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Living Waters: Aquatic Preserves of Florida Quick Topics

Indian River - Malabar to Vero Beach Aquatic Preserve Segment - Transcript

The Indian River � Malabar to Vero Beach Aquatic Preserve is a transition area between the temperate and subtropical climate zones, creating habitat for great biological diversity. The northern section of the Indian River Lagoon is a one hundred fifty six mile long estuary that spans from Ponce de Leon Inlet in the north to Jupiter Inlet in the south.

Steve Williams, an Environmental Specialist for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection explains the importance of their research and studies on seagrasses, conducted by the aquatic preserve staff.

Indian River Cloud

Indian River Cloud
Photo: Clyde Butcher

Steve Williams:
We have pre-established seagrass transects and they were based on proximity of the mouth of the Sebastian (River) and the first thing we do is we establish a line, a measured line. And we will take out a measuring tape, and we set that tape out based on twenty meter intervals. We set down a grid and a grid is one meter by one meter, a pvc square, and is subdivided into ten centimeter square cells. With that, we set down the grid and the transect and we look at the abundance of the seagrass as well as the abundance of each species present and we also count the amount of cells that it occurs in. That way we kind of get an idea of how well its areal distribution is. If it�s just a few cells with a lot of grass or numerous cells with a little bit of grass, it gives us an idea of the areal coverage. And we continue along the line until we�ve gotten to the deepest edge of grass.

Their research suggests a strong correlating link between the quality of health in the lagoon and the amount of successfully established seagrass beds in the lagoon.

Steve Williams:
Recently we have run across boaters and fishermen who are very curious as to what we are doing. When we have explained the aquatic preserve program, our goals and objectives, they get really excited, because they know that there is something being done to help maintain the aquatic preserves for their particular body of water. They know that there is something is being done so that not only today, but tomorrow, and well into the future, there are going to be the resources they can continue to use. And to me, knowing that in fifty or one hundred years this area is going to be essentially the same, because of the work that I and others have done. To me it makes me feel really good just to know that we are still going to have resources.












Last updated: August 12, 2016

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