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Seagrass and Optimism Sprouting along the Indian River Lagoon

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The St. Johns River Water Management District is closely monitoring seagrass in the Indian River Lagoon.

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The lagoon has faced ongoing challenges stemming from compromised water quality and recurring harmful algal blooms, resulting in significant seagrass loss.

But, recent SJRWMD data collected in the summer of 2023, revealed an increase in seagrass since 2021, particularly in the northern IRL and southern Mosquito Lagoon.

SJRWMD Environmental Scientist Lauren Hall told us, “In the Mosquito Lagoon, we’re seeing this big increase in sea grasses. Why is that area increasing while this area is lagging behind? So, there are still a lot of studies in place and a lot of things that we’re working on to try to really understand why we’re seeing those differences.”  

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Craig Wallace, the chairman for the Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition says, " We attribute that to the fact that all the programs that we’ve been doing to restore the lagoon are actually now starting to have an impact, because we have been seeing cleaner water, less algal blooms.”

Despite those efforts, seagrass in the southern lagoon experienced a slight decline.

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Wallace told us, “So, now we’re starting to see it come back, but we’ve got a lot of extra restoration work to do.”

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