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May 2004

KEEPING WASTEWATER OUT OF THE INDIAN RIVER LAGOON

    Our program this month takes a look at the efforts by Brevard and Indian River Counties to keep the effluent of wastewater treatment facilities out of the Indian River Lagoon.  Dick Martens, Director of the Brevard County Water Resources Department will be our guest and will give us an overview of the operation of the wastewater plant at Barefoot Bay over the last decade, and the improvements that have been made.  He will also touch upon some of the latest technologies - the created wetlands treatment facility.
    We will also have a brief presentation by Mike Hotchkiss, Capital Projects Manager of the Indian River County Utilities Department, on the created wetlands treatment facility in Indian River County, the county's reuse of wastewater, and their efforts to dispose of the effluent created by the reverse osmosis plant.
    The meeting will be on Tuesday, May 25, 7:30 PM at the North Indian River County Library in Sebastian.  All are welcome and refreshments will be served.

OYSTER MONITORING UPDATE - contributed by Frank Wegel

    We have set up a group of volunteers that are working with Dr. Bill Arnold of the Florida Marine Research Institute, to monitor the status of oysters in the St. Sebastian River.  We became very concerned a few years ago when there appeared to be a sudden and complete die-off of the oysters in the river.
    Our volunteers have set up five monitoring sites in the river.  As of April - this past month, some "spitting" oysters have been observed at four of these sites, and young oysters were at two of these.  Spawning should start shortly and we are hopeful that we will be seeing more young shortly.
    Dr. Arnold reports that there were no indications of MSX (Multinucleate Sphere X disease) in the samples he obtained.  He continues to seek funding to expand testing for MSX and Dermo (Perkinsus marinus disease) in the St. Sebastian River, and other east coast estuaries.
    (You can find more information on these diseases at the following websites. - ed.)

www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/aquaculture/msxdisease/msx_backgrounder_e.htm
www.vims.edu/env/research/shellfish/msx.html
www.mdsg.umd.edu/oysters/disease/breeding/
www.vims.edu/newsmedia/images/oyster-diseases-CB.pdf