BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – Dumpsters used to collect fish from a recent outbreak of brown tide and fish kills in Indian River Lagoon will be removed from five County park sites on Monday, signaling that coordinated efforts between county agencies and volunteers have helped eliminate much of the dead fish from the river’s shoreline and canals.
Areas between State Road 528 south to Eau Gallie Boulevard are where the majority of the fish were collected. The County coordinated a cleanup effort that involved several County departments, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Ag/Marine Unit and Brevard County inmates, St. Johns River Waterway Management and Keep Brevard Beautiful. Part of that effort included location of additional dumpsters at five park sites to make it convenient for drop-offs for property owners, volunteers and others involved in the lagoon relief effort.
On Monday, dumpsters put in place March 23 at Bicentennial Park in Cocoa Beach; Eau Gallie Boat Ramp, Melbourne; Kiwanis Island Park, Merritt Island; Kelly Park, Merritt Island; and POW/MIA at Pineda Causeway will no longer be available for collections of dead fish. Port Canaveral will also pull two dumpsters it had located off of State Road 528 as part of the cleanup response.
Officials will continue to monitor the river, however. The fish kill was caused by algae blooms that depleted oxygen levels in the water. Earlier this week, Brevard County’s Board of County Commissioners also took steps to help the long term condition of the Indian River Lagoon, including:
A request for as much as $200 million from the state for muck removal
A request to streamline the permitting process for dredging and lagoon-related environmental projects
A request for state-mandated septic tank inspections when homes are sold
A proposal to increase the County’s Tourist Development tax on hotel rooms and short-term rentals from 5 percent to 6 percent, and dedicate that increase toward lagoon projects.
Commissioners also passed a resolution declaring the lagoon as one of the county’s highest priorities.
Keep Brevard Beautiful will continue to coordinate volunteer efforts as needed, and is always looking for volunteers. KBB can be reached at (321) 631-0501.
Photo credit: Brevard Times