Human Impacts2017-12-07T02:59:37+00:00

THE LAGOON HAS HAD IT ROUGH

Although the benefits of estuaries continue to be vitally important to the economic and ecological health of Florida, the past 60 years have not been kind to the Indian River Lagoon. Unfortunately, much of the damage has resulted from ignorance of the impacts our activities have on the estuaries. Florida’s estuaries are being severely damaged by human actions.

THE IMPACTS

HABITAT LOSS

Much of the original habitat has been destroyed to make room for cities, highways, coastal communities and the other features of modern life

POLLUTION

The dumping of pollutants such as oil, gasoline, sewage and even prescription drugs are affecting estuary health and even drinking water

NUTRIENT OVER-ENRICHMENT

Fertilizers, grass clippings and leaves, and nutrients in sewage discharges or septic tank fields can stimulate excess algae growth that depletes oxygen and suffocates animals

FRESHWATER DRAINAGE

As municipal needs increase, drastic changes in water flows occur, impacting our estuaries by changing the amount of freshwater drainage

RUNOFF

Materials from human activity such as pesticides, fertilizers, oils and paints are carried with stormwater from the uplands into the estuary reducing the water quality

SILTATION

Construction work, paving of large areas, and digging of canals have changed drainage patterns resulting in an influx of soil being washed into estuaries

TRASH

Humans generate huge amounts of trash and some of it ends up in estuaries, which not only harms the water quality,
in some cases, it kills wildlife and fish

EXOTIC SPECIES

Unwanted fish and other creatures from peoples’ aquariums sometimes are dumped in streams and rivers, which can impact native species and the lagoon’s economy

SEA-LEVEL RISE

On a state and national scale, sea-level rise is becoming one of the greatest threats to the survival of estuarine habitats

WE CAN LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES

In the face of the current challenges that are affecting lagoon health, the IRLNEP developed a science-based plan to help successfully restore the ecosystem and protect the lagoon.
LEARN HOW