TITUSVILLE, Florida — For the first time, a non-profit is presenting at the request of the Titusville City Commissioners about the Indian River Lagoon. 

  • Study spanned 156 miles of the Indian River Lagoon
  • Presentation made Tuesday to Titusville City Commission
  • Dr. Leesa Souto says restoring the lagoon will take years

Fish kills, stinky water and disappearing sea life are what community members like Tim Hansteine associate with the Indian River Lagoon.

"Visually I see whats going on in the water. Sometimes it's clear, sometimes it's not and sometimes it stinks,” Hansteine says. 

With Tuesday's presentation from the Marine Resources Council during the Titusville City Commission meeting, they are hoping to understand why and come up with a solution. 

Executive Director Dr. Leesa Souto from Marine Resources Council said there are clear indicators but the exact cause is unknown for now. 

"Phosphorus, another nutrient has increased. That increase happened about the same time the algae bloom started to get worse," Souto said. 

The presentation took three years to put together, costing more than $200,000 and data collected from the past 20 years. The study spans 156 miles of the lagoon.

But there are still more questions than answers.

"When are we going to be able to swim again, when are we going to eat oysters again?" Souto said.

Souto said restoring the lagoon will take years, and there's still hope one can eliminate the use of fertilizers and upgrade to higher efficiency septic tanks.

Earlier this month, Brevard County commissioners unanimously backed a major overhaul of the county's septic tank rules, in an effort to reduce harmful nitrogen by requiring higher efficiency septic tanks for new developers near the lagoon.