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Florida Institute of Technology Presents its Latest Estuary Research: A Case Study of the Indian River Lagoon System in Florida

This briefing is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon. The Eighth District of Florida is home to the Indian River Lagoon, one of the most diverse estuaries in North America and the world. Stretching 156 miles along Florida's east coast, the Indian River Lagoon is a sanctuary for nearly 4,000 species of wildlife, an economic engine for the community, and an invaluable recreational and educational resource for residents and visitors. Since estuaries are places where freshwater mixes with saltwater, preserving the delicate balance is as critical as it can be difficult. Many estuaries, including the Indian River Lagoon, are experiencing challenges like harmful algae blooms, declines in sea grass, and invasive species. These threats require our immediate attention.

Dr. John Trefry from the Florida Institute of Technology will present his research on the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) System, Florida. He has been studying this system since the early 1980s. His studies identified and mapped the distribution of muck and trace metals (mercury, lead, copper) in the lagoon. He has been active in efforts to dredge creeks along the lagoon and subsequent follow-up studies. Dr. Trefry’s research is presently focused on determining the relative importance of the following sources of nitrogen and phosphorus to the IRL: releases from muck sediments, river runoff, groundwater seepage, wastewater, fertilizer and rainfall. He is most distressed by the present condition of the Indian River Lagoon and coastal ecosystems worldwide.

Panel Moderator: Dr. Austin L. Fox, Assistant Professor of Chemical Oceanography Ocean Engineering & Sciences with the Florida Institute of Technology will also be available to speak offline with congressional and agency staff.

• Dr. John Trefry, seasoned lagoon veteran researcher, Professor of Chemical Oceanography Ocean Engineering & Sciences from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Date: June 15, 2018
Time: 12:00 – 1:30pm
Room: 2325 Rayburn House Office Building (SST Committee)

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