Research Links

Indian River Lagoon - Facts and Figures, by the Harbor Branch, Florida Atlantic University The University has provided facts and figures to describe the physical features and biodiversity of the Indian River Lagoon. The IRL is an “Estuary of National Significance,” one of 28 in the nation.   It is 156 miles long and consists of 3 distinct water bodies. Discussed are plant, animal, fish and bird species which reside in the IRL watershed.  Additionally, the most serious threats to the health of the IRL include reduced water quality due to manmade hydrologic changes, non-point source pollution, loss and fragmentation of habitats, overuse/overharvest of resources, and the threat of invasive exotic species.  Click Fact sheet to read the entire research.

Hurricanes, El Niño and harmful algal blooms in two sub-tropical Florida estuaries: Direct and indirect impacts by Dr Ed Phlips, et. al. - Weather - heat & rain - can worsen conditions in the Lagoon, making our actions even more important. According to Dr. Duane De Freese of the National Estuary Program: Not good news for the Indian River Lagoon. La Niña conditions may influence the current Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) conditions in Brevard and Indian River Counties as well as the likelihood of freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie River/Estuary and southern IRL. The 2016 brown tide bloom and devastating fish kill in the Banana River coincided with a wet and late tropical storm season and La Niña. If you want to explore the science, check out the recent scientific article published by Dr Ed Phlips, Susan Badylak, Natalie G. Nelson and the Late Karl E. Havens.

Brevard County Save Our Lagoon Project Map - this Brevard County map displays the location of all the current Save Our IRL projects and their completion status.

Save Our Lagoon Project Plan - Updated 2021 - The 2021 Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Plan, outlines local projects planned to meet water quality targets and improve the health, productivity, aesthetic appeal, and economic value of the lagoon. Click here to read the 2021 Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Plan.

Water Quality Improvement by Removing Muck - (FIT, 2019) A new report, Muck Removal Efficiency plus Biological and Chemical Responses/Improvements after Dredging (Subtask 2),  largely confirms the beneficial impacts of muck dredging on the reduction of nutrients entering the Lagoon waters. Monitoring before and 3 months after dredging of Turkey Creek showed 63% of the muck was removed, including 300 metric tons of Nitrogen and 70 metric tons of Phosphorus. This resulted in a 50% decline in pollutant flux into the water and dissolved oxygen doubled 1-2 meters down in the water column. Seagrass abundance changes appeared to be dominated by seasonal effects, no significant change was attributable to dredging. Dredged muck sites showed improvements in the abundance and diversity of invertebrate benthic infauna, results for sandy and mixed sand/muck areas showed mixed results. Data did not allow conclusions to be drawn about the effect on fish.

National Estuary Program - In 1987, Congress established the National Estuary Program (NEP) as a non-regulatory, community-based program to protect and restore the water quality of estuaries. 

The Indian River Lagoon was nominated as an Estuary of National Significance and joined the NEP in 1990 under the sponsorship of the St. Johns and South Florida Water Management Districts. The Program's Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) was published in 1997 and updated in 2008










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