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Turkey Creek Dredging to Begin Soon

Posted on March 2, 2016

Gator Dredging, based in Clearwater, plans to begin dredging Turkey Creek sometime around Feb. 15 or Feb. 16, county officials said.

The company will remove about 230,000 cubic yards of muck sediment from Turkey Creek between the railroad bridge and the Indian River Lagoon. The $7.2 million project is funded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The dredging is intended to remove nitrogen and phosphorus in the muck that fuels harmful algae blooms. The muck also stirs up, clouding the sunlight seagrass needs to grow. Florida Tech will research the environmental impact of the dredging.

Muck — rotted plant matter, clays and soils from construction sites — has been likened to “black mayonnaise.” It blocks sunlight to seagrass and contributes to bacterial decay, which consumes oxygen in the water, causing fish kills.

Muck dredged up from Turkey Creek will go in an existing spoil site managed by the Florida Inland Navigation District just north of the creek near U.S. 1 and Robert Conlan Boulevard.

Another dredging project began last month in Cocoa Beach.

Scientists at Florida Institute of Technology estimate 5-7 million cubic yards of muck blanket the lagoon in Brevard and Indian River counties, enough to fill a football field 1,000 yards high.

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