Fish Kill Cleanup

article by , FLORIDA TODAY

Want to do something about all the dead fish pilling up along the banks of the Indian River Lagoon?

How about putting on some gloves, bagging up some dead fish and hauling them to a local dumpster?

Today (March 23), Brevard County plans to put dumpsters at several locations, where volunteers can dispose of the dead fish washed up on the lagoon banks this week.

The locations will be as follows:

  • Bicentennial Park, 801 W Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach
  • Kiwanis Island Park, 51 Kiwanis Island Park Rd, Merritt Island
  • Kelly Park, Merritt Island, 2550 N. Banana River Drive
  • POW/MIA Park, 5995 N. U.S. 1, Melbourne, at Pineda Causeway
  • Eau Gallie Causeway (will add an extra dumpster there)

The dumpsters will be picked up daily and the fish hauled to the landfill.

The county is targeting cleanup efforts in Sykes Creek; Cocoa Beach; Snug Harbor in Cocoa Beach;  Windjammer Court in Merritt Island; and Grand Canal in Satellite Beach.

“We know that this is a public nuisance,” said Don Walker, spokesman for Brevard County. “All the fish are going to be taken to the landfill and buried … We’re not going to be able to collect them all.”

For the fish floating, in most cases it’s best to let them sink, officials said.

“We’re not encouraging people to get out in the water and collect fish ,” Walker added. “But we’re going to at least do what we can because we know it’s a public nuisance. At some point, nature takes its course and the crabs eat some of this.”

Nonetheless, the St. Johns River Water Management District plans to collect fish by boat. And the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office marine unit will have 10 to 15 inmates clean up fish in some remote areas.

“We’re looking for volunteers and working with regulatory agencies to see if they’ll help too,” Assistant County Manager Venetta Valdengo said in a release. She expects dumpsters to be put in place before the end of the day Wednesday.

State wildlife officials suspect ongoing algae blooms are depleting the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water.

The dominant species in the lagoon right now is a brown tide algae that’s been blooming for months.  But that algae also is joined by blooming species of the same green algae linked to a 2011 “superbloom” that killed of thousands of acres of lagoon seagrass.

The ongoing algae blooms are not toxic and no fish consumption advisories or recreational advisories have been issued as a result of the blooms.

Keep Brevard Beautiful can provide garbage bags, gloves and grabbers.  Our office is located at 1620 Adamson Road in Cocoa.  Please call to schedule a pickup at 321-631-0501.

For more information on the fish kill, please also see the Channel 13 News website.