Photo Credit: Lorelei Edrosa
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.
May 2022
Volcanoes Erupting in Florida's Estuaries!
MRC is thrilled to partner with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to develop plastic-free shoreline restoration solutions. In April, MRC volunteers created 175 oyster volcanoes made out of pH-balanced concrete and jute for FWC to install along estuaries along Florida's east coast at North Peninsula State Park in Ormond by the Sea, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area in Flagler Beach, and Washington Oaks Gardens State Park in Palm Coast, stabilizing a total of 1,500 feet of shoreline! These parks are not only critical estuarine habitats, but are popular recreational attractions boosting the local economy. The oyster reefs, spartina marsh, and mangrove fringe created by installing volcanoes provide resilience, protect against the effects of sea level rise, and demonstrate the importance of living shorelines. They provide a more sustainable solution to shoreline protection and erosion control than sea walls!

Look for more oyster volcanoes coming to a lagoon near you!
Marine Resources Council accepted into
Forbes Nonprofit Council
Dr. Leesa Souto, Executive Director of MRC has been accepted into the Forbes Nonprofit Council. This community for chief executives of successful nonprofits is by invitation-only; executives are vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of their experience.

The mission of the Forbes Council is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network that helps every member grow professionally and make an even greater impact on the business world. As a member of the Council, Leesa will be invited to work with a professional editorial team to share her expert insights in original business articles on, and contribute to published Q&A panels alongside other experts.

“It is exciting to participate in an international nonprofit community that is facilitated through the Forbes Councils,” said Dr. Souto, “We can share experiences and learn from others, expanding our capabilities and leadership for our lagoon community.”
Snow Cone makes it to Cape Cod!
As the right whale calving season came to an early close at the end of February, our minds were on Snow Cone and her new calf. Snow Cone is the only North Atlantic right whale documented that has gone through a pregnancy and birth while entangled in commercial fishing gear. When last spotted in the calving ground, she had rope embedded in her rostrum (top of her head) and through her baleen. Her calf appeared healthy and she was holding up remarkably well.

On April 23rd and 24th, Snow Cone and her calf were spotted on the Atlantic side of Cape Cod by aerial observers from the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS). She appeared to be actively feeding and her condition had not noticeably changed. She still carries the embedded rope and the CCS disentanglement team is ready to respond if needed. After a northward journey from Florida of more than 1000 miles over nine weeks, she and her calf safely made it to the feeding grounds with no injuries to report. For researchers, it is always a relief to see the new calves of the season entering the northeast feeding grounds with their mothers. To date, at least half of this year's 15 new calves have successfully made the journey.
Posh Beauty Lounge Donates $5,000 to MRC
MRC Executive Director Dr. Leesa Souto accepts a $5,000 donation from Sharon Medina, Posh Beauty Lounge, 1708 S. Babcock St., Melbourne, and her team. Their clientele made the Posh team aware of MRC and its mission to restore balance to the Indian River Lagoon and encouraged them to direct their fundraising to us. Thank you, Posh!
Avian Influenza in Florida
FWC is testing for avian influenza in the counties shown above. Species clinically affected so far include lesser scaup, royal tern, black vulture, and bald eagle. There are tests pending for pelicans, herring gulls, crows, and screech owls.

To prevent the spread, avoid handling sick or dead wildlife, and do not allow contact between domesticated and wild birds. Please report any dead birds to FWC so they may continue to test the birds and monitor the situation, at
Lagoon-y Tunes!
Join MRC at this family-friendly event to help raise awareness and funds to fuel our mission to improve the health of the Indian River Lagoon. The goal is to raise over $5,000 through performer donations and individual contributions! There will be games, prizes and performances from local celebrities! Sing to save the seagrass!
Camp is filling up fast!
Come join the MRC for outdoor learning and fun at the Lagoon Castaway Camp! Open to explorers aged 8-13, our summer camp offers a variety of hands-on activities designed to connect your camper to nature and science.

Learn how to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle in our SeaPerch sessions, get in touch with your wild side by learning wilderness survival skills in our Survivor sessions, explore the countless interactions among animals in different habitats in our Circle of Life sessions, or learn about the curious phenomena within our world from deep sea squid to space simulations in our Earth to Sky sessions. 

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 ( or Bri Forté ( We hope to see you this summer!
Participate in our run for a discounted price!
Less than a month left to register and run in MRC's Kids for Conservation Virtual 5K! Support youth educational programs and love your lagoon! Registration is now $10 for kids and $20 for adults! Special thanks to our wonderful sponsor, Ron Jon Surf Shop!
Rhonda has been a volunteer with MRC for years, dabbling in everything from educational tabling to building concrete oyster volcanoes. She wanted to do something meaningful in retirement - "to be a part of the solution, not the problem", so she chose MRC for our focus on science and restoration.

This February she completed a Master Naturalist Certification from the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Science. In this program she created an interpretive video on the habitats found in the Enchanted Forest, an informational brochure on the Diamondback Terrapin, and educational signs to protect the White Ibis. She enjoys learning about the natural world, and how to appreciate and embrace it, rather than work against it. Even though she's completed her certification, Rhonda is still hungry for knowledge. Her goals are to apply what she's learned to make her home landscape welcoming to wildlife and full of native plants, help maintain Florida's natural areas and educate others.

If you'd like to participate in an invasive plant removal on MRC's campus, contact
Invasive Plants Fast Facts - Share the Science!
  • Approximately one-third of the plant species growing on their own without cultivation in Florida are non-native.
  • The cost of managing Florida’s invasive plants is estimated at $100 million each year.
  • Landscaping with native plants can combat climate change. In addition to the reduced noise and carbon pollution from lawn mower exhaust, many native plants, especially long-living trees like oaks and maples, are effective at storing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
The Lagoon House is open to the public by appointment only

Call us at 321-725-7775 to schedule an appointment
Events' Calendar
May 3 - Lunch & Learn - Save The Manatee Club
May 8 - Mother's Day
May 22 - Lagoon-Y-Tunes Karaoke Benefit for the Indian River Lagoon
May 22 - Last day to register and race for the Kids for Conservation Virtual 5K
May 30 - Memorial Day
Marine Resources Council
3275 Dixie Hwy NE, Palm Bay, FL 3905 | (321) 725-7775 |