On November 8, 2016 the citizens of Brevard County voted to approve a 10-year, ½ cent sales tax to implement the county’s “Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Plan” (SOIRLPP).
The plan includes a portfolio of projects to reduce primary sources of pollution (including excess fertilizer, septic system effluent, nutrient enriched reclaimed water, and stormwater); Remove historical pollution that is now accumulated in muck deposits that smother seagrass, cloud the water column, release nutrients and deplete oxygen; Restore natural stabilization and filtration systems (including oyster bars and living shorelines); and a process to monitor project implementation, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness with a volunteer Citizen Oversight Committee to Respond to monitoring data, new technology, changing conditions.
The Brevard County Board of Commissioners is currently advertising a request for proposals for the dredging of the Sykes Creek Environmental Restoration Muck Dredging Project as part of the SOIRLP Plan to improve the health and water quality of the Indian River Lagoon.
The project is the fourth project in a series of environmental restoration ‘muck’ removal projects to dredge nutrient laden material from the Indian River Lagoon. These organic-rich mucky accumulations smother benthic marine life and replace critical seagrass habitats with oxygen depleted dead zones that have contributed to numerous algae blooms and overall decline in water quality in recent years.
The environmental restoration muck dredge projects are partially funded by Florida State legislative appropriations and partially funded by the Brevard County Save Our Indian River Lagoon sales tax.
The voter approved half cent sales tax will fund over $300 million in projects intended to restore water quality within the Lagoon. As part of this plan, approximately $200 million dollars in dredge projects will be implemented over the next ten years.