Southeast
via Wikipedia

FL - There's a better, less costly way to help spur lagoon rebound

Two recent articles by FLORIDA TODAY's Jim Waymer — "Hope Sprouts Eternal," June 5, and "$1M for Indian River Lagoon Recovery," June 10 — point out that near inlets like Sebastian, there is generally a much more healthy appearance of the IRL, with noticeable sea grass growth prompted by ocean water penetration.

In the first, he writes, "Because of the ocean water surging through the inlet, marine life stands a much greater chance of rebounding here than elsewhere in the 156-mile-long lagoon.

This gives us a clue to helping the IRL seagrass and sea life, including manatees.

In the June 10 story, Waymer states that "State lawmakers gave the Florida Institute of Technology $3 million, including nearly $1 million to create a temporary opening to the Indian River Lagoon so that more ocean water can flow into the estuary and possibly help clean it up."

In the past there have been suggestions to cut a few inlets between the ocean and the IRL to flush the estuary with clean ocean water. While that would help, the logistics and cost of creating and maintaining manmade inlets are prohibitive.

I want everyone to know I have no monetary motives for my proposal. I don't sell pumps or ducting. Rather, I've been a water monitor for the Marine Resources Council, MRC, since 2006, and am strictly interested in improving the fishing in my beloved river where I started angling in 1968.

And I believe there is another way to get the same or similar results with far less cost and disruption.

I propose the state/county set up a number of pumps that run 24 hours per day with special screened inlet gates in the ocean, with heavy-duty flexible piping buried in the sand conforming to the terrain over the dunes into the IRL shoreline waters. These need not be huge pumps, as they would be electrically powered off FPL's lines running 24 hours per day and would generate millions of gallons of clean water for the estuary — as much as 40 million gallons per month. The inlets and outlets for the piping would be identified by a simple screened structure with identifying signs warning of tampering, etc.

Read more.