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Despite current recovery, Indian River Lagoon seagrass almost gone

Posted at 3:45 PM, Dec 27, 2018

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — After another round of freshwater discharges on the Treasure Coast, much of the St. Lucie Estuary has recovered just in time for the busy tourist season.

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Along the Indian River Lagoon, Stephen Bartes watched his son kite surf on Thursday.

"Water is beautiful," said Bartes.

Quite a recovery over the past few months.

"Quality of the water is so important," said Bartes.

But Stephen knows it’s only a partial recovery. He’s aware of what’s happening beneath the surface.

"Seagrass has been damaged severely," said Bartes.

Mark Perry with Florida’s Oceanographic Society said after this year's water woes, less than 20 percent of the seagrass remains in the Lagoon.

He points toward those freshwater discharges.

"Nursery found for a lot of fish we’re familiar with," said Perry.

Now he hopes there is some kind of a recovery in 2019.

"We need to do whatever we can to minimize those lake impacts," said Perry.

Mark’s nonprofit is working to do their part by replenishing the seagrass. But he knows it will take years for a full recovery.