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As Florida seagrasses wither, study shows component of urine can help with restoration

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Amy Green
/
WMFE
The Indian River Lagoon has suffered from widespread water quality problems and seagrass losses.

A new study shows that a component of human urine can help with seagrass restoration. 

The study focused on struvite, a byproduct that occurs during the wastewater treatment process. It contains nitrogen and phosphorus, which help plants grow. 

Conor MacDonnell of the University of Florida carried out the study. He says struvite can help restore seagrasses in some places, like where boats have left scars in seagrass beds.  

“Nothing is going to be a silver bullet, but it can be an important component in certain environments for drastically improving potentially the restoration of this very ecologically important but very sensitive species.” 

But he says struvite is not suitable for water bodies like the northern Indian River Lagoon, where too much nitrogen and phosphorus have caused widespread seagrass losses. 

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Amy Green