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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Let’s see if culverts can regulate salinity



by Nelo Freijomel,
 Stuart | page A6, 27 Jan 2015

Let’s see if culverts can regulate salinity

Recent letters have merit in suggesting the use of culverts to help flush out the Indian River Lagoon between the inlets. Regulated culverts between the two main inlets would contribute additional flushing action along the entire lagoon.

Money from programs already in place such as Amendment 1 could be used to install a series of culverts to bring in seawater between the inlets. Consider the positive impact that additional seawater in the lagoon would have on sea grasses and marine species that use it for spawning grounds. The culverts could also be regulated to let in seawater as needed, with flow reduced when less salinity is required to offset the influx of polluted water.

If accomplished with planning, and a strong determination to make it work, this approach could become the norm rather than the exception. This could be applied not only to the Treasure Coast but also in numerous seaside communities nationwide where inland waterways are subject to pollution and degradation due to an influx of polluted or untreated fresh water.

After 50 years of trying to reduce the effects of damaging water in the lagoon, it’s time to try something new. Install one culvert and study the effects it has on the surrounding habitat. A test program would be worth the effort to see if this new and innovative approach has merit. 

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