– Dr. John Trefry, Florida Tech professor of environmental science and oceanography, has earned a $95,000 grant from the St. Johns River Water Management
District for Indian River Lagoon research.
Trefry will work to identify the types of particles blocking the light in the lagoon that contribute to a decline in sea grass. He will conduct chemical
analysis and study the particles under an electronic microscope to identify the sources of suspended sediment at five different sites in the lagoon,
including Mosquito Lagoon, Turkey Creek and Vero Beach .
“Possible sources of the sediment are incoming clay and vegetative material from the creeks, re-suspended sediment from the lagoon, or particles from
vegetation and plankton produced in the lagoon,” he said. “Our study results will assist in management decisions about future waste-load controls for the
Sea grass is a vital element in the lagoon’s food chain. Its presence is essential to a healthy aquatic ecosystem.
Trefry, who earned the prestigious 2002 gold medal from the Florida Academy of Sciences, has a 25-year history of studying potential environmental impacts
from offshore oil exploration and production. He also co-discovered deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic Ocean . Before this find, the vents were
thought to exist only in the Pacific.