Photo Credit - Jill Bazeley
October 2020
It might be time to draw the line on the pumpkin spice obsession, but it never will be for our love of the Lagoon!
Every Member Counts
Here at the MRC, our members are our family. Each and every member plays a vital role in contributing to the protection and restoration of the Indian River Lagoon. Our members are our boots on the ground advocates, tireless Lagoon educators, and most stalwart supporters. This fall, we invite you to stand with these fearless folks and become a member of the MRC family, taking the step to demonstrate your commitment to ensuring the legacy of the Indian River Lagoon for generations to come.
Lagoon House Rain Garden Beautified
Thank you to Keep Brevard Beautiful (KBB) for providing funding to revitalize MRC's rain garden with beautiful native plants that attract pollinators. Also a big thanks to Dale at Artistic Signs for the gorgeous, glowing butterfly sign. The next time you come to the Lagoon House, check out the plethora of life in our new rain garden!

Rain gardens not only add bright colors and textures to your yard, they are designed to capture a few inches of rain water during a rain event. This decreases the amount of stormwater runoff from your home and gives the ground time to absorb the water as it percolates through the soil. Rain Gardens are an example of Low Impact Development (see next article)!

Thinking about starting your own rain garden? Click the button below to check out MRC's rain garden manual.
MRC Leads the Charge for Low-Impact Development
in the Lagoon Watershed!
Low-Impact Development (LID) is a stormwater management approach that protects water quality, reduces flooding, sequesters carbon, lowers air and water temperatures, and improves overall resilience. It was embraced as a waterway protection strategy decades ago in national estuary watersheds such as Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound — and is a primary stormwater best-management practice (BMP) throughout many parts of our nation. LID leads to more fishable, swimmable, and healthier waters.

Florida has been slowly moving towards LID, but with the recent passing of Senator Mayfield's Clean Waterways Bill (SB 712), there will be changes in the state stormwater rule to accommodate and encourage LID. Fortunately, local governments seeking to implement LID can learn from early adopters like Alachua and Pinellas Counties who have incorporated LID into their land development regulations and integrated it into stormwater rules. In the Indian River Lagoon watershed, the City of Titusville in Brevard County has initiated a voluntary LID ordinance and the City of Sebastian offers stormwater credits to incorporate The Minutemen Causeway in the City of Cocoa Beach includes LID design features. Check out these resources and others on MRC's new LID webpage.

MRC supported and advised the state rule language, wrote and mailed over 120 letters of support for LID to local and state officials (cosigned by over twenty other organizations), submitted a proposal to FDEP to create a LID manual for Brevard County, and has presented the Case for LID to a half dozen organizations to date. An Assembly to describe, discuss, and vet LID with the lagoon community is in the works. Look for more to come from us on this important watershed change!
MRC Mangroves Workshops Resume with an Innovative Twist!
The MRC is resuming our monthly mangrove workshops on the first Saturday of every month! Participation requires an RSVP as we are limiting numbers to ensure safe social distancing. Workshops help maintain nursery stocks and keep our mangroves healthy for lagoon restoration efforts! To RSVP email

A special shoutout to EcoSense International (ESI) for providing NutriGone™ as a soil amendment for our potted mangroves. NutriGone™ is an additive to stormwater systems that removes pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorus. After the media is used up, ESI is donating it to MRC to repurpose it for mangrove planting. The filtration media will ensure our mangroves provide the maximum nutrient removal for the lagoon once they are planted on the shoreline!
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)

Actions to Reduce Harmful Discharges to the IRL
On October 13, 2020, it was announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin discharging Lake Okeechobee water to the northern estuaries and into the IRL. SFWMD is taking immediate action to help further control and reduce Lake Okeechobee levels and shorten the duration of these harmful discharges to the estuary. They have created a new webpage to share operational updates on their efforts to curb impacts of discharges.
Your Vote - Your Voice! Make it Count by November 3rd!
From city counsels to national levels, this year is full of historic voting. Get out there for early voting or make Election Day a priority!

For more information on voting in your county, click on your county name below!

November Lunch & Learn Virtual Seminar
"Ropeless Fishing Gear"
with Kim Sawicki
November 10th, 2020
12pm - 1pm
Held via Zoom Webinar
Registration for Zoom Required!
Join us for our Lunch & Learn Webinar, "How Fishermen are Helping to Save Whales" with Kim Sawicki! Ropeless fishing has been described as what will likely save North Atlantic Right Whales from extinction. Many whales and other marine species become entangled in vertical ropes that help fishermen locate their pots/traps for retrieval. Kim Sawicki has been researching ropeless fishing gear not only to help save whales, but to help commercial fishermen maintain their livelihoods in the face of regulatory measures by the federal government. Kim will discuss how fishermen are assisting with the research and how their involvement could help save a critically endangered whale species.  

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 November 6th.

This is a free virtual event, but you must register to receive the zoom link and login information. If you are unable to register, we will be live streaming it through the MRC's Facebook page!
Manatee Investigators at Florida Tech
Students at Florida Institute of Technology are conducting research regarding the preservation of manatees in Florida. They have created a short-survey to understand the public's knowledge of manatee protection issues. If you have 3 minutes, they would greatly appreciate your participation!
Virtual Panel: Environmentally Minded Planting - Hosted by Rockledge Gardens!
One of the best things about living in Brevard County Florida is all the natural beauty surrounding us! It's important that we all do our part to ensure that this natural beauty is maintained for generations to come.

Join us on Sunday, November 8th at 1pm, as a panel of experts including Sally Scalera (University of Florida/IFAS), Caity and Nicole (Marine Resources Council), and Scott Herber (Eastern Florida State College) discuss planting and landscaping for sustainability in Brevard. Learn what these organizations' strategies are for preserving the Indian River Lagoon and surrounding environment that make the Space Coast Special. Send us your questions via Facebook or Instagram!

This event is free but donations are welcome. Donations for this event will be split between UF/IFAS, EFSC, and MRC.
The Lagoon House will remain closed to the public through 2020. Call us at 321-725-7775 to schedule an appointment.
Nov. 3rd: Election Day! Don't forget to vote!
Nov. 8th: Environmentally Minded Planting Webinar - 1pm to 2:30pm
Nov. 10th: Lunch and Learn Seminar - Ropeless Fishing Gear
Nov. 11th: Lagoon House Closed for Veterans' Day
Nov. 14th: Indian River Lagoon Day at Front Street Park - 10am to 2pm
Nov. 25th-26th: Lagoon House Closed for Thanksgiving
Dec. 1st: Lunch and Learn Seminar - North Atlantic Right Whale Update
Dec. 24-25th: Lagoon House Closed for Christmas
Jan. 1st: Lagoon House Closed for New Year's Day. Goodbye 2020!
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