Posted by CCA Florida
Last Updated: 15 June 2016
On June 11, 2016, CCA Florida was a proud participant in the first ever Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Compact Summit in Melbourne, Florida. The summit was termed a "historic moment" by Dr. Duane DeFreese, Executive Director of the IRL National Estuary Program and pioneer of the "One Lagoon - One Community - One Voice" perspective. Municipal officials from the Treasure Coast and Space Coast joined together with representatives from Volusia County and Martin County, CCA, and members of the general public to work on finding and implementing solutions to begin cleaning up the 156 mile long IRL within the next year.
The IRL summit is one of the results of the IRL Regional Compact, in which theSpace Coast and Treasure Coast League of Cities Board of Directors voted unanimously to enter into in April 2016. The IRL Regional Compact is designed to address the concerns of the local residents at the grassroots level and provide a feasible plan for cities to restore the lagoon. The summit began with welcoming remarks and presentations on the four critical impact areas of the lagoon cleanup:
- Reduce: Surface/Ground Water, (Virginia Barker),
- Remove: Muck Removal, (Dr. John Windsor),
- Restore: Filter Feeder Restoration and Living Shorelines, (Dr. Duane DeFreese), and
- Research: Public Education and Awareness (Dr. Leesa Souto).
After the presentations, the 100 or so attendees split up into four groups and worked together on actions plans for the cities to implement within the next year. Some of the ideas discussed in detail by the four working groups included funding options for muck dredging, septic to sewer transitions, speeding up federal permitting, enforcing the fertilizer bans in place from June 1 to September 30, signage and/or personnel at box stores explaining fertilizer bans and various fertilizer options, increasing street sweeping, and increasing habitat restoration and living shorelines projects.
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