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Estuary Caucus Lunch Briefing with the Florida Institute of Technology

  • 2325 Rayburn House Office Building (map)

Dear Colleague:

Congressional Estuary Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Posey and Bonamici, and Estuary Caucus member Representative Mast invite you to a lunch briefing to learn about Florida’s Indian River Lagoon system from Dr. John Trefry, seasoned lagoon veteran researcher, Professor of Chemical Oceanography Ocean Engineering & Sciences from the Florida Institute of Technology.

This briefing is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon.  The Eighth and Eighteenth Districts of Florida are home to the Indian River Lagoon, one of the most diverse estuaries in North America and the world.  Stretching 156 miles along Florida’s east coast, the Indian River Lagoon is a sanctuary for nearly 4,000 species of wildlife, an economic engine for the community, and an invaluable recreational and educational resource for residents and visitors.  Since estuaries are places where freshwater mixes with saltwater, preserving the delicate balance is as critical as it can be difficult.  Many estuaries, including the Indian River Lagoon, are experiencing challenges like harmful algae blooms, declines in sea grass, and invasive species.  These threats require our immediate attention. 

Briefing Speaker: Dr. Trefry has been an active researcher in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) System, Florida, since the early 1980s.  His studies identified and mapped the distribution of muck and trace metals (mercury, lead, copper) in the lagoon.  He has been active in efforts to dredge creeks along the lagoon and subsequent follow-up studies.  Dr. Trefry’s research is presently focused on determining the relative importance of the following sources of nitrogen and phosphorus to the IRL: releases from muck sediments, river runoff, groundwater seepage, wastewater, fertilizer and rainfall.  He is most distressed by the present condition of the Indian River Lagoon and coastal ecosystems worldwide.

Dr. Austin L. Fox Assistant Professor of Chemical Oceanography Ocean Engineering & Sciences with the Florida Institute of Technology will also be available to speak offline with congressional and agency staff.

Come join us on Friday, June 15th at noon to learn all about Florida Institute of Technology’s research on the Indian River Lagoon system.  The briefing will be from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in Rayburn 2325 (Science, Space and Technology Committee Room). Please RSVP to John Shelton in Congressman Posey’s office at John.Shelton@mail.house.gov