9 Investigates: New sensors yield information on dolphin, manatee deaths

Concerned people like Channel 9 news have been investigating our waterway like this Indian River Lagoon for more than 15 years and keep running into the same buzz saw, ‘the Florida Legislature.’

Because these new sensors being installed in the river by the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA), there can be no more silly disputing on the facts, lack of oxygen and nitrogen from overuse and lack of control of fertilizer among other trivial things!

ORCA had planned to map the entire intercostal waterway however, those plans may need to be scaled back.

The group was county on $1 million funding from the state however, the Legislature cut ORCA’s funding to just $250,000.

The cut in funding means private donations will have to pay for the research.

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/9-investigates-new-sensors-yielding-information-do/nm2h3/

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla.

Posted: 4:38 p.m. Friday, July 17, 2015

Something is killing dolphins and manatees in the Indian River Lagoon.

The deaths of marine life in the estuary have been a source of concern for years, but pinpointing what is causing the die-off has been difficult.

A program by the Ocean Research and Conservation Association to deploy a series of sensors across the lagoon is starting to yield some answers.

“The fact that these estuaries are becoming sick is impacting the ocean as a whole,” ORCA scientist Dr. Edie Widder said.

“Every other breath you take comes from oxygen generated by the ocean.”

Using bioluminescence from soil samples, ORCA has been able to map the southern reach of the IRL, finding alarming levels of nitrogen.

“We weren’t expecting it to look this bad,” Widder said.

In a map of Vero Beach, a series of eleven finger canals glows bright red with high levels of nitrogen.

Scientists at ORCA have traced the nitrogen back to yard clippings and fertilizer that washes into the lagoon.

ORCA has deployed dozens of what it calls “Kilroy’s” into the lagoon.

The three-legged device with a partially sea-through dome allows scientists to track pollution in the lagoon, identifying the areas that are most in need.

ORCA is currently planning to deploy another 15 Killroy’s in Brevard County, the group estimates the devices will be in place by mid-August.

“An awful lot of the pollution resides in the sediment itself, the muck that accumulates at the bottom,” Widder said.

“A lot becomes legacy pollution because it stays around in the muck.”

Mapping the IRL is the first step towards cleaning up the lagoon and restoring the habitat for marine life.

ORCA had planned to map the entire intercostal waterway however, those plans may need to be scaled back.

The group was county on $1 million funding from the state however, the Legislature cut ORCA’s funding to just $250,000.

The cut in funding means private donations will have to pay for the research.

The three-legged device with a partially sea-through dome allows scientists to track pollution in the Indian River Lagoon.

A few more sites from just one TV Station.

9 Investigates: Lawsuit filed against state over Indian River Lagoon ecosystem

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/9-investigates-lawsuit-filed-against-state-over-in/nfCT3/

9 Investigates: Dolphin deaths and the Indian River Lagoon

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/9-investigates-dolphin-deaths-and-indian-river-lag/nb6Rn/

9 Investigates: Governor, DEP respond to questions surrounding dolphin, manatee deaths lawsuit

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/9-investigates-governor-dep-respond-questions-surr/nfDBr/

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