At 321 Boat Club we care very much about the Indian River Lagoon. The health of one of the most unique estuaries in the world is very important to us, which is why every year at the beginning of summer we like to remind our members of ways that they can help preserve this delicate ecosystem so that we can enjoy its waters for many years to come. The health of the lagoon relies upon the choices you make on and off the water. Here are just a few tips of the things you can do to keep your lagoon clean and healthy.
Introducing the Indian River Lagoon
The Indian River Lagoon makes up 30 percent of Florida’s east coast and spans 156 miles starting at the Ponce de Leon Inlet and ending at the Jupiter Inlet in West Palm Beach. This lagoon is home to more than 2,000 species of plants and animals. There is truly no other place like it in the whole world. The lagoon depends on a very fine balance to foster the life of these thousands of species. Unfortunately every year it is disturbed. When the lagoon is sick, it makes boat rental a real bummer.
What Ails the IRL?
Many things contribute to the state of the Indian River Lagoon: the time of year, the temperature of the water, even the time of day; however, one of its most frequent ailments is that of pollution. Pollutants enter the lagoon in two major ways. First, lazily discarded garbage frequently makes its way into the lagoon. Plastic bags, bottles, styrofoam, fishing line, and other debris all choke this fragile ecosystem and can cause entanglement. Another fatal form of pollution comes from chemical leakage. All canals in Brevard county lead to the lagoon, rainwater run off containing excessive fertilizers, motor oils and other chemicals have major consequences on the lagoon.
What Can You Do To Keep The Lagoon Healthy
The first step in keeping the lagoon healthy is realize that you can have a major impact. By understanding this you can begin to make small changes in your daily routines that can benefit this ecosystem and enable you to enjoy your time on your boat rental today and for many years to come.
Pick up Garbage
It is important that while you are enjoying your boat rental that you mind your trash. Wrappers from snacks, plastic bags and bottles, and food waste can easily make their way into the water. By keeping all the garbage you accumulate during your boat tour in the boat you can make an impact on the Indian River Lagoon. You can also make a difference on dry land. Any time you see garbage near the lagoon, pick it up and discard it in a trash can. This can prevent the debris from making its way into the water and potentially killing or wounding fish, dolphins, birds, and manatees that call the IRL home.
The impact that fertilizer runoff has on the lagoon is astronomical. If you really want to make a positive impact on the lagoon learn how to properly use fertilizer – it would be even better if you choose native plants that do not require fertilizers to adorn your landscaping. By learning how to properly apply this chemical to your lawn you can use only what you need. The nutrients that are not utilized by your grass will run off in rain water and leak into the lagoon. This extra nitrogen and phosphorous is just what algae craves and results in an algae bloom. When there is a ton of algae in the lagoon it needs a lot of oxygen to survive, oxygen it pulls from the water. This essentially suffocates the wildlife and is the major cause of periodic fish kills we see. Encourage your neighborhood to fertilize safely and remember that you can have an impact on the lagoon without being on the lagoon.
Living in Melbourne, Florida is an amazing blessing. It is easy to become a member of 321 boat club and rent a boat to cruise around on one of the most unique estuaries in the world. If we all work together to maintain the health of the lagoon by removing as many pollutants as possible, our time spent on the water will continue to be magical. Call us today to reserve your boat rental, and enjoy your backyard!