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Indian River Lagoon

Rubio, Congressional Leaders Want Indian River Lagoon Help On Behalf Of Ailing Manatees

A group of manatees is pictured in a canal where discharge from a nearby Florida Power & Light plant warms the water in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A group of manatees is pictured in a canal where discharge from a nearby Florida Power & Light plant warms the water in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is joining with 10 members of the state’s congressional delegation to call for more action on behalf of the state’s ailing manatees. 

They want to address on-going harmful algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon that have left the manatees starving for food.

Midway through 2021, some 841 manatees are dead in Florida, the most ever recorded in a single year. More than half of those fatalities are in the troubled Indian River Lagoon. 

The lagoon is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the country, but it has been plagued by harmful algae blooms that have killed off its seagrass, the manatee’s primary food.

Rubio and the other congressional leaders want the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make federal funds available to address the blooms. 

In a letter, the congressional leaders describe the manatee die-off as one of the worst mass mortality events ever to affect manatees in Florida. 

The letter is signed by several members of central Florida’s congressional delegation — Reps. Michael Waltz, Stephanie Murphy, Bill Posey and Darren Soto. 

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