Right in Florida Tech’s backyard is the Indian River Lagoon, home to more than 3,000 species of plants and animals that are suffering from a half-century of neglect and pollution. As more people have made the Space Coast their home and increased development and pressure on the lagoon, marine life has been decimated by a deadly chain reaction started from fertilizer run-off and waste water. The lagoon is now home to a massive build-up of muck, a thick mixture of nitrogen and phosphorus that resembles black tar. In some parts of the lagoon, the muck has reached epic proportions, up to 10 feet high, suffocating seagrass beds, a vital part of the lagoon’s eco-system. Muck is contributing to large scale algae blooms which consume massive amounts of oxygen, choking out marine life. Now, the lagoon is afflicted with massive die-offs fish, sea turtles, manatees and dolphins. Through concerted research efforts, Florida Tech faculty and students are developing solutions to the Indian River Lagoon’s dire situation.
A group of more than 20 faculty members with decades of scientific research experience related to the Indian River Lagoon have come together to form the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute (IRLRI). Collectively, Florida Tech scientists and engineers are developing solutions to the major issues plaguing the health of the lagoon, including muck and nutrients, lagoon flow, nutrient reduction, sediment loading, ecosystem recovery, policy and management, and engineering technologies. Part of the mission of the IRLRI also includes outreach and education to help the community and lagoon stakeholders understand the importance of IRL problems and their role in creating solutions. The IRLRI collaborates with numerous institutions and agencies along the lagoon with the common goal of improving the lagoon’s eco-system.
A series of informational forums focused on the Indian River Lagoon health, with the goal of connecting scientists, engineers, citizens, and municipalities in a joint effort to find solutions.
Sustainability in Local Governments of East Florida: Expanding Opportunities
WHY SUSTAINABILITY? Implementing a Local Sustainability ProgramPresented by: Courtney Barker and Zach Eichholz
FIT Environmental Muck Dredging Brief Summary of Key Research Findings and Recommendations
Impacts of environmental muck dredging 2014‒2015. Final Project Report to Brevard County Natural Resources Management Dept., J.G. Windsor, Jr. (Ed.), July 2016
*Funding through DEP Grant Agreement Nos. S0714 and NS005 administered by Brevard County
For questions regarding IRLRI related activities,
For questions regarding the IRLRI or research-based projects,
please contact one of the IRLRI Directors:
For questions regarding outreach events or communitybased projects,
please contact one of the IRLRI Outreach Coordinators:
Kelli Hunsucker,PhD: firstname.lastname@example.org
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