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EPA facing lawsuit over manatee die-off, Indian River Lagoon water quality

Chris Muenzer/Flickr
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Environmental groups say more than half of the record 1,100 manatee deaths in Florida in 2021 were related to starvation in the Indian River Lagoon.

Environmental groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency over an unprecedented manatee die-off in the Indian River Lagoon.  
The groups want the EPA to strengthen water quality standards to address nutrient pollution that has led to widespread harmful algae blooms and seagrass losses. 

A record 1,100 manatees died in Florida in 2021. The groups say more than half of the deaths were related to starvation in the Indian River Lagoon.

They say the nutrient pollution is related to wastewater treatment discharges, leaking septic systems and fertilizer runoff, among other sources. 

Earthjustice is representing the Center for Biological Diversity, Save the Manatee Club and Defenders of Wildlife in federal court in the Middle District of Florida. 

The EPA, the only defendant, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 
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Amy Green