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Lagoon restoration ideas?

Other than the obvious "open the locks, cut a new inlet". What real suggestions there are to fix the current water conditions?
I know this is a bit far fetched, but why can't we treat our waterways with replenishable charcoal to remove impurities? The history of Florida nature was surely affected by the natural burn offs and water shed from these bodies of land. Anyone who has owned a fish tank knows it works.
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Replies

  • AlleniAlleni Posts: 344 Deckhand
    I feel like this topic comes up a lot. They will never open the locks for a long period of time. It comes down to resources and who's going to pay for it. I always thought oysters were a good idea but how much would that cost and who would do it. I guess the best idea would be to help fight pollution and runoff and ban fertilizer and just let the river heal itself. I always thought a small inlet like boyton, near PAFB would hurt but who knows.
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    I ran across a website of an organization who has made up a system called the KILROY system.. It is basically a contaminant and pollutant monitoring system .. It creates a real time image using the satellite imagery and different colors based on where the pollution is heaviest (red is heaviest, down to yellow and green as it gets lighter, kind of like doppler radar).. I think a system like this would really help us pinpoint where the heaviest contamination originates from and attack from there first.. We don't have one single thing to blame for the nutrient loading in the lagoons, we have non point source pollution which means it's coming in from many areas.. this system would eliminate all the guesswork and show us in real time where the heavy problem areas are.. In the images I have seen produced by the system, in every single one of them, residential canals are by far the brightest red and therefore the biggest sources of pollution.. It would cost roughly $6 million to outfit the entire 154 miles of IRL with this system... A mere drop in the bucket compared to the $3.7 BILLION the lagoon brings in each year..
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    http://www.teamorca.org/pdf/IRL%20Restoration%20Plan.pdf

    here is the link that explains the system in detail..
  • It's not rocket science.

    A) Replace all the septic tank systems with wastewater collection and treatment systems.

    2. Ban residential and commercial landscaping fertilizer use.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    It's not rocket science.

    A) Replace all the septic tank systems with wastewater collection and treatment systems.

    2. Ban residential and commercial landscaping fertilizer use.

    Sounds relatively simple....doesn't it? :rotflmao

    As I've said before...Political Kryptonite.... No elected official will get anywhere near it.

    Billions for sewer..... Rich retired people playing on less than perfect Golf course greens.... Fat chance.
    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
    Alleni wrote: »
    I always thought oysters were a good idea but how much would that cost and who would do it.

    If they moved every oyster in Chesapeake bay to the Lagoon...it would not help an estuary that is 156 miles long.
    What they don't tell "lay people" is that the numbers they use for filtration...Is for an adult oyster under optimal conditions....but what they KNOW( and don't say)...Is that survival of placed oysters is patheticly low....the POLLUTION kills them...as you might expect.
    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
    It's not rocket science.

    You are correct...........matter of fact it is easy to understand............years ago when the lagoon was much healthier we had
    a lot more clams (not oysters by the way).............and a lot less manatees.

    But I don't expect that there is any money to be made in the powers that be working towards returning to that situation.:wink

    I predict that we will be force fed a new little inlet in the northern lagoon eventually..........but the reality is, that will be much more about running the recreational users completely out of Port Canaveral............than it will really be about restoring water quality.:rotflmao
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    Y

    I predict that we will be force fed a new little inlet in the northern lagoon eventually..........but the reality is, that will be much more about running the recreational users completely out of Port Canaveral............than it will really be about restoring water quality.:rotflmao

    That is a good bet.....kills two birds with one stone. The politicians will then say " See, we heard our constituants and responded with a fix"
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Dan_DanielsDan_Daniels Posts: 134 Officer
    Gary S. Colecchio "It's not rocket science."

    A) Replace all the septic tank systems with wastewater collection and treatment systems.

    2. Ban residential and commercial landscaping fertilizer use.



    It's not rocket science but it isn't that simple. You know that to be true. So since I am in agreement maybe I can expand on this a bit.

    A.) "Replace all the septic tank systems with wastewater collection and treatment systems."

    Great idea but not feasible with current economic and taxing construct that we deal with. Instead why don't we implement a plan where a portion of ad valorem taxes and utility fees (water bill) to enact a septic amnesty and extension/reconnection fund (county/city managed). I've researched similar programs around the country and they are not only viable but more easily tolerated and accepted by the general public as compared to punitive and regulatory actions. The reality is that in this economic climate and with so many Lagoon area residents that are retired or on fixed incomes they will not simply spend out of pocket to "hook up" to sewer and punitive actions will result in homeowners seeking legal counsel.

    2. "Ban residential and commercial landscaping fertilizer use."

    This one is trickier. The truth is as long as turf grass is around and used in yards then effective fertilization using best management practices is a better policy then a complete ban. Turf grass can be a very good nutrient filter just like we use aquatic vegetation in areas to clean water turf grass can be used to slow down storm water inflows and uptake nutrients. Problem is that most homeowner subscribe to the policy that if one bag of Scotts "FEED YOUR LAWN" fertilizer is good then two or three must be better. If you are a homeowner who is unsure or to confused then hire a professional who subscribes to best management practices. I promise the pros do not want to over fertilize a yard since it is money just flowing out of their pockets. Same goes with landscaping professionals. A good crew cuts a regular lawn in ten minutes, blows the clippings back into the yard, and identifies problem areas to the homeowner.
  • Dan_DanielsDan_Daniels Posts: 134 Officer
    Now here are some things that you haven't addressed.

    3. "Identify storm water problems and expand the storm water infrastructure."

    We are still lacking considerably in how we treat and what we do with storm water. Funding is always going to be an issue here and admittedly I don't know the answer to a tolerable solution to improve funding for stormwater maintenance and improvements. This is one area where exploring some potential federal matching program might be possible. At some point we have to consider buying residential properties in high density canal neighborhoods and retrofitting or adapting them to alleviate some of this burden. (High dollar, and subject to zoning issues and community resistance.) For the short term reinstitute the impact fees that were originally put in place for this very reason.

    4. "Stop blaming the politicians."

    They only represent the people that voted for them. Truth is if you flush a toilet or are not homeless then you are part of the problem. Stop blaming waterfront homeowners, politicians, and boaters for the mess we are in. Again, if you live here you are contributing to the problem. Nature doesn't take place in a vacuum. Every action that we take in our daily lives ultimately effects our surroundings. Instead engage if you are upset, show up to the public meetings, and offer more than just lip service.

    5. "Continue and expand dredging efforts."

    It's labor intensive, costly, and might need to be done multiple times but it is one of the few actions that we take that actually removes legacy nutrients from the system. Now admittedly it doesn't make much sense unless we take long term plans to stop the inputs but at this point we need to do something to compensate for the last half century of mismanagement. Current dredging areas (Turkey Creek, Sykes Creek) also serve as functional traps for the immense amount of macro algae and grassilaria species that end up collecting in deeper areas of the lagoon and its tributaries. Instituting long term environmental maintenance dredging plans will help de-bulk the massive amounts of nutrients. It's not perfect but it is a positive direct fundamental initiative.

    6. "Rethink our entire coastal conservation model and the legal construct that surrounds it."

    Why do we have to stop the Turkey Creek dredging for two months because of the manatee? Why can't we use existing spoil sites adjacent to the ICW for environmental remediation and new spoilage? We have created a sandbox where the environmental lobbies, federal/state/and municipal agencies, and coastal communities are scared to do anything or are playing the "blame game" too often. Certain "do good" organizations are not looking at the bigger picture. All of the lagoons critters benefit with better water quality. Fix the water and the rest will follow. Just like the original poster mentioned about his aquarium. You don't worry about what plants and fish you are putting in until you ensure that the water will support them. This has been one of the most frustrating things for me personally because the "red tape", "single species", "not in my backyard", "go to court" etc. mentalities have ham strung real and needed conservation efforts. I have dozens of other ideas that would help but they are too "radical" to even address them because of the above philosophies don't allow these ideas to have an adequate chance to be explored.

    Sorry for the rant but my friend DMJR and I had a good conversation about this the other day while driving to another meeting and I figured I'd jump into the fracas for a bit.

    DD
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    Sorry for the rand but my friend DMJR and I had a good conversation about this the other day while driving to another meeting and I figured I'd jump into the fracas for a bit.

    DD

    Yes...Hours worth. :wink

    Everything you say is the truth Dan...from your lips to Gods ears!
    And for those here who do not know Dan...he is one of the guys..."In the trenches" fighting.

    But, as I told you...I'm too old to wait for the repairs.... and what will be done for the Lagoon...will most likely be a " shut them up " band-aid.

    Very sad.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    Getting rid of all the dike roads and letting the river and the marsh connect again how it was naturally would probably help too..
  • hunterjwhunterjw Posts: 443 Deckhand
    A friend of mine had suggested this idea so I will not take credit but it seems to make sense. What if large pumps were put in place up and down the lagoon system lets say spaced 1/4 mile apart. There would be an inflow pump from the ocean and outflow pump varying down the coast. While I understand wastewater treatment plants, fertilizers and freshwater dumping are the root cause to the issue, pushing the water out is a temporary solution. Water would be pumped in and water would be pumped out to provide clean water. The cost of this would be relatively low compared to a new inlet and not have the negative impact of draining a lagoon system etc.


    Thoughts on this idea? Pros Cons?
    "He who hoots with the owls at night will not soar with the eagles at dawn"

  • Dan_DanielsDan_Daniels Posts: 134 Officer
    Getting rid of all the dike roads and letting the river and the marsh connect again how it was naturally would probably help too..

    Highly doubt it. Millions have been spent restoring impoundments up and down the ML, BRL, and IRL. It hasn't stopped what is happening now and has actually been implicated in the direct impact of an aqua-cultural area in Volusia county. At this particular site an impoundment restoration effort killed 10's of thousands of dollars worth of clams in the adjacent portions of the lagoon. The water management district actually settled the case when scientists representing the clam farmers presented their data showing the direct impact.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    If we keep looking for a magic band-aid to cure cancer...we are sure to die.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • redsnducksredsnducks Posts: 51 Greenhorn
    Dan's comments/thoughts are great. Couple of other areas I consider a priority:
    1) identifying and replacing EXISTING sewer systems that are leaking like a sieve. It is likely that in some of the older neighborhoods on canal systems like Satellite and Cocoa Beach, while not using septic tanks, are leaking an equivalent or greater loading of nutrients via leaking nearly 60 yr old sewer lines. Do you mean to tell me that our public works departments have made an assumption that our sewer lines will last for perpetuity with no funding for replacements?

    2) Come up with inventive programs for individual homeowners to give up turf grass near waterways.

    3.) Implement an aggressive street sweeping program (one a pound per pound basis, street sweeping is more cost effective than many typical capital projects and their associated maintenance in built out areas).

    4) Get our Federal neighbors "on board". Hate to say it, but a lot of miles of waterfront are owned by the Feds (PAFB, CCAFS, NASA), and they need to be more involved - they also represent part of the problem and have a pathway to $$.

    5) Do we know how much $$ is spent on fuel for boats/marine vehicles in Brevard? Is there a way to access the portion of this gas tax for lagoon projects.

    6) Get FDOT on board. FDOT is flush with $$, has vast quantities of impervious surfaces, yet many ditches along US1 (in FDOT ROWs) drain directly to the lagoon.

    7) TRULY inspect package wastewater plants located near the lagoon. Many of these older facilities have poor drainfield systems that are leaching into adjacent ditches that route directly to the lagoon.

    8) Recognize that some of the older rules/setbacks, etc. for septic drainfield are based upon flawed science and groundwater flow rates. Update ordinances and setback requirements using modern science/engineering/hydrogeologic principles.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 13,263 AG
    Redsnducks I like where you were going with #5. I just don't think you'll ever be able to access those funds. They have similar hotel taxes in Orange county with all the tourism, but very little of that money goes where it is needed, mostly it's funneled back into the system to help the hoteliers.
    Like is like a Helicopter.  I do not know how to operate a Helicopter  
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    redsnducks wrote: »
    Dan's comments/thoughts are great. Couple of other areas I consider a priority:
    1) identifying and replacing EXISTING sewer systems that are leaking like a sieve. It is likely that in some of the older neighborhoods on canal systems like Satellite and Cocoa Beach, while not using septic tanks, are leaking an equivalent or greater loading of nutrients via leaking nearly 60 yr old sewer lines. Do you mean to tell me that our public works departments have made an assumption that our sewer lines will last for perpetuity with no funding for replacements?

    2) Come up with inventive programs for individual homeowners to give up turf grass near waterways.

    3.) Implement an aggressive street sweeping program (one a pound per pound basis, street sweeping is more cost effective than many typical capital projects and their associated maintenance in built out areas).

    4) Get our Federal neighbors "on board". Hate to say it, but a lot of miles of waterfront are owned by the Feds (PAFB, CCAFS, NASA), and they need to be more involved - they also represent part of the problem and have a pathway to $$.

    5) Do we know how much $$ is spent on fuel for boats/marine vehicles in Brevard? Is there a way to access the portion of this gas tax for lagoon projects.

    6) Get FDOT on board. FDOT is flush with $$, has vast quantities of impervious surfaces, yet many ditches along US1 (in FDOT ROWs) drain directly to the lagoon.

    7) TRULY inspect package wastewater plants located near the lagoon. Many of these older facilities have poor drainfield systems that are leaching into adjacent ditches that route directly to the lagoon.

    8) Recognize that some of the older rules/setbacks, etc. for septic drainfield are based upon flawed science and groundwater flow rates. Update ordinances and setback requirements using modern science/engineering/hydrogeologic principles.

    All good stuff Jim..... Your background is helpful in ferreting out some of these things that many will not consider.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Dan_DanielsDan_Daniels Posts: 134 Officer
    redsnducks wrote: »
    Dan's comments/thoughts are great. Couple of other areas I consider a priority:
    1) identifying and replacing EXISTING sewer systems that are leaking like a sieve. It is likely that in some of the older neighborhoods on canal systems like Satellite and Cocoa Beach, while not using septic tanks, are leaking an equivalent or greater loading of nutrients via leaking nearly 60 yr old sewer lines. Do you mean to tell me that our public works departments have made an assumption that our sewer lines will last for perpetuity with no funding for replacements?

    2) Come up with inventive programs for individual homeowners to give up turf grass near waterways.

    3.) Implement an aggressive street sweeping program (one a pound per pound basis, street sweeping is more cost effective than many typical capital projects and their associated maintenance in built out areas).

    4) Get our Federal neighbors "on board". Hate to say it, but a lot of miles of waterfront are owned by the Feds (PAFB, CCAFS, NASA), and they need to be more involved - they also represent part of the problem and have a pathway to $$.

    5) Do we know how much $$ is spent on fuel for boats/marine vehicles in Brevard? Is there a way to access the portion of this gas tax for lagoon projects.

    6) Get FDOT on board. FDOT is flush with $$, has vast quantities of impervious surfaces, yet many ditches along US1 (in FDOT ROWs) drain directly to the lagoon.

    7) TRULY inspect package wastewater plants located near the lagoon. Many of these older facilities have poor drainfield systems that are leaching into adjacent ditches that route directly to the lagoon.

    8) Recognize that some of the older rules/setbacks, etc. for septic drainfield are based upon flawed science and groundwater flow rates. Update ordinances and setback requirements using modern science/engineering/hydrogeologic principles.

    Love all these ideas. Thanks for sharing, you make a good point about old infrastructure. In fact I work with an organization that is actually doing isotope mapping to address some of the "non" point source nutrient inputs so we can better focus our efforts where most needed.
  • SpinfisherSpinfisher Posts: 756 Officer
    My son, in High School, has to accumulate a certain amount of community service hours prior to completing and graduating from his Senior year and to do so has volunteered with the Brevard County Zoo to assist in the Oyster Restoration program for the Indian and Banana Rivers and Mosquito Lagoon.

    Check it out: http://brevardoystergardens.org
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    Net 30's Boy also did this..... And while I applaud ANY effort to DO SOMETHING....this is one of the "feel good" band - aid fixes for our gushing gunshot wound to the head. Yes, it is something that can get awareness but it is generally just some preaching to the choir. Those involved know the dire conditions...

    I will also say that I have had conversations with both DEP staff and another well respected researcher who is working on the issues and they BOTH had the same feeling about the Oyster program...hence my feelings. They are experts...with the data and the knowledge but cannot come out and say anything negative...career suicide as they say.

    PS...Kinda funny that the BREVARD program..... Is using a photo of Indian river county.... The first photo on the site is a view of Pauls island ( part of Pelican Island NWR) looking south and a little west ....You can make out Wabasso causeway off in the distance...and the islands are the 5 sisters.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Fishin4AMissionFishin4AMission Posts: 90 Greenhorn
    Open up the diked areas so the water flows better and the mangroves can help filter. If you look at the mosquito impoundments that's about 80% of the mangroves left in brevard. I think this would be a cost effective start?
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    Open up the diked areas so the water flows better and the mangroves can help filter. If you look at the mosquito impoundments that's about 80% of the mangroves left in brevard. I think this would be a cost effective start?

    I suggested that on this thread and got told I was wrong :shrug Seems to me like it would at least help.. anything that restores natural flow can't possibly hurt
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    I suggested that on this thread and got told I was wrong :shrug Seems to me like it would at least help.. anything that restores natural flow can't possibly hurt

    Toothpaste won't go back into the tube Mark.... We have already degraded those ecosystems and add in the amount of chemicals used thru time to assist with mosquito control...you don't really want them open...in fact...I think that the culvert system we have implemented has done some damage with no real benefit.

    I will reiterate what I said.... If you do not clean up the fresh water entering the lagoon...all other ideas will fail...miserably!

    There will be:

    1) No easy fix
    2) No fast fix
    3 No cheap fix

    And when people come to understand that....we can move forward and make progress.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Riptide31Riptide31 Posts: 478 Deckhand
    I'd agree to redo the septic system at my house. My office already has a lift station. I'd also give up any yard fertilizer. We need a new inlet though. I doubt this problem is as bad down by SI. Diluting the current runoff would have to help
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    Riptide31 wrote: »
    I'd agree to redo the septic system at my house. My office already has a lift station. I'd also give up any yard fertilizer. We need a new inlet though. I doubt this problem is as bad down by SI. Diluting the current runoff would have to help

    That would be an incorrect assumption.... The greatest seagrass loss STARTED in the area in the flushing zone of Sebastian inlet and is at a near total loss at this point. If dilution "would help"...then why did all the grass at the inlet die?

    Seagrasses held on in the upper IR and Mosquito lagoon and in the Banana river much better till the very recent past with the last big bloom.
    That is why it is my contention that somehow the St Sebastian river is complicit in the problem down here.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Dan_DanielsDan_Daniels Posts: 134 Officer
    I suggested that on this thread and got told I was wrong :shrug Seems to me like it would at least help.. anything that restores natural flow can't possibly hurt

    The IRL, BRL, ML are mostly closed systems. The leaf litter from mangrove forests cause detritus build up which is a normal and desirable process in an oligotrophic system. The detritus actually releases more nutrient into the system so unless we are physically cutting and removing mangroves from the system they will only sequester a finite amount of nutrients before they put them right back into the system as leaf litter. Yes, if we had no coastal development i.e. no canals, causeways, shoreline disruption then maybe the natural process of marsh burning, muck oxidation, and sequestration of nutrients into plant material might have an impact if and only if the inputs stopped. So we are still back to the only long term solution being to stop or slow the nutrient inputs.

    In fact quite the opposite is most likely to be true. We need to consider adding 1000's of acres of more impoundments, flooding them with lagoon water, managing them like filter marshes, and then when they no longer can uptake nutrients then dredge/burn/oxidize and restart the process again. I'm not saying I support that type of scale of operation but the two most common "quick fixes" I keep hearing are, "cut a new inlet" and "rip down the levies". It is not and will never be that easy.
  • gatorhookgatorhook Posts: 657 Officer
    Almost 5 years later. Tax has been collected(still is). What improvements implemented have actually helped? Water quality was decent and clear until rainstorms flooded the uplands, now it's pea soup again. Best idea suggested IMO is that we need to un-develop coastal land(1000s of acres), capture the runoff with plants and then slash and burn.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 13,263 AG
    when it becomes a dead, stinking bog maybe people will no longer want to live there and when they move away it will begin to heal.    
    Like is like a Helicopter.  I do not know how to operate a Helicopter  
  • Sixth GenerationSixth Generation Posts: 490 Deckhand
    My dad fished before the causeways went in over there.  His take was the immediate decline in the lagoon he always attributed it to the causeways.  I agree with all above and think it is an overall approach needed.  I would love to see them open up a new inlet directly across from Haulover, and remove the earthen causeways and replace with bridges.
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