Indian River Lagoon Research

Indian River Lagoon Research

A Mucked Up Lagoon

Lagoon Muck

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 Brief History of the Lagoon

News

Sustainability Professor Shows How to Have a Lagoon-Friendly Lawn
Communication Majors Create Moving Documentary About Indian River Lagoon
Student Researcher Helping to Make Lawns Lagoon Friendly
Graduate Students are Building a Solution for the Indian River Lagoon
Help Heal the Indian River Lagoon at TechCon2017: September 29, 2017
A Murky Challenge Beneath the Surface
Living Shoreline Project Installed on the Indian River Lagoon
IRLRI Host Oyster Mat Workshops for the Community

Meet our Experts

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.

Engineering Team

Ashtok Pandit, Ph.D.
Professor, Department Head
Geoffrey Swain, Ph.D.
Professor
Hal Heck, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Program Chair
Robert Weaver, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Science Team

Charles Bostater, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Emily Ralston
Research Assistant Professor
Gary Zarillo, Ph.D.
Professor
George Maul, Ph.D.
Professor
Jon Shenker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
John Trefry, Ph.D.
Professor
John Windsor, Ph.D.
Professor, Program Chair
Kelli Hunsucker, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Ken Lindeman, Ph.D.
Professor
Kevin Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor
Pallav Ray, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Richard Aronson, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Head
Richard Turner, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Steve Lazarus, Ph.D.
Professor
Thomas Belanger, Ph.D.
Professor
Spencer Fire, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Austin Fox, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Education and Outreach Team

Kelli Hunsucker, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Samantha Fowler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Thomas Marcinkowski, Ph.D.
Professor and Program Chair

Video Spotlights

How you can make a difference

 

Oyster Icon
Leaf Icon
IRLRI icon
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Lagoon Forums

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.

 Florida Sustainability Slide

Sustainability in Local Governments of East Florida: Expanding Opportunities
Ken Lindeman, Professor, sustainability Program Chair Department of Education & Interdisciplinary Studies

Why Sustainability Slide

WHY SUSTAINABILITY? Implementing a Local Sustainability ProgramPresented by: Courtney Barker and Zach Eichholz

Reports

Effectiveness of Muck Removal on Sediment and Water Quality 2016-2017

Fish MonitoringSurveys and Seagrass Transplanting Experiment 2016-2017

Impacts of Environmental Muck Dredging 2014-2015

Inputs of Nitrogen and Phosphorus from Major Tributaries to the Indian River Lag

Seagrass Monitoring 2016-2017

Wind and Microclimate Analysis for Improved Site Characterization in Support of

Contact

For questions regarding IRLRI related activities, 
call 321-674-8936

For questions regarding the IRLRI or research-based projects,
please contact one of the IRLRI Directors:

Robert Weaver, PhD: rjweaver@fit.edu 
Kevin Johnson, PhD: johnson@fit.edu 
Jon Shenker, PhD: shenker@fit.edu 


For questions regarding outreach events or communitybased projects,
please contact one of the IRLRI Outreach Coordinators:

Kelli Hunsucker,PhD: khunsucker@fit.edu