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RESOLUTION NO.2013- 0 4,; <br />RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF <br />COMMISSIONERS OF INDIAN RIVER <br />COUNTY <br />COUNTY, <br />FLORIDA, SUPPORTING MARTIN COUNTY AND ST. <br />LUCIE COUNTY IN THEIR EFFORTS TO REQUEST THE <br />GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA, THROUGH <br />EXECUTIVE ORDER AND/OR OTHER POWERS <br />AVAILABLE UNDER THE LAW, TO ACTIVATE ALL <br />AVAILABLE STATE AND LOCAL EMERGENCY AND <br />RELIEF RESOURCES AND MECHANISMS FOR THE <br />PROTECTION OF THE INDIAN RIVER LAGOON AND ST. <br />LUCIE ESTUARY WITHIN THEIR COUNTIES. <br />WHEREAS, the Indian River Lagoon is a diverse, shallow -water estuary <br />stretching across 40 percent of Florida's east coast; and <br />WHEREAS, the Lagoon is an important commercial and recreational fishery and <br />economic resource to the state and region. The total estimated annual economic value of the <br />lagoon is $3.7 billion, supporting 15,000 full and part-time jobs and providing recreational <br />opportunities for 11 million people per year; and <br />WHEREAS, the St. Lucie River and Estuary is an ecological jewel on Florida's <br />Treasure Coast that is integral to the environmental and economic well-being of Martin <br />County and St. Lucie County. The St. Lucie River is part of the larger Indian River Lagoon <br />system, the most diverse estuarine environment in North America with more than 4,000 plant <br />and animal species, including manatees, oysters, dolphins, sea turtles and seahorses; and <br />WHEREAS, extensive historical modifications to the St. Lucie River and its water- <br />shed have altered the hydrology of the region and as a result, heavy rainfall can bring large <br />influxes of fresh water into the St. Lucie Estuary from storm water runoff within the basin, Lake <br />Okeechobee releases or bath. The increased freshwater flows affect salinity levels and water <br />quality in the estuary, potentially causing environmental harm; and <br />WHEREAS, this runoff is causing a public health threat as microcystis aeruginosa, <br />a single -celled blue green alga, or cyanobacterium, has proliferated in the Lagoon to form <br />dense blooms, which produce multiple toxins, including liver toxins, as well as neurotoxins; <br />and <br />WHEREAS, 47,000 acres of sea grass have been killed to date in the Indian River <br />Lagoon since 2010, which far exceeds any documented or remembered events in terms of <br />geographic scale, bloom intensity and d u r a t i o n. I t is alarming because sea grass is an <br />indicator of the Lagoon's health, a food source for manatees and a nursery, refuge and a place <br />of forage for a variety of fish and other marine life; and <br />WHEREAS, fresh water discharges are killing sea life - 280 Man <br />atees, 60 Bottle- <br />nose Dolphins and 250 Brawn Pelicans have died in the Indian River since 2010; and <br />F:4lrtwneyll.tndalCiENFRAL1Resnhtlons&OrdinancesVierolutlonslLagoonSuppornng St Lucie andMartln.dacr 1 <br />