By Lindsay Tucker, P.E., Orenco Systems and Rob Bolton, P.E., City of Vero Beach
The city of Vero Beach is located adjacent to the Indian River Lagoon (or the “IRL”) along the Atlantic Coast of Florida. According to the IRL National Estuary Program, this area “is home to a rich array of plants and animals whose existence depends on the quality of water within the Lagoon. More than 2,000 species of plants, 600 species of fish, 300 species of birds, and 53 threatened or endangered species inhabit the IRL for at least some portion of their lives, and scientists have shown the IRL to be one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in North America, with approximately 4,000 species documented to occur” (IRLNEP 2017). The environmental health of the lagoon is also essential to the economy of Florida’s east coast.