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Topic Title: Salt-water intrusion vs. Opening the locks at the port.
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Created On: 04/07/2018 04:28 PM
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 04/07/2018 04:28 PM
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RocketSurf

Posts: 252
Joined: 03/20/2014

In the late 60's my Dad fought hard to stop the cross Florida barge canal. As vice-president of the local Audubon chapter, this was a major focus for my father. I remember the main concern was the salt-water intrusion. Lately, in the local news, I have seen the idea of opening the Canaveral locks during incoming tide to help flush the IRL. There are a lot of guys on this forum that have a good knowledge of our waterways and I would like to ask them if opening the locks is a viable solution.....I understand that a salt-water canal running through Ocala would be devastating but putting salt-water into the brackish water of the IRL might be just what it needs.....
 04/07/2018 04:44 PM
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spindrift

Posts: 107
Joined: 10/28/2016

Open the damn lock.
Anyone been on the river in the sebastian inlet area or ponce area lately? Way healthier....
I want to revive the idea for another inlet by taco city.
Or pineda causeway. The pafb land is already govt owned.

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spindrift

 04/08/2018 04:43 AM
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dingpatch

Posts: 12634
Joined: 07/24/2003

Ummmmm, , , , , Catch 22, , , , ,

While it seems to be a "no brainer" in regard to "flushing" the IRL, , , , ,

The fact is that over the past many years we have generally not received enough rain (and consequent run off), , , , , , resulting in the IRL being too salty to begin with.

The IRL is a "brackish" environ, not salt.
 04/08/2018 06:24 AM
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Sparky

Posts: 3883
Joined: 02/09/2005

I often wonder how a tide would affect the lagoon. If we create a a tide in the lagoon we basically will never have a lagoon again I guess. Maybe rename Banana and Indian Bay? Might be the only hope to have any decent water quality again. I imagine it would expose a lot more homes to potential storm surge and a lot of canals might not be navigable anymore.

 We definitely have a complex problem way above my intelligence level. I think we have to bite the bullet and do some massive upgrades to the sewer system. Maybe some tech to apply to existing sewers and septic systems? Perhaps filter systems?

I am afraid it's just going to get political like everything else and nothing will get done except waste a bunch of money.

To all the people who think opening the locks will help. Which again it may. Explain why the grass is all dead near Sebastian? Sure they have more grass than up here in central Brevard but nothing like it was.

 04/08/2018 06:54 AM
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dingpatch

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Joined: 07/24/2003

Way back when, , , , , we moved to Eau Gallie in 1956, , , , ,

The Indian River was fairly clear and quite swimmable. In the middle of the old swing bridges (Eau Gallie & Melbourne causeways) you could generally see the bottom of the channel. One day, while in the middle of the "Swing" we looked down and watched an aprox 12 FT sawfish swimming along the bottom of the channel.

Shrimping was unreal back then. I'd go with my father and some of the other neighborhood gentlemen. We'de take two galvanized trash cans and head to the old ice plant. If it was not open they had a vending machine where for a quarter-or-two you'd get a block of ice. There were always a couple "old boys" hanging around with their ice picks who would chip the ice for you for another quarter-or-two. One trash can would be pretty much filled with chipped ice and off we'de go tp the causways. Back then there were no aluminum poles; perhaps if you were rich enough, but way too expensive for most shrimpers, so everybody used bamboo poles. Now the "nets" where another thing! A lot of guys used plain old netting. But, the old-timers used "nets" made from chicken wire. You see, when the shrimp were running "thick", if you were using a net made from regular netting, the load would be too heavy to pull up repeatedly and you'd wear yourself out! The chicken wire allowed a lot of the "little" shrimp to escape so you were only pulling up the bigger shrimp! Pull up a load, put them in the trash can, cover with a layer of ice, go for another "dip". When the trash can was full, back to home where everybody started popping heads off, if that had not already been done on the bridge. There were many nights when the huge white shrimp were running; almost a pound each.

At times the blue crabs made shrimping almost impossible, the crabs would be so thick that they would form rafts under the kerosene lanterns that were hung down over the water.

Edited: 04/08/2018 at 10:40 AM by dingpatch
 04/08/2018 07:27 AM
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garcia

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Opening another inlet or the locks to flush the IRL would just be turning the ocean into our toilet and would be an extension of the same thought process that made the IRL what it is today. "It's only a little bit of sh_t and the water body is so big, let's just put it there. Problem solved." Sure the ocean would hide it for a while, maybe a long while, but, not forever. (Watch "Soylent Green" for a take on what happens when the oceans die.) The answer is to fix the problems, not hide them. Get these homes off septic tanks, quit flushing the middle of the state into the IRL AND quit fertilizing in the water shed. The answer is NOT "clean" septic tanks, there is no such thing. The answer to issue one is NO septic tanks. And, each homeowner should have to pay for their conversion. I have been paying to treat my sewage for 40 years at about $35/month (about $17,000 overall) plus the hookup fee (if I recall it was couple of thousand dollars). I don't mind floating a bond for the conversions and letting the homeowner finance at a low interest rate, but, I am against giving them the money (ie, me paying them) to convert. They have been getting a free ride for far too long. Each constituency wants to point the finger at the other and say they are the problem. The truth is that each are equally culpable and each must be addressed, but, not necessarily simultaneously. Everybody wants to wait to address their problem until the others are addressed. That will get us nowhere. While fertilization is the easiest, septic to sewer conversion is easier and less expensive than the watershed issue and, while it will take years and millions of dollars, it can be started almost immediately.
 04/08/2018 07:30 AM
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garcia

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And, my parents paid to City of Melbourne treat my sewage for my first 23 years (another $10,000). So, almost $30,000 has been paid to Melbourne to treat my poop. Septic tanks only treat bacteria, they do not treat nutrients even when functioning optimally. (I know about UV treatment, etc, but, there are issues with that, too.)
 04/08/2018 08:34 AM
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Sparky

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 I cannot comment on the tech of sewage treatment. I also agree using the ocean is a bad idea too. The cities/counties are no making a valid argument to connect to sewer when they are having trouble dealing with the existing.

Like it or not development is not going to stop and the cities/counties have made plenty off of development fees.

 04/08/2018 08:48 AM
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GreenLantern

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sewage treatment ?
doesn't melbourne have injection wells?
not sure how good/bad they are or if its really healthy for mother earth
 04/08/2018 09:41 AM
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spindrift

Posts: 107
Joined: 10/28/2016

Another great discussion folks.
Im on the rivers coupla days a week. The water level fluctuates up and down by several feet every week or so. I dont think it's due to rain, and certainly not tides.
Does the water management district dump water from the st johns periodically? Other explanations?

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spindrift

 04/08/2018 10:41 AM
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dingpatch

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Tides
 04/09/2018 04:24 AM
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worksuxgetsponsered

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The IRL is a low flow ecosystem by natural design, if you start flushing it, it will be fundamentally changed.

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 04/09/2018 05:20 AM
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tom

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Joined: 07/25/2003

Garcia and Worksux are on it.

 

As I understand the proposal currently:

The Port area would be used as a 1-way valve to introduce clean seawater

to the north Banana River pushing the mess down through the central IRL

and out Sebastian Inlet.  Biology, restoration vs engineering, etc. set aside,

I just can't see this as a really good plan.

 

I thought we learned back in the '70's that

"The solution to pollution is NOT dilution", rather,

it's reduce, reuse, recycle.  

In this case, it's reduce the load of nutrient nitrogen and phosphorus to the Lagoon.

 

Simplistically, there are three sources of these nutrients: 1) atmospheric deposition, 2) wastewater, 3) fertilizer.  Need to work on all three but,

In order of toughest and most expensive to cheapest, fastest, easiest:

1) Atmospheric deposition is tough, can't wrap the Lagoon in cellophane so set it aside for the moment.

2) Yes, we can clean up wastewater by upgrading treatment, getting rid of septic, setting standards for nutrients in reuse water (right, there are none), but these are slow and expensive, and lets face it, it's not a sexy problem that anybody want's to champion. 

3) So for a start, how about just quit using ornamental fertilizer.  Ag and some uses (like ball fields for example) need fertilizer.  The rest of the fertilizer is just not needed and if you think about it and it's pretty cheap to not fertilize   And simple too, you might be doing it right now.....   

So, 1) be cheap and lazy and quit using fertilizer (yes you!) and 2) lobby the IRL NEP and other governmental entities (County) to upgrade sewer, tie in septic and regulate nutrients in reuse water (yes, you again).  

just 2cents worth 

 

 04/09/2018 06:18 AM
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stokedpanda

Posts: 3260
Joined: 09/04/2015

Yea I have heard this wont work because the lagoon needs clean FRESH water, yet most the fresh water we get is not clean.

Hate to say it as I love the place, but the CB golf course and its neighbor the poo-plant cant be helping. Also all the waterfront homes fertilizer.....

I wonder if someone could figure out what amount of yards, condos, parks etc would need to quit using fertilizer to put a noticeable dent in it.....visual and tangible goals help motivate nay sayers

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 04/09/2018 06:35 AM
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Cole

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Joined: 07/22/2003

The lock is used to keep the port free of sand or at least slow it down, so keeping it open is a non starter; too much money at stake. The bridges are choke points too, so something would have to be done to increase flow. What ever the issue, it will take more than local money to solve the problem.

I have taken Tom's route of no fertilizer and my yard looks like it. I need some help on local, drought tolerant vegetation, does anyone have a suggestion?

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 04/09/2018 06:38 AM
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Pagerow

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Another thing to think of is the natural filters of the IRL.

If you go down to Vero and Ft. Pierce, they have kept the mangrove trees almost everywhere; even in the marinas.
They line almost every inch of the IRL coastline down there.

But up here, they are treated as invasive trees, and "blocking my view" of the water.

It's not the only solution, but IMHO, the trees greatly help the water filtration process.
 04/09/2018 06:41 AM
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DaveFL76

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Originally posted by: tom As I understand the proposal currently:

The Port area would be used as a 1-way valve to introduce clean seawater

to the north Banana River pushing the mess down through the central IRL

and out Sebastian Inlet.  Biology, restoration vs engineering, etc. set aside,

I just can't see this as a really good plan.

Looking at the Google Maps, it appears that if the locks were open at the Port, all of the water would be eventually pushed South through the narrow Mather's bridge area. It might help clear up the Banana River, but I can't see how it'd really help the IRL.
 04/09/2018 07:43 AM
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StirfryMcflurry

Posts: 1194
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Originally posted by: Cole  I need some help on local, drought tolerant vegetation, does anyone have a suggestion?

 

succulents are the answer yer lookin for.

 

Too bad you're not in Cali.

 

they pay you to tear up your yard, and plant em.

 



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Music Explained as Science and as Art and Considered in its Analog Relationship with Religious Mysteries, Ancient Mythology and the History of the Earth

 04/09/2018 10:52 AM
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TeeBirdForever

Posts: 95
Joined: 08/21/2016

Glad we have worksux and tom on the case.

Calling scombrid too.

 04/09/2018 11:11 AM
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somebodyelse

Posts: 5833
Joined: 06/29/2006

The IRL is a low flow ecosystem by natural design, if you start flushing it, it will be fundamentally changed

 

The 'natural' state of the lagoon is where the dunes are breached by hurricanes which open large areas of the lagoon directly to the Ocean, those breaches fill with sand, more breaches are made. etc...

The Natural state is where every couple years the entire lagoon gets opened to the ocean and flushed out. Instead of a continual island from the Cape to Vero, it should be a series of Islands. Opening another or several more inlets is more Natural than the closed cesspool we have now.

 



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