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03. Muck Removal & Dredging

Muck is the result of human impact on the Indian River Lagoon. As human population and development has grown, freshwater runoff into the lagoon has also increased, carrying with it land-based sources of nutrients and pollutants. This runoff includes soil from erosion and organic debris from sod, grass clippings, leaves and other vegetation. Decomposing algae blooms also accumulate in muck. All of these sources over time contribute to muck which now covers an estimated 15,900 acres of the lagoon bottom in Brevard County. Muck removal is the only project in the Save Our Lagoon Project Plan that is designed to remove many decades of accumulated pollutants from the lagoon. The plan focuses on dredging large deposits of muck in big, open water sites within the lagoon.  The goal of removing the muck is to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that would be released from the muck if it were to stay in the lagoon. Muck removal is expensive so projects are prioritized based on the potential for water quality improvement versus estimated removal cost.
Tags: algae, muck, runoff

11. Algal Blooms

(FDEP)  The nature of most freshwater algal bloom events makes it difficult to predict where and when a bloom will occur or how long it will last. However, lessening the negative effects of algal blooms is possible through restoration work to improve water quality by reducing nutrients. Reducing nitrogen and phosphorous levels can help decrease the intensity and duration of algal blooms.

(FDEP)  Although blue-green algae are found naturally, increases in nutrients can exacerbate the extent, duration, and intensity of blooms. Other factors that contribute to blooms include warm temperatures, reduced water flow, and lack of animals that eat algae. Although they can occur at any time, blue-green algae are most common in Florida during the summer and early fall, with high temperatures and abundant sunlight. The summer also brings storms that have the potential to deliver nutrients into waterways through stormwater runoff.

(FDEP)  Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, is a type of algae found naturally in freshwater environments.  This algae is a microorganism that functions like a plant in that it feeds through photosynthesis and derives its energy from the sun.

 

Lagoon Questions and Answers