Bad grades for state of Indian River Lagoon

The results are in for a health report on the Indian River Lagoon, and the scores aren't good. 

The Marine Resources Council says for more than three years, their employees have been crunching data to see how the lagoon has changed since the 1990s.  

“We found that conditions have gotten worse over time,” said Dr. Leesa Souto, MRC Executive Director. 

Different aspects of the lagoon, like algae and seagrass, were scored from zero to 100. Souto says a southern portion of the lagoon scored a zero for seagrass because it’s all disappeared.  

So what’s polluting the water?  Souto says one problem is failing wastewater infrastructure. Just last week, officials say an old pipe burst, sending more than 800,000 gallons of raw sewage into the lagoon. Souto says contaminants are also flowing in from connecting creeks and rivers. 

The organization says the report proves the waterway needs help. Souto says people can pressure elected officials for more water monitoring and funds for cleanup projects. Homeowners can also pitch in. 

“There’s almost two million people living in the lagoon watershed so each one of us has a responsibility to our own part on our own property to reduce the pollution coming off,” Souto said. 

MRC says it plans to produce a new report each year to track progress.