Photo Credit - Nicole Broquet - Sunset Over the Scrub
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April 2021
A Message from the Executive Director
As our state’s water quality continues to plummet, our state representatives in Tallahassee are considering several bills that will give developers greater freedom to destroy our state’s resources. Our state leaders must realize that development doesn’t pay for itself and furthermore, that fast, unplanned, and old-school development techniques are what got us here in the first place! Our state cannot keep relying on uncontrolled growth at the expense of our natural resources. We need to start making development pay for its impacts and we need to incentive a new development regime. Low Impact Development, a proven stormwater management development technique, must be incentivized and encouraged along our coast.  Our state leaders are considering bills that will do the opposite. 
In Tallahassee, right now, our leaders are considering a bill (SB750/HB 337) that will make it impossible for local governments to impose impact fees for new development, forcing existing residents to burden the cost and paving the way (literally) for more un-sustained growth. The even more troublesome “property rights” bill (SB 1876/HB 421) disables local government enforcement of comprehensive plans and land development regulations, giving developers carte blanche ability to plow down trees, pollute waterways, and destroy natural resources. A third bill (SB 1274) reduces state oversight of Planned Urban Developments, effectively allowing developers to skirt any state regulations. The so-called Coastal Construction and Preservation bill (SB 1504/ HB1133) requires that the FDEP issue seawall permits for any property where waves come within 100 ft., further preventing the use of more natural and sustainable living shorelines for erosion control. Seawalls cause erosion downstream and eventually, they crumble into the sea and reduce coastal resilience.

We have done a lot to ensure that our Indian River Lagoon coastal community stays beautiful and productive, but we still need to do more. Write your state legislator RIGHT NOW and ask them to oppose these bills! Click here to find your State Senator and click here to find your State representative. 

Dr. Leesa Souto
Executive Director
National Volunteer Week 2021
April 18th - 24th
Volunteers are a vital part of the MRC family! Volunteers participate in all facets of work here at MRC - ranging from water quality testing, to mangrove planting, to community outreach. The effectiveness of our work and community reach is dependent upon individual and partner organizations who volunteer their time and efforts.

Thank you to all of our volunteers, we could not do it without you!
Summer Camp Amazon Wish List - Support Our Youth!
As we are preparing for our summer camp, we are reaching out to our MRC Family to help support our youth! We want to make sure that our campers have all the supplies they need to become the next generation of Lagoon Advocates. Please consider checking out our Summer Camp Wish List and purchasing an item or two!

Thank You!
A Whale of A Lot of Good News!
The 2020-21 right whale calving season added 17 new calves to the population, more than any year in the last five years. While this brings a ray of hope for a population of only about 360 individuals, there were also two losses during the season. Infinity's 2-month-old calf was killed by a boat collision off the coast of St. Augustine and Cottontail, a chronically entangled male, succumbed to his injuries. Cottontail was the whale that was tagged on February 18 of this year by MRC's Julie Albert and volunteers Jim Moir and Joel Cohen who assisted Blue World Research Institute. Until human impacts are significantly reduced or eliminated, right whales will continually face challenges. At least three of this year's mother/calf pairs have been observed in Cape Cod Bay for the feeding season. Let's hope they find an abundance of copepods, their primary prey item, and they stay safe while in their northern critical habitat area. 
May Lunch & Learn Webinar

Endangered Sawfish of Florida: Past, Present, and Future Look

Presented by Tonya Wiley
Join us for our May Lunch & Learn Webinar on the endangered sawfish! Sawfish are large shark-like rays that once were relatively common in Florida's coastal waters, including the Indian River Lagoon. Now, Florida's smalltooth sawfish is endangered and scientists are striving to learn as much as possible about this iconic and fascinating fish. During the presentation, you'll learn interesting facts about sawfish, updates on current research projects, explanations of management tools such as the Endangered Species Act, descriptions of ways you can be involved in the recovery of sawfish, and other information about the unique and endangered smalltooth sawfish! So register today to reserve your spot!

The seminar will end with a live Q&A session, but we also recommend that participants to please email any questions you might have that relate to this topic to the MRC's Nicole Broquet at by April 30th.

This is a free virtual event, but you must register to receive the zoom link and login information. If you are having technical difficulties, we will be live streaming it through the MRC's Facebook page and recording the presentation for future viewing!
Sebastian's Arbor Day & Earth Day Celebration
Location - Sebastian's Riverview Park
Date/Time - Saturday, April 24th
Time - 9AM-4PM
Come visit the MRC booth at Sebastian's Arbor Day & Earth Day Celebration! This will be a fun-filled event with children's activities and live music! MRC will showcase our mangrove restoration efforts and challenge visitors to identify the three mangroves species by just their leaves.
LagoonWatch Shout Out!
Kara Woods, LagoonWatch Coordinator, sends a special "thank you" to Prime Care Pharmacy on Babcock Street in Melbourne.
Prime Care Pharmacy gave the LagoonWatch program a great deal on replacement syringes for the test kits used by our monitors for their lagoon water quality testing.
The Lagoon House will remain closed to the public, but we are assessing the COVID-19 situation . We are still here doing the hard work of saving the Lagoon and we can be available by telephone if you need us.
Stay safe Lagoon Lovers!

Call us at 321-725-7775 to schedule an appointment.
April 22nd: Earth Day!
May 4th: Lunch & Learn Webinar - Endangered Sawfish of Florida: Past, Present, and Future Look
June 1st: Lunch & Learn Webinar - Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) Water Testing
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