PALM BAY, Fla., Oct. 19, 2016 — An additional $1.5 million for restoration work is set to benefit the Indian River Lagoon. The Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) is allocating the funding through its cooperative assistance program for the dredging of muck from the Eau Gallie River. This additional money raises the total FIND contribution to $3.9 million. Other funding partners include DEP, which is providing $20 million approved by the Legislature in 2014 and 2015, and the city of Melbourne, which contributed $50,000 for the initial feasibility study.
“We are thrilled by this additional allocation from FIND, which will go a long way toward further removing sediments from the Eau Gallie River,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “FIND has been a key partner since the beginning. We look forward to continuing to work with them on this critical restoration project.”
“FIND is pleased to be able to assist in the funding of this important navigation project,” said Jerry Sansom, Brevard commissioner to FIND. “The support of the Florida Legislature, lead by Speaker Steve Crisafulli and the outstanding community support lead by the local EGRET group, made the $20 million of additional state funds appropriated for this project possible.”
The district – which is managing the project – and its partners expect to remove at least 625,000 cubic yards of muck from the main stem of the 3.9-mile-long Eau Gallie River, as well as the southern branch of the river known as Elbow Creek.
Muck is a mix of fine-grained sediments, sand, clay and organic matter (decaying leaves, grass and other plant material) contained in untreated stormwater runoff that drains to canals and storm drains connected to the Eau Gallie River. Muck deposits from stormwater runoff is a common problem throughout the lagoon.