Florida’s building boom threatens wildlife-rich lagoon

The most biologically diverse waterway in America is seriously ill. The Indian River Lagoon is repeatedly being choked with oxygen-robbing algae, its surface increasingly dotted with thousands of dead fish, manatees, birds and other creatures. The culprits: farm runoff and a huge influx of people that has sent lawn fertilizer and other pollutants into the lagoon, which runs 156 miles along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, almost to Palm Beach, and includes the Cape Canaveral area. “It’s the death by a thousand cuts,” said Bob Knight, an environmental scientist with the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute who has studied Florida’s waters for 40 years. The lagoon’s woes threaten the region’s $2.5 billion recreation, fishing and tourism economy, alarming kayak tour operators, charter boat captains, restaurateurs and organizers of bird-watching festivals. click here to read the story 19:48