STUART, Fla., Sept. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ecosphere Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:ESPH), a water engineering, technology licensing and innovative U.S. manufacturing company, today announced it has filed a series of environmental patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. These patent filings teach a method to use Ecosphere's patented Ozonix® water treatment technology to increase and maintain desired oxygen levels in the C-44 Canal (St. Lucie Canal) that feeds the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon. The St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in North America, with more than 4,000 plant and animal species, including 36 endangered and threatened species. "We are proposing to use our patented Ozonix® technology to balance ORP (Oxygen Reduction Potential) levels in the Lake Okeechobee discharge canals," stated Dennis McGuire, Chairman and CEO of Ecosphere. "By setting up Ozonix® systems in fixed based strategic locations along the discharge canals as well as on Ozonix® boats to respond to specific algae blooms and low ORP areas in the river and lagoon, we have the ability to add millions of gallons of highly-oxygenated, bacteria free water per day to the discharge canals." McGuire continued, "The goal is to have highly oxygenated, bacteria-free water entering the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon to prevent toxic algae blooms from continuing to negatively impact the lagoon, its species and local residents' enjoyment of the river. We believe that we can do this through the use of our patented and proven Ozonix® technology." As part of a demonstration on September 8 th for world-renowned ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, Congressman Patrick Murphy and local Martin County officials, Ecosphere treated actual C-44 Canal water through its patented Ozonix® technology. The influent water had an average ORP of 120, which is similar to ORP levels in the Dead Sea. As a result, Ecosphere is recommending to blend highly oxidative Ozonix® treated water with the discharge canal water at ratios of approximately 1 gallon of Ozonix® water to 1,000-2,000 gallons of C-44 Canal water. Ecosphere believes that a 300-350 ORP range can be maintained across the C-44 Canal from Port Mayaca to the St. Lucie Locks using its patented and patent pending Ozonix® process. This will produce a healthy canal system that will help to restore the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie Estuary while still allowing fresh water discharges to continue as needed. Further testing with US Army Corps of Engineers officials and marine scientists would be needed to determine proper mixture ratios to maintain the most optimum ORP levels in the canal.