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The essence of this idea is simple: pumping seawater into the Indian River Lagoon and creating new holes that will allow water to circulate back to the sea, purifying or removing excess nutrients that kill the river.
But for some scientists who study the value of fish, that is not how it will work.
Some critics of this theory argue that a plan to study the construction of one or more small entrances to the Indian River Lagoon to help drain the watercourse, at worst, could negatively alter the natural balance of the port and, at best, completely waste time and money.
Fishermen, in particular, are warning that the new entrance could be in danger of changing the nature of the harbor, which is a habitat for many species, while perpetuating pollution in the southern lake, outside Sebastian Inlet, and nearby beaches.
They also say that the study diverts taxpayers’ money from solutions that can pay for the best long-term benefits to the environment.
“You pick up dirty water and try to clean up other dirty water,” said Mitch Roffer, a Melbourne Beach consultant and founder of ROFFS, a science consulting company in Miami and West Melbourne, which uses satellites to help fishermen track fish movements.
State lawmakers recently gave the Florida Institute of Technology nearly a million dollars to create a small temporary open space in the lake so that more seawater could flow into the port and help clean it up.
The idea is that if more seawater flows into the lake, it will be cleaner. Funds will be paid to design and maintain a temporary pipeline/pump/water supply system at Port Canaveral near Canada Locks. The U.S. Army Corps will approve the project, is also be reviewed by the Florida Department of Environmental Affairs.