Muck Thickness and Distribution in the Indian River Lagoon 2014
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Occurrence and thickness of anoxic organic sediments (“muck”) in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), a 90 mile survey from Ft. Pierce to Titusville which also incorporated adjoining tributaries. Muck accumulation causes the depletion of sea grass directly through anoxia and smothering, and indirectly by fueling harmful algal blooms. Smothering and blooms shade grasses and prevent them from receiving sufficient light for photosynthesis. 49 percent of the stations surveyed exhibited muck. Comparing muck thickness in navigation channels from 2008 to 2014 showed an average increase of 0.5 feet.