it. Maybe there are alternate areas topump the water, I don't know. Same thing in ML, trust me, there are those in power that know exactly what is causing the problem but no one knows how to stop it. I mean who would go along with say a $100,000,000 bill(thats 100 million) for changing all septic systems to public sewage treatment? And even if they do how efficient are they? Where does all the treated waste go? My water bill just arrived, it says I used 36,750 gallons on my lawn. I guarantee if all the recycled water consumption they claim we're using would more than equal the total gallons of treated waste that goes thru he plant! And none has meters they can read themsevles, its done in the office, how convient!! Do they think we're totally ignorant?? Look at the big gasoline tankers. They hold 9000-10,000 gallons. The cith says I use 4 times that in recycled water. If I used that I'd have alligators in the lawn!!The same bill says I used 4,910 gallons of fresh water, thats possible. I want to know the truth, I guarantee I shut the sprinklers off they'll say I used 30,000+ recycled water. Don't kid yourselves folks, its going in the river!! Many yrs ago there was a main, god made drainage canal draining W. Edgewater frommiles inland. Today 1/4 mile from the river its all underground in a maze of big concrete pipes carrying all the runoff, oil polluted water and amazingly all headed straight from the area of the sewer treatment plant. 10 yrs ago or so when indian river was 4 laned all the way to 95 it took yrs, miles of huge sewar drainage pipes were laid all the way to the entrance of the Edgewater Sewage plant. Why???? you tell me? How many other towns have done the same thing??? LOTS. Imagine the cost to correct this mess. Sorry, aint gonna happen amy time soon.
  • bay20bay20 Posts: 1,490 Officer
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    I said no such thing...

    You seem to favor " quick and easier " ....with no regard to
    "Effective and long term"

    The Indian River is an estuary...It is not in need of more salt water...What *IT DOES* need...IS CLEAN FRESH WATER.

    I cannot believe how this is just beyond some peoples grasp......

    well duck since you seem to be the expert on this, what's the solution we can do as cbmdk86 suggested in is post nothing, as quoted in short form(man screwed it up don't do anything as they will screw it up again) we could stop all fertilization of lawns and what ever orange groves are left. I am all for that never fertilize my lawn or watered it, we get plenty of rain. So your answer seems to be introducing more freshwater into the lagoon how exactly do you plan to do this? Get some Indians to do a rain dance. Go down to Ft Pierce on an outgoing tide and look at the nasty brown water that comes out from lake O, that's freshwater is that what you want?
  • SUPER DSUPER D Posts: 719 Officer
    The poss side effects of a new inlet could include the loss of Blue crabs, and all the big bull Reds leaving the lagoon, and river like other parts of the country. ML, and Indian river have some of the biggest reds, year round of the country. I believe to much salt water keeps Blue crabs from reproducing. I don't think a new inlet is the answer. As mentioned clean fresh water for a healthy balance. May never happen in our life time. I could be wrong, but my understanding is breeder Reds go off shore most of the year. In the Lagoon, they are landlocked.
  • FishyGirlFishyGirl Posts: 715 Officer
    All of Port Saint John is on septic. Since we moved there in 1991, it has more than double in numbers. All, again on septic. Can you imagine how much that is?!?!?!?! About 10 years ago we got a letter saying were would be going to sewer and, knowing the effects of septic, we were more than willing to pay the associated cost with going to sewer, but it never happend. To me, that is one of the biggest problems we face in PSJ.
    "America will never be destroyed from outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves"
    --Abraham Lincoln
  • Lunch Money SurfLunch Money Surf Posts: 1,033 Officer
    On another note, does anyone other than me find it strange they are suddenly acting giddy about a new inlet being the fix at the same time the Port is trying to leverage the recreational boaters to go somewhere else, or make do with less ramp and amenities?
    :wink

    Wow that is a great point... follow the big money and you'll have your answer...

    Oysters = bandaid fix

    Planting sea grass = bandaid fix

    Fertilizer restrictions = don't expect the County to do anything that would upset Mr. Duda's sod business

    Muck dredging = I cannot imagine a reality where our government - Federal, State or County - signs off on a price tag like that

    Inlet = bandaid fix... but one that makes a lot of noise and benefits the Port... hmmmm...
  • PP1PP1 Posts: 332 Deckhand
    The sewage treatment plants are pretty heavily regulated and tested as far as their outflow nutrient and other contaminant loading.......I don't believe they are as big a problem as some seem to think. Some plants don't even outflow to the lagoon and instead use deep well injection or flow the treated water through wetlands (which provide additional treatment) to the St. Johns. These disposal methods all have their own controversies......really any disposal method does.

    I believe the main culprit is what is called non point meaning it comes from the area. For example, a bunch of beautiful green St. Augustine lawns, especially directly connected to the estuary either through waterfront (direct waterfront, canal, etc...), is pretty much a sure bet for loading some stuff into the system that shouldn't be there. Those lawns are going to be watered regularly and I don't know that you can keep them in great shape without chemicals. It may be possible but I've never been one to care to have a nice lawn though. The neighbors either love me because I make theirs look so good, or hate me because mine does not. The only folks I see with those beautiful lush lawns I also see putting crap on them regularly and of course mucho water.

    Septic tanks, street runoff, and other sources really add to the whole problem. Doing nothing and letting it get worse is of course not the right thing, but it may not be as simple as just digging an inlet.


    As far as the water consumption, if you don't believe the meter readings you can probably call to have them test it. Another way would be to estimate your usage. Each spray head is putting out between 1 and 5 gpm at 30 psi according to the manufacture data from the ones they sell at lowes and HD (I just picked out the normal ones that are about $4/head). Some quick assumptions to just get a ball park feel is 2 gpm/head and 5 heads per zone.....that gives 10 gpm. Now assume total irrigation time of 2 hrs/day for 15 days a month comes out to 18,000 gallons. If you have more heads or water more than every other day it really adds up. If I did the calculations and it was just way off no matter how I did it you would bet I'd be raising some stink about it.
    "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
  • bay20bay20 Posts: 1,490 Officer
    SUPER D wrote: »
    The poss side effects of a new inlet could include the loss of Blue crabs, and all the big bull Reds leaving the lagoon, and river like other parts of the country. ML, and Indian river have some of the biggest reds, year round of the country. I believe to much salt water keeps Blue crabs from reproducing. I don't think a new inlet is the answer. As mentioned clean fresh water for a healthy balance. May never happen in our life time. I could be wrong, but my understanding is breeder Reds go off shore most of the year. In the Lagoon, they are landlocked.

    what blue crabs ask any of the commercial crabbers has not been a good season last 2 years.
  • MadScientistMadScientist Posts: 3,402 Officer
    Its been a while since I've worked in the ML or IRL. But I think the salinities are sometimes higher than seawater because of evaporation.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    bay20 wrote: »
    well duck since you seem to be the expert on this, what's the solution we can do as cbmdk86 suggested in is post nothing, as quoted in short form(man screwed it up don't do anything as they will screw it up again) we could stop all fertilization of lawns and what ever orange groves are left. I am all for that never fertilize my lawn or watered it, we get plenty of rain. So your answer seems to be introducing more freshwater into the lagoon how exactly do you plan to do this? Get some Indians to do a rain dance. Go down to Ft Pierce on an outgoing tide and look at the nasty brown water that comes out from lake O, that's freshwater is that what you want?

    I am not an expert...BUT... I *DO* go to many meetings and talk with "the experts".
    So really, I am just parroting back what those who have the PhD's have discussed with both community leaders and lay people.

    We do not need to add MORE water...what we do need to do is make sure that the water that makes its way into the system is clean.

    The St Johns water management district is trying to do "upstream" stuff...The whole "upper basin project" IE Stickmarsh/Farm 13 and the new Fellsmere 1 project along with the C-1 diversion and the three forks project is to clean polluted ag water and this way any water that heads downstream in the St Johns (it flows south to north) is as clean as possible...and any water that must be "discharged to tide' as it is called when it is shunted to the Indian river to relieve excess water in the system to prevent flooding.

    The "answer".... is a multi pronged approach....but getting everyone who lives within a couple miles of the river on sewer will be one thing that will be important. It should be done...and anyone who cannot pay it should just have a lien on the property that will get satisfied on the next time it is sold.

    Getting runoff from impermeable sources directed into some type of system... whether baffle box type or moving the water to "stormwater parks" like in Sebastian will also be needed.

    Dr. E. Widden of ORCA has devices called " Kilroys" that will measure and quantify (and thru isotope testing will identify "offenders") so that we will be able to focus resources where they are most needed.

    A total ban on fertilizer use from May thru September will also be very helpful so we have less N and P to remove from runoff water.

    All of these....and more..... will be what is needed.

    What can you do?.....Call your elected officials and DEMAND these things...not some half baked "just add more water" ideas.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • shamrock1188shamrock1188 Posts: 272 Deckhand
    My question is if they stop the pollution from going into the river where does it go? Does it just disappear? :huh
  • MadScientistMadScientist Posts: 3,402 Officer
    In some cases sewage treatment sludge is applied to upland forests and other places deemed to be "safe".

    http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/wastewater/treatment/biosolids/genqa.cfm
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,611 Captain
    Bottom line....The planet is going to hell in a hand basket....and fast. Feel sad for the young ones who will inherit it.
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