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Bad news, not so bad news

The bad news, Florida Today article

Indian River Lagoon algae blooms ramp up


The not so bad news:

"We’re not seeing anything that resembles the size or intensity of brown tide as we witnessed earlier last year"

Lets hope we make it through the summer without any major fish kills or die offs of what little seagrass we have left.

Replies

  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    It is still early. The true heat of summer has just started.
  • triplehelixtriplehelix Posts: 162 Deckhand
    The seagrass has come back in a huge way in a lot of places. It's actually really cool to see. ML, Sebastian area, even around Rockledge in the IRL. Hope it survives the summer! The drought really helped it clear up.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,925 AG
    I wouldn't spike the ball in the end zone quite yet.....
    The water in my area is starting to get that wet cement look and it will not take a lot of that to wipe out any gains made. Also, the grass that is coming in is primarily shoalgrass which is a "pioneer" specie...and not the eeelgrass that we had in abundance years ago.

    I will stay hopeful...yet realistic. After all, have we implemented any substantial work to change the issues that have caused this ? No, we have not.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • straygeckostraygecko Cocoa BeachPosts: 77 Deckhand
    Joe, I think you mean manatee grass & turtle grass, not eelgrass - don't have that in IRL Seagrasses of the Indian River Lagoon but your point is valid. We have a long way to go to see the IRL healthy. Tampa Bay took decades of work to improve. Up in my neck of the woods, the BRL around Cocoa Beach, I still see a lot of sand and a fair amount of murky water. A little south I see more clear water and decent grass coverage coming back but those are areas that didn't get hit so hard last year. I was bummed to hear the state reduced funding for the IRL, I guess because they figured we voted in our own tax so they could save some money.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,925 AG
    Yes, You are correct...turtle grass... I am mixing my freshwater and salt/brackish species .....Old age I guess ...:rotflmao


    And yes, it is a shame funding up our way was cut.... and "kinda" a shame that our Senate President ( Negron) worked so hard for his back yard ( Palm City) to get the deep water reservoir money ( although nowhere near what he wanted) to try and mitigate that crappy water sent to tide East down the St Lucie from lake O.
    It will help the south lagoon *some* ...the science says that what a 14 ft deep Res will hold...won't be squat in the "big picture" .
    I'm not sure the money could not have been better used with other projects with more wide reaching help to the system...but they didn't ask for my opinion. :grin
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • gatorhookgatorhook Posts: 657 Officer
    The truth is: if mother nature can't fix it, nothing will. Now that "you" voted for the tax, it's just $$ in the pockets of the great people we appoint to screw up our ecosystem further in the great expansion of development.
  • straygeckostraygecko Cocoa BeachPosts: 77 Deckhand
    I'm not so pessimistic. Tampa Bay has managed to restore seagrass to 1950 levels. http://www.tbep.org/pdfs/press/tampa-bay-seagrasses-meet-restoration-goal.pdf I think our citizens oversight committe has made a good start on spending the tax this year. The key will be staying involved with the groups that are helping the committee prioritizing projects and keeping the pressure up on our elected reps to keep the money from state & federal sources adding to our tax.
  • redsnducksredsnducks Posts: 51 Greenhorn
    Tampa Bay has the distinct advantage in that it is not a closed estuary - it flushes. I have been spending a lot of weekends fishing the B. River from Mathers to Sykes Creek. What may look like lots of sea grass as you drive over the river is 95% macro-algae that looks like a paddle grass. Actual sea grass is very limited. Water quality has been decent in main River but a Huge contrast to the canals which are nutrient cesspools - with houses with dark green lawns right to the edge of their sea walls.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,925 AG
    redsnducks wrote: »
    Tampa Bay has the distinct advantage in that it is not a closed estuary - it flushes. I have been spending a lot of weekends fishing the B. River from Mathers to Sykes Creek. What may look like lots of sea grass as you drive over the river is 95% macro-algae that looks like a paddle grass. Actual sea grass is very limited. Water quality has been decent in main River but a Huge contrast to the canals which are nutrient cesspools - with houses with dark green lawns right to the edge of their sea walls.

    You are correct Jim...Most people see that "grass" that looks like a Floratam lawn...and do not know it is a macro algae.
    Worse is people who don't no s**t from shine-O-la coming on websites and social media expounding on how things are getting better with proclamations of how they are seeing grass everywhere...which just takes politicians off message and on to the next "cause de celeb"
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • gatorhookgatorhook Posts: 657 Officer
    We are in rain season guys, it's flush out time for us. Whatever is in our yards and streets is flushing right into our estuary. You can throw money at it all day and night.... it is all going to continue to do so. Soon we'll have the pea soup water again. Stirring the shet up with dredging ain't gonna fix it, and the tax will surely need an assessment... which everyone will applaud the great success of the current projects. Call me a pessimist, but the fate of our ecosystem is doomed the same as Miami/S.FL. The input loads are going to increase as development continues, and the fine people who move here surely will not respect it anymore than the current. The truth hurts. Enjoy what little is left, it's all going quick.
  • straygeckostraygecko Cocoa BeachPosts: 77 Deckhand
    Its easy to be pessimistic, but a lot of people wrote off Tampa Bay when it looked like this in 1970 and stunk like s**t.



    Fortunately, not everyone wrote it off. A couple of years later a state law was passed that mandates wastewater treatment dumped into Tampa Bay have nutrient levels less than required anywhere else in the state. In 1979 Tampa's new wastewater treatment plant that produced drinkable water went live and St Pete diverted their wastewater to golf courses cutting nutrients dumped into the bay by half. It still took 15 years to see improvements and 35+ years to to get it to the incredible recovery its at today despite an enormous population growth.

    Yes, Tampa Bay is a different type of estuary with flushing the Indian River / Banana River / Mosquito Lagoon system doesn't have. That doesn't mean it can't bounce back. It means other tactics need to be employed. In addition to reducing nutrient inputs we need to remove nutrients and repopulate species that feed on algae. Thats why the IRL plan includes dredging muck and restoring oysters and clams that feed on algae. That's why we need to listen to the scientists that know the difference between seagrass and seaweed / macroalgae and that seaweed is actually a sign of the problem no matter how green it is.

    As for canal front owners and green lawns, I'm one of those. A healthy lawn absorbs nutrients reducing what makes it into the river. I don't fertilize as the lawn gets a lot of nutrients from the reclaimed water sprinkler system and still stays green. Most of my neighbors are the same way. The public education of the last few years has helped a lot. I have one neighbor that admits he used to be the kind of guy that was described in the newpaper articles as "if a little fertilizer is good, a lot is better". He rarely fertilizes now and only in the dry season and is an oyster farmer in the Brevard Zoo program. Certainly, there are some waterfront homeowners that don't care but there are a lot of us that do.

    I also have a 3 foot diameter stormwater pipe coming out of my seawall that drains the entire neighborhood. I get to fish out all the junk that gets washed down the drains from lots of houses that aren't on the water. Mostly a lot of sticks and branches from yard waste pickup day when people don't bother to clean up before it rains. Unfortunately, I can't do anything about the leaves and grass clippings. Don't assume waterfront homes are the biggest problem. There are many more homes not on the water and what they do also makes it into the river.

    So I get the pessimism about runoff. Fortunately, several of the projects approved to be funded by the tax address stormwater by reducing the nutrients in stormwater that reach the lagoon. Filtering nitrogen out of water leaving ponds for the river and simpler things like swales.

    Keep pushing to fund IRL recovery projects. Join organizations that lobby for the projects and the funding to make them happen and the scientific studies that guide which projects will help the most. Organizations like CCA Florida, Anglers for Conservation, The Brevard Zoo, Turtle Coast Sierra Club, The Sea Turtle Preservation Society and Surfrider Foundation.

    Don't expect instant results and don't let that discourage you when it feels like nothing is happening. Like TB it will be a long recovery but if y'all want decent fishing in the river in another 20 years we've got to work for it. If you declare it dead now and do nothing it truly will be dead before you know it.
  • gatorhookgatorhook Posts: 657 Officer
    This ain't Tampa Bay. This is a completely different animal with different prospects.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,925 AG
    I'm not ready to write a suicide note for me...nor the epitaph of the river.
    But, I am a realist. I don't have 20 years to wait... and so far all I see is people wanting cheap & fast.
    The sewer system...that we needed 30 years ago... may never happen because the cost is so high...and Floridians so averse to any " new taxes or fee's "... and no politician is going to fall on his sword to make it happen....even though the scientific community KNOWS it is the project that NEEDS to be done.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • DayzGonByeDayzGonBye Posts: 82 Greenhorn
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    I'm not ready to write a suicide note for me...nor the epitaph of the river.
    But, I am a realist. I don't have 20 years to wait... and so far all I see is people wanting cheap & fast.
    The sewer system...that we needed 30 years ago... may never happen because the cost is so high...and Floridians so averse to any " new taxes or fee's "... and no politician is going to fall on his sword to make it happen....even though the scientific community KNOWS it is the project that NEEDS to be done.

    Well said.
  • SizuperSizuper Posts: 293 Deckhand
    Fortunately, there are very few fish left to be killed. :(
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,925 AG
    This is a link ( I hope) to the 2015 Seagrass mapping... It is a lot of gobledeegook...but if you scroll down to the daily on water "ground truthing" of the Ariel photography...it tells the story...

    I can't seem to load it....You can go to the St Johns river water management district site...
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
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