Indian River Lagoon

Researchers say they’ve detected a potent neurotoxin in dolphins of the Indian River Lagoon during times of harmful algae blooms and also when blooms are not present.


The City of Titusville is taking water quality samples after an estimated 870,000 gallons of wastewater leaked into the Indian River Lagoon.

Worries Bloom Over Lake Okeechobee Algae

Jun 25, 2018
Amy Green/WMFE

There are new fears about algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee.

Photo courtesy Brevard County

Scientists are seeing concerning levels of algae this year in Florida's Indian River Lagoon just two years after massive blooms led to the worst fish kills on record.

Matthew Peddie/WMFE

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

Photo courtesy Brevard County

Brevard County residents are raising concerns about sewage discharged into the Indian River Lagoon after Hurricane Irma.

Proposal Would Funnel Money To Indian River Lagoon

Oct 17, 2017

At least $50 million a year of voter-approved money would go to conserving and managing the Indian River Lagoon, under a measure filed Monday by Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart.

Placards Posted To Save Indian River Dolphins

Aug 21, 2017

Biologists are posting hundreds of signs on the seawalls of the Indian River Lagoon in an effort to save dolphins. The placards caution visitors not to feed the dolphins or discard fishing gear in the lagoon.

Experts Monitor Indian River Lagoon For Signs Of Algal Blooms

Jul 19, 2017
Matthew Peddie / WMFE

Rain and hot weather are putting stress on the Indian River Lagoon.

There's a new effort to determine why green sea turtles in the Indian River Lagoon are covered with tumors. Nearly half of the green sea turtles in the Indian River Lagoon suffer from the tumors.

Kate Mansfield of the University of Central Florida says the number and range of cases are expanding. But what’s causing them is a mystery. Mansfield says all of the turtles with the tumors have a certain virus, but not every turtle with that virus has tumors. So other contributors are suspected.

St. Johns River Water Management

Fertilizer bans start Thursday throughout the Indian River Lagoon watershed.

Research Shows Link Between Environment, Dolphin Health

May 15, 2017
Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute

New research reveals the critical role the environment plays in dolphin health.


The Indian River Lagoon is repeatedly being choked with oxygen-robbing algae, its surface increasingly dotted with thousands of dead fish, manatees, birds and other creatures.

Amy Green/WMFE

A million and a half cubic yards of muck.

That’s enough to pile 300 yards high on a one-acre football field, and that’s how much Brevard County leaders want to remove from Florida’s ailing Indian River Lagoon.

Indian River Lagoon Cleanup Gets More Funding

Mar 1, 2017
Amy Green / WMFE

Cleanup for the Indian River Lagoon is getting a $24 million infusion from the state.

Brevard County

Advocates are cheering Governor Rick Scott’s proposal to spend $40 million on replacing septic tanks with sewer systems around the Indian River Lagoon.

Amy Green / WMFE

A $303 million cleanup of the Indian River Lagoon is ready for implementation after Brevard County voters overwhelming approved a half-cent sales tax funding it.

Amy Green/WMFE

Experts are monitoring patches of dead fish and algae in the northern Indian River Lagoon.

More than 50 minor fish kills have been reported in August in Brevard County.

Chris Muenzer/Flickr

Manatees are again dying from a mysterious syndrome in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

Photo courtesy Brevard County

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says an algal bloom in the St. Lucie River near the southern part of the Indian River Lagoon is not toxic.

Fertilizer Bans Take Effect Around Indian River Lagoon

Jun 2, 2016

Fertilizer bans start Wednesday in the five-county region of the Indian River Lagoon.

The bans also apply in nearly all of the region’s municipalities.

Frequent rains wash fertilizers into the lagoon, feeding the blooms that this spring triggered the worst fish kill in the lagoon in modern history.

Duane De Freese of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program says the bans are aimed at nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients at the heart of the lagoon’s problems.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Scientists have been watching a large toxic algal bloom in Lake Okeechobee.

They worry the bloom could spread from the state’s largest lake through man-made canals to coastal estuaries like the Indian River Lagoon.

Amy Green / WMFE

Rockledge is getting additional funding to remove 143 septic tanks from near the Indian River Lagoon.


Water quality in the Indian River Lagoon is slowly improving after “brown tide” algae killed thousands of fish in March in the Banana River near Marritt Island Cocoa Beach, according to Florida Today.

Water quality data taken over the past month shows improvement, the newspaper reports.

  The Indian River Lagoon stretches about 156 miles along the Florida's east coast. And it's where Laurilee Thompson has her earliest memories.

“I had a little tiny rowboat when I was 6-years-old . . . There were barnacles and oysters and sea squirts,” the Titusville resident recalled. “You know even just the pilings in  the sea walls were alive. . . the cone Jellies used to come in the spring . . . and you get this big green explosion. There were entire ecosystems just along the sea wall.”

Scientists are worried about the the rate at which bottlenose dolphins are washing up on Florida beaches, victims of mass die-offs that appear unrelated.

Something is wrong in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

Over the past year, record numbers of dolphins, manatees and pelicans have turned up dead in the 150-mile-long estuary that runs along Florida's Atlantic Coast. Bouts of algal blooms have flourished in the waters. All the signs point to an ecosystem that is seriously out of balance. The crisis has mobilized scientists, residents and elected officials in Florida.

An Ailing Lagoon

After 112 manatees, 52 dolphins and 300 pelicans died in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, researchers began looking for answers. One found a concoction of toxins on seaweed eaten by the dead manatees, but that didn’t explain why the dolphins and pelicans, which eat fish, are dying as well.

Researchers are alarmed by a massive uptick in death rates of dolphins, manatees and pelicans in the Indian River Lagoon on Florida’s east coast, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The ecosystem is one of the most diverse in the world, and scientists can’t say for sure what’s killing such a wide array of animals.