Straight Talk: Indian River Lagoon Forum, Feb. 26, 2019

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Concerns are frequently expressed by area residents who are unaware of the many projects underway to restore and protect Our Lagoon. This FREE FORUM is intended to provide an overview of the current and planned projects and to provide answers to the concerned public.

Brevard County updates the Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Plan annually to respond to new scientific information, technologies, project opportunities and needs of the Indian River Lagoon. On January 18, 2019, the Citizen Oversight Committee recommended a plan update with 23 new project proposals and reprioritization of wastewater, septic and muck removal projects. The proposed 2019 Update reapportions funds between project types, most notably a $30 million increase for human waste related projects, a $27 million increase in stormwater projects, and a $37 million decrease in muck removal projects offset by a $21 million increase to provide interstitial water treatment for all dredging projects. The 2019 Plan Update will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners on February 12, 2019, for their consideration of approval.

Dr. Robert Weaver of the Florida Institute of Technology IRL Research Institute and M. J. Waters of the Brevard IRL Coaltion will provide opening remarks. County Commissioner Bryan Lober, the Brevard County Represenative to the IRL NEP Council has agreed to particiapte in this event. His role should be announced soon.

Virginia Barker, Director of Brevard County Natural Resources Department, will present a summary of this updated plan and will highlight the changes. A public question and answer session will follow her presentation to allow further discussion of important elements of this update and the efforts to restore and protect Our Lagoon. A panel of knowledgeable persons will provide answers to these questions.

Dr. Duane De Freese, Executvie Director of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, will provide an update of the Lagoon efforts across the entire 150 mile length. This organization is completing an update to the Comprehensive Conservation and Manangement Plan.

An important way to help the Indian River Lagoon is simply by getting informed about the work that is underway. Yoiu can then share accurate information with your friends and family, and you can speak up as an informed advocate if you believe that other efforts are needed.

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