Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health News Florida

Effort Made To Restore Indian River Lagoon's Vanishing Seagrass

lagoon.jpg
Matthew Peddie/WMFE
/
Indian River Lagoon

A first-ever effort has begun to replenish the ailing Indian River Lagoon’s seagrass with new grass raised in an onshore nursery.

The seagrass was planted a year ago near the Merritt Island Airport, where a restoration was underway. It had been raised nowhere near the Indian River Lagoon, in a Tampa-area nursery.

Environmental advocate Laurilee Thompson, who also owns Titusville’s Dixie Crossroads restaurant, says recent monitoring shows the one-acre bed is thriving.

“It was functioning the way a healthy seagrass bed can function. The manatees were coming in and grazing on the grass and not affecting it. It was miraculous.”

Ongoing water quality problems have killed off some 60 percent of the 156-mile Indian River Lagoon’s seagrass in recent years. The beds serve as important nurseries for wildlife.