IRLO research and education activities are being enhanced by the deployment of an estuarine observation network of land/ocean biogeochemical observatory (LOBO) units and weather sensors to provide real-time, high-accuracy and high-resolution water quality/weather data through a dedicated interactive website.
We have ten IRLON sites in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and St. Lucie Estuary (SLE). Four sites in Indian River County and St. Lucie County are made possible by funding from FAU Harbor Branch , a grant from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation , and grants from Florida's Save Our Seas specialty license plate. Five sites in the St. Lucie Estuary (SLE) and nearby IRL are funded by the 2014 State Legislative Budget through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP ). A tenth site, made possible by the South Florida Water Management District, is located in the SLE near the St. Lucie (C-44) Canal. All of these sites are ecologically important because of the dynamic interface between oceanic water from the inlets with freshwater inputs from rivers, canals, and Lake Okeechobee.
This strategic placement of the units at ten sites in the IRL and SLE was determined following a technical workshop with interested stakeholders comprising the Indian River Lagoon Observatory’s Science and Technology Advisory Committee, with representatives from Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin counties; agencies: South Florida Water Management District, St. Johns River Water Management District, FDEP, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; organizations: IRL National Estuary Program, Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida Oceanographic Society, and Ocean Research and Conservation Association; other universities: Florida Institute of Technology and University of Florida; and other interested stakeholders. The resulting plan is availablehere
. Information on our SLE network, supported through FDEP, is available here.