Photo Credit: Dennis Mayo, Saddleback Caterpillar
Have you been enjoying our changing headers? Showcase one of your Floridian nature photos by submitting them to MRC by email!
Please send only landscape orientation (horizontal) photos that are uncropped/unedited!
March 2022
Summer Camp Registration is Now Open
Join us for a fun-filled summer of exploration, science, and education! MRC's Lagoon Castaway Camp for explorers aged 8-13 offers a variety of hands-on activities that connect your camper to nature and science during four week-long sessions. New after care options are available.

Learn how to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle in our SeaPerch session, get in touch with your wild side by learning wilderness survival skills in our Survivor session, explore the countless interactions among animals in different habitats in our Circle of Life session, or gain an understanding about the mysterious natural phenomena within our world in our Earth to Sky session. Sessions are filling up already! Register now!

Detailed camp descriptions, daily schedules, and registration links are available on our website. If you have any further questions feel free to contact Allison McGinley (allison@mrcirl.org) or Bri Forté (bri@mrcirl.org). We hope to see you this summer!
Virtual 5K Fundraiser Launches Earth Day!
Register before 3/18 to receive the race shirt!
Gather the family for MRC's 1st Virtual 5K! Virtual Races allow athletes to run, walk, bike, swim anywhere in the world while contributing to the lagoon cause. YOU MUST REGISTER BEFORE MARCH 18 to receive the Kids for Conservation 5K T-shirt and race medal. Participate anytime between Earth Day, April 22, and May 22. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Participants who share and post on social media can also enter to win a $50 Target Gift Card... and more! All proceeds from the event will fund MRC's Youth Education Programs.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Ron Jon Surf Shop!

Sponsorships still available!
Please contact allison@mrcirl.org
Maggy Hurchalla - Lagoon Legend
Paddles on to bluer waters at the age of 81
Her sage advice "Don't give up!"
Maggy (Reno) Hurchalla was born in Coral Gables, Florida and grew up in the Everglades. Both of her parents were writers for the Miami Herald, reporting on the booming growth of south Florida and the resulting destruction of Florida's everglades. In the 1970's, Maggy moved to Stuart with her husband and became a Martin County commissioner. She was a voice of reason in the policy arena, an advisor for intelligent comprehensive planning, and a proponent of growth that considered long-term impacts along with short-term gains. She was an adamant explorer and protector of trees, glades, and wild places. She conducted groundbreaking research that turned the development paradigm on its head by showing that uncontrolled growth doesn’t pay for itself and is not economically sustainable. 

According to a Martin County Commissioner, “No other individual has made a bigger contribution to what Martin County looks like and feels like than Maggy has.” 

Maggy has a chapter written about her extensive efforts to restore the Everglades in “The Swamp,” by Michael Grunwald. She appeared on an episode of the T.V show “The Simpsons” with her sister Janet Reno, our Nation's first female Attorney General, and she has a park in Stuart dedicated in her honor, Maggy’s Hammock Park. 

Maggy was an eternal optimist who believed in the power of community to create true change. Her inspirational Keynote address that she gave at MRC's Midsummer's Night Gala is linked to the button below. Her speech eloquently outlines the change that is needed to save our coastal waters and reminds us that we can do it. Maggy will always be in our hearts and minds and her resounding words remain a challenge to us all as we continue what she started.

"YOU CAN’T QUIT. You can’t give up. The effort is just too important!!"

Maggy Hurchalla - 12/11/1940 - 2/19/2022
Volcanos are Erupting in the Lagoon!!
The increase of micro-plastics in coastal waters has caused many to question the use of plastics in shoreline restoration. A new partnership has emerged to test and encourage the use of inert, natural materials to build reef structures for erosion control and filter-feeder habitat. Members of the Plastic-free Restoration of Shorelines (PROS) partnership are sharing materials and methods to construct more sustainable oyster reefs.

Last month, MRC worked with the University of Florida and the City of Cocoa Beach to build oyster prisms out of concrete and jute. The prism molds and methods were designed and shared by the University of Florida as a novel method to build sustainable reefs. This month, MRC partnered with the Marine Discovery Center and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to construct oyster volcanoes which will recruit shellfish and can also secure mangroves until they establish.

So far, MRC has built 30 volcanos with the help from local elementary school students, and we have 150 more to build! Join our volunteer force to keep informed on upcoming Concrete Creations workshops!
Dub Yoga: Save The Indian River Lagoon Benefit
Saturday, March 5, 4:00 pm
Ready to yoga for the lagoon? Join this amazing DUB YOGA class with Mark Longenecker and Cocoa Beach Reggae at Marker 24 Marina this Saturday, March 5, at 4:00 pm to raise funds and awareness for improving the health of the Indian River Lagoon. Dub Yoga is a fun hour-long yoga class suitable for all levels. Mark will guide you through a unique Caribbean/reggae-infused yoga flow while DJ C-Lioness provides Dub Reggae beats!

We will have social time with more reggae before and after class with local vendors and refreshments and information and resources about how we can come together as a community to improve the condition of our local waterways.
Volunteer Spotlight - Joel Cohen
Joel Cohen has been assisting Julie Albert with MRC's Right Whale Conservation Program for the last four years. Utilizing his photography skills, Joel has introduced drone usage as a means of data collection and snapping photo-ID pictures of North Atlantic right whales. Additionally, he assists the program in a multitude of ways including attending sighting locations, assisting with "ropeless" and pop-up fishing gear research, and has flown to the northeast U.S. with Julie during the off-season to learn even more. Joel attends every right whale event that MRC conducts and has educated himself immensely in the field. He can converse with both the general public and right whale researchers alike. His passion for protecting them and contributing to the national right whale database is second to none. Marine Resources Council thanks you, Joel, for all your efforts to help educate the public about North Atlantic right whales and prevent human impacts each and every chance you get!
FWC Shares GIS Tools for Restoration and Management
In December 2020, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration Section created online tools to guide future considerations to provide the greatest conservation benefit from management, restoration and enhancement of conservation lands.

The guide assesses Florida’s publicly owned aquatic habitats and the fish and wildlife living there and recommends management, restoration and enhancement efforts. The guide is complemented by an interactive GIS storymap, which allows the user to locate priority freshwater habitat sites of interest and see how they were evaluated.

Access the Assessment guide and Interactive map through the buttons below.
Reminder to Register for Report Card Event
Join MRC on Thursday, March 10 from 12-1pm, for the first public release of the latest Indian River Lagoon Coastal Community Report Card grading water quality and habitat health. Register for this virtual event by clicking on the button below.
The Lagoon House is open to the public by appointment only

Call us at 321-725-7775 to schedule an appointment

Stay Safe Lagoon Lovers!
Events' Calendar
March 1 - Lunch & Learn: Space Coast Audubon Society
March 5 - Downtown Melbourne Botanical Fest - Rain Barrel Workshops
March 5 - Dub Yoga: Save The Indian River Lagoon Benefit
March 10 - MRC Report Card Release - Hybrid Presentation
March 12 - Boater's Exchange Spring Boating and Fishing Expo
March 26 - Malabar Community Market
Visit us at www.SaveTheIRL.org
Marine Resources Council
3275 Dixie Hwy NE, Palm Bay, FL 3905 | (321) 725-7775 | www.SaveTheIRL.org