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Author Topic: THE BANANA RIVER  (Read 4441 times)

Walker D

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2013, 10:14:27 AM »

Don Dies also said something along the lines of when the superbloom started it was during a period of reduced waste water input into the Lagoon. Don't quote me on that but I am pretty sure that is what he said.

Discussions of dated septic systems in south Merritt Island and their potential contribution to the problem came up as well.

It was also mentioned that retrofitting and upgrading existing infrastructure to meet proposed water quality standards for the Lagoon in Brevard County alone would carry an estimated $800 million price tag.
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9AMdp

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2013, 04:58:02 AM »

^Not proposed standards, Legislated standards. 
Agreed upon by Brevard Co. and
all other stakeholders, municipalities, Federal, agricultural, etc.,
in the IRL/BRL Basin Management Action Plan and signed into law.

That being said, the "standard" for these actions is seagrass cover in the lagoon.
If seagrass cover is sufficient, water quality goals are met.
If insufficient, water quality goals can become more stringent. 

This program is on a 15 year cycle and we're in
the first 1/2 of the first 5 year interval of that cycle.
Much to be done.

Note that this is a first for the lagoon system;
that is, having a well defined target standard
and requirements to be met by all stakeholders.

:)
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9AMdp

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2013, 05:06:27 AM »

Here is a link to the BRL BMAP
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/watersheds/docs/bmap/banana-river-lagoon-bmap.pdf
you can find others on FDEPs site.

The TMDL (total maximum daily load) and BMAP process is Florida's
response to EPAs requirement for numeric criteria for pollutants
(nutrients and DO mostly) in surface water
and is the result of a successful lawsuit against EPA (I forgot by who  :-[ )
claiming that EPA was not properly enforcing Clean Water Act in Florida.
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9AMdp

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2013, 09:22:26 AM »

NPR article on the IRL today.  FWIW, they probably never heard of the BRL :P

http://www.npr.org/2013/09/26/223037646/with-murky-water-and-manatee-deaths-lagoon-languishes
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9AMdp

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2013, 06:37:54 AM »

Brevard Comissionser held a Workshop on the Lagoon last night in Palm Bay.
Well attended and pretty well organized. 
I think the speakers hit the mark
explaining the problems facing the lagoon. 

The public comments were OK,
and then, Diane Barile,
perhaps the Grande Dame of the Lagoon,
got up and read 'em the Riot Act. 

"QUIT TALKING AND DO SOMETHING!!!"
she told them.  Loud and clear!

Right on Diane!!!

 ;D
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Walker D

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2013, 08:53:05 AM »

I was there. Well at least until Ernie Brown finished his presentation. Didn't stick around for public comment. Not too broke up about that.

Lots of great presentations and info.

I found it interesting that Dr. Gilmore stopped short of saying that hypersaline conditions had nothing to do with problems facing the Lagoon. Citing the highest salinity measurements in the history of entire world (166ppt) came out of the Indian River Lagoon back in the 70s.

I also never would have guessed that Sea trout are dolphins main food source. Would have guessed mullet.

I still can't believe that 40% of the pollutants come from the air. WTF? I never would have guessed.

It is pretty clear that this is not a problem that can be solved soley by our local government and regulatory agencies. This is a problem that our community, as a whole, will have to participate in order to fix. There is not quick fix either. This has to be a long-term endeavour.

So 9, do you think removal of the Locks at Port Canaveral would alleviate some of the water quality issues in the Banana River?
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9AMdp

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2013, 12:13:01 PM »

Yes, the fisheries part was really good,
something I don't know enough about. (there is sooo much of that :P )
I'd alway though of "hypersaline" as maybe 45ppt or so, not 166! 
Also interesting was the tolerance range of some of our fish
wow, fresh to hypersaline with no problems? 
Osmoregulation on a crazy scale I guess.

About the locks,
yes, opening them would improve flushing and water quality
but would cause a tidal surge thru the inlet (is it designed for that?) and
also dilute the Banana that "should" be hypersaline.
Goes back to whether you want to "improve water quality" or
"preserve the Lagoon".  They can be fundamentally different. 
:)
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Walker D

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2013, 01:38:53 PM »

So how do we 'preserve the Lagoon'?

And is there an 'eco-friendly' fertilizer out there?
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9AMdp

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2013, 02:42:34 PM »

Ya, fertilizer, the low hanging fruit  :fro1: ( ??? ); that is to say,
I'd love to just required xeriscaping/no fertilizer landscaping everything but that would never fly so
a vigorous and well enforced fertilizer "ban"
may be the cheapest and quickest "fix" that can be accomplished.

1.  Outright ban in Brevard for any lawn fertilizer less than 50% slow release nitrogen and no more than 0% total phosphorus. 

2.  Require all retailers to remove all lawn fertilizer product from shelves during the "no application" period - I'd say the wet season but there's plenty of debate on that topic - I'm sticking with wet season personally. 

3.  Educate and require lawn care operators to do the same.  Limit application to 2x yearly, no liquid application, slow release granular only, at  <0.5lb N / 1000ft^2 rate unless otherwise indicated by soil test from licensed laboratory. 

Sure, there's ways around that and somebody's always gonna cheat. 

But most folks will go look, see that fertilizer's not available,
maybe see a reminder sign and say
"Oh yeah!  Gotta Save the Lagoon!  Right on!"
then wait till the appropriate time to apply.

The fertilizer industry will scream. 

Just like the auto industry did when leaded gas was outlawed,
"CARS CAN'T RUN WITHOUT LEAD!"

And then again when emission controls and catalytic converters were required,
"THEY'LL RUIN PERFORMANCE AND ECONOMY!"

So?  Buncha crap (this is about fertilizer right?) ;D

My 10yr old nissan pickup has better fuel economy, better performance
and has fewer emissions than any 70's economy car I EVER owned.

Fertilizer industry, ya, they like they way things are now, F'em.

If they want to sell fertilizer here, tell them to bring the good stuff. 
They can try to peddle that cheap, pink, Lagoon-destroying crap elsewhere. 
Yes, I'm talking about you Scotts brand. 

 :soapbox:

:)

Oh, and yes, there was exactly 1 lawn fertilizer at Lowes
last time I looked that met the specs.  Was even labeled
"BMAP compliant" for the counties down south that have actual rules. 
Sorry, I can't remember the brand right now, but is sure wasn't Scotts.
Didn't show up when I googled it either, they need advertizing help. 

:-\
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shadow

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2013, 07:34:42 PM »

Thanks for the updates fellas.

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ccb_dan

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2013, 07:20:22 AM »

Suddenly I feel dumb.
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9AMdp

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2013, 08:13:42 PM »

Haha - no way.  Actually in another discussion, there was an idea of writing a couple short paragraphs on what needs to be / can be done.
Something non-technical and short enough to get the point across.

Here's a draft for you guys to critique. Get out the red pens!
(um, how many character fit into this little box here  ??? )

The Lagoon is impaired by plant nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus entering the Lagoon.  The sources of the nutrients are either wastewater or stormwater runoff.  There is an urgent need to reduce the amount of these nutrients reaching the Lagoon and here are some of the options:

Wastewater is controlled by permitting from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and it is possible to reduce nutrient input from wastewater.  Standards could be tightened at wastewater treatment plants and industries and/or septic tank could be connected to sewer.  However, these projects have two things in common, 1) they’re expensive and 2) they’re slow to implement.  Each requires changes to Florida Law and significant capital investment; upgrading a sewage treatment plant is not cheap, nor is building miles of sewage lines to connect septic tanks.  You get the idea. 

Stormwater runoff is also controlled by rules.  Those rules basically require that if you build an impervious surface like a parking lot or roof, you need to also build a stormwater treatment system such as a pond to collect and treat stormwater running off the surface.  Unfortunately, these rules only began in the 1980s and many square miles of roads, roofs, etc. already existed by then.  An improvement would be to capture and treat all that untreated stormwater running off from pre-1980 development; however, that’s another slow and expensive process.  Land acquisition for stormwater ponds is often impractical in older, “built out” areas such as our beachside communities adding to cost as well as the time required to implement this type of project.

One of the most important things to remove from stormwater is fertilizer.  If constructing stormwater treatment is impractical, perhaps the next best thing is limiting the amount of fertilizer that ends up in the stormwater.  By changing fertilizer formulation to no-phosphorus, slow release nitrogen types, the amount of fertilizer not taken up by plants (ie running off to the Lagoon) can be reduced.  Also, limiting amount of fertilizer applied, and limiting the season of application can also reduce the amount of fertilizer ending up in the Lagoon.  These simple and practical “best management practices” are the heart of the “fertilizer ban” and are something that can be accomplished very cheaply and quickly when compared to the previous two options.

Supporting a strong fertilizer ordinance may be the quickest and most practical way of reducing the nutrient input to the Lagoon and therefore improving water quality.  The other projects described also need to be accomplished, but let’s do what cheap and possible now while we wait for these other improvements.  Help save the Lagoon, support the fertilizer ban. 


:)
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Walker D

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2013, 09:47:17 AM »

So when you say 'stormwater runoff' are you including groundwater?

Like you said I am sure fertilizer companies would fight it tooth and nail. It is disgusting to see how effective 'deep pockets' can be in lobbying against something like this. For example, the GMO labeling law that went to a vote in California. The people of California voted against GMO labeling of food items. Yes. That is correct. The most health conscience state in the U.S. voted down labeling foods with GMOs because the corporate food giants had effectively lobbied and convinced the fine citizens of California that it would drive food prices through the roof.

I agree with the fertilizer ban but I think the biggest issue would be inforcement. I see that as almost being almost impossible. I see 'lawn guys' that I can pretty much guarantee are not licensed to apply fertilizers and pesticides doing it regularly. That has been a state law (I believe) for well over 10 years now.

I think a lot of resources invested into public education could be more effective in the long term. But a ban should be in place none the less.
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slideaway

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2013, 07:20:59 AM »

What would be nice is if Black's and TruGreen and these guys picked up the baton and started advertising "best practices" for fertilizer distribution. If anyone should be well-informed and on top of this, it should be them.

Even if it would raise their costs a bit, they could offer an eco-friendly plan, which might cost more to the household but which would guarantee slow-release fertilizers, minimal spraying during rainy season, etc.

Seems like this would have the biggest immediate impact on the residential side.
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9AMdp

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Re: THE BANANA RIVER
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2013, 11:20:15 AM »

What?  No english majors want to take apart my second string,
english-as-a-second-language (I was born a Southerner) writing skills? 
Dangling prepositions or improper thats and whichs?
;D

Walker - yes, trying to keep it simple, runoff includes run-through (so to speak) :)
Slideaway - good point! Does seem like a missed opportunity for the lawncare industry doesn't it?
Live Blue with TruGreen?   8)  http://www.bluelifefl.org/


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