A new monitoring program could help detect water problems quicker in the Indian River Lagoon

STUART, Fla. - There's a new tool that will help detect water problems quicker. Experts say it could one day help solve the toxic water problem we saw last year.

It's a new monitoring program by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It's a simple tactic. As the research vessel travels the Indian River Lagoon it collects and tests the water.

"So that's a good thing that they can do that on a moving basis," says Mark Perry with the Florida Oceanographic Society.

The instruments onboard measure salinity, temperature and other factors that indicate harmful algae blooms. The system uses GPS to create maps so scientists know exactly where algae is.

"Where are the high concentrations, the hot spots if you will," says Perry.

Perry adds it could help find the origin of the problem.

"Then we can trace it back to fix it at the source rather than downstream," says Perry.

Tt's also a big help to fishermen at Sandsprit Park in Stuart.

"Definitely help out the situation," says Robert Stavely.

They hope to avoid last year's toxic water problems and keep fishing.

"Everything is linked to this water around here I would say," says Stavely.

The research vessel will map the Indian River Lagoon during typical algae bloom season which is now through August.