5 Pictures Of the "Mass Murder" in Florida's Lagoons

The most diverse body of water in the U.S., the Indian River Lagoon that spans 40% of Florida's coastline, is collapsing. Over 600 species of fish and 300 species of birds call this lagoon home, but for the past few months, hundreds of manatees, dolphins, pelicans, and fish have been washing up dead on the lagoon shore.

Biologists are trying to find a cause for the "mass murder," but the different species all seem to have died in different ways. The dolphins and pelicans have washed up emaciated, while the manatees seem to have gotten an illness that caused them to drown. Still, scientists are sure that the incidents are related, and many suspect it has to do with water pollution.

Florida has a lot of farmland, which uses vast amounts of nutrients and pesticides. Because there are no state laws on how to get rid of those additives, they are washed into nearby waterways, which then take them down to the lagoon. Increasing levels of these nutrients unbalance water acidity and saline, making them catastrophic for entire ecosystems.

Republican Governor Rick Scott is not making the situation any better. He has refused to fund a study into the matter, slashed the budgets of environmental groups in the state, and replaced professionals in Florida's Department of Environmental Protection with people invested in the polluting industries.

Already, 111 manatees, 300 pelicans, and 50 dolphins have died. 47,000 acres of sea grass beds have been destroyed, too. Scientists are estimating that it will take a decade for the lagoon to recover. If Florida continues polluting as it is now, that day may never come.

1. Dolphins Washing Up Dead:

2. Dead Manatees:

3. Dead Fish Littering the Shore:

4. Dolphins with Skin-Eating Fungal Infection:

5. Dead Turtles Found by Scientists:

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Medha Chandorkar

As a junior at Georgetown University in Washington DC, I'm studying Government, Women's and Gender Studies, and Justice and Peace Studies. I'm interested in social justice issues, particularly women's rights in the developing world, and politics. Outside of school, I love dancing and reading, and I'm a huge TV / movie buff. In the future, I hope to become a lawyer but right now, I'm just focused on the moment.

MORE FROM

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Supreme Court will hear case of baker who refused service to gay couples on religious grounds

The Supreme Court will take on the case of a bakery owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Health care opposition, Trump on Russian meddling & Pakistan tanker explosion

The important stories to get you caught up for Monday morning.

Dozens missing after tourist boat carrying more than 160 passengers sinks in Colombia

At least six people are confirmed dead and dozens more unaccounted for.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Supreme Court will hear case of baker who refused service to gay couples on religious grounds

The Supreme Court will take on the case of a bakery owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Health care opposition, Trump on Russian meddling & Pakistan tanker explosion

The important stories to get you caught up for Monday morning.

Dozens missing after tourist boat carrying more than 160 passengers sinks in Colombia

At least six people are confirmed dead and dozens more unaccounted for.