MELBOURNE, Fla. - Kevin Johnson is a professor of oceanography and environmental science at Florida Tech. Johnson and his students are looking at the Indian River Lagoon as its experiencing algae bloom and accompanying fish kills.
"These little small-celled algae blooms, whether it’s Aureoumbra [lagunensis] -- the 'brown tide' -- or some of these other greener looking microplankton, can last for quite a while," Johnson explained. "They can be very persistent because they’re small cells, they don’t need a lot of nutrients to keep going.
Earlier this year, Brevard County approved spending more than $55 million generated by a local sales tax to help restore the Indian River Lagoon. One of the biggest priorities is converting houses with septic systems to sewer service.
Johnson says that could help in the long-run, but not anytime soon.
"If the water goes anoxic -- or lacks oxygen -- those animals will suffocate and that’s when we get a fish kill," he added.
Stormwater treatment is another priority.