May 10, 2022
ATLANTA (May 10, 2022) — Today, EPA’s Southeast region held a press call reaffirming the agency’s commitment to improving water quality in and around the Indian River Lagoon. The EPA recognizes that manatees are a keystone species for the coastal ecosystem, and their health and behavior are alerting us to water quality changes.
“The EPA is very concerned that degraded water quality in the Indian River Lagoon is contributing to sea grass loss and other factors affecting the long-term survival of manatee and other species,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. “The Unusual Mortality Event that is claiming the lives of so many manatees highlights the need for accelerated action by the state of Florida to control nutrients reaching the Indian River Lagoon watershed.”
In the coming weeks, EPA will continue to meet with Florida, other federal agencies and the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program to make progress towards this goal. EPA, along with our partners, will leverage resources and expertise to look for opportunities to enhance or accelerate actions that will improve water quality in the Indian River Lagoon.
As we approach the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the EPA is more than ever committed to following the science to improve water quality and tackle the environmental challenges facing this treasured ecosystem.