Communities along Indian River Lagoon look to improve water quality thanks to state funding

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — For years communities along the Indian River Lagoon have worked to find ways to restore one of Brevard’s most precious resources.

Thanks to an $800,000 grant from the Florida department of environmental protection, the City of Cocoa is planning two projects that they hope will keep thousands of pounds of nutrients out of the lagoon.


Read: DeSantis asks for $3 billion toward environmental projects in Everglades, Indian River Lagoon

One plan calls for installing 48,000 square foot floating wetlands near the North Fiske stormwater pond.

Samantha Senger with the City of Cocoa said the idea is to improve the water quality of stormwater runoff and keep watershed nutrients out of the lagoon, reducing harmful algal blooms.

“So the floating mat, the plants suck up all the nutrients, and the phosphorus that are not good for the looking before that stormwater goes to the lagoon,” Senger said.

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A second city project will help with stormwater runoff by excavating an existing pond near U.S. 1 and Forrest Avenue.

The city will then install an underground filtration system that, when combined with the wetlands, should prevent about 2500 pounds of nitrogen and 450 pounds of phosphorus from contaminating the Indian river lagoon yearly.

The City of Cocoa is not alone.

Read: DeSantis reups Florida environment pledge made 4 years ago

Thanks to the nearly 20 million dollars recently earmarked by the state, dozens of other projects by communities along the Indian River Lagoon will help to support water quality improvement.

Senger said that’s not only good for the lagoon but good for business.

“It’s good for tourism. It’s good for our environment. and so it’s a responsibility that we have as a community to be able to do our part and save in the lagoon,” she said.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.