November 2019
Action Alert! Act today to protect Brevard wetlands!
We only have until tomorrow, Thursday, November 21, to respond to permit review section regarding Emerald Lakes taking of over 100 acres of wetlands in Brevard.

The Florida Today newspaper articles Nov. 19 & 20 describe the 1,500 acre Emerald Lakes development in the southwest area of Palm Bay that will destroy over 100 acres of wetlands on the east and west sides of I-95 near the new Heritage Parkway interchange. Link to Florida Today article here.

The proposal would purchase 80 mitigation credits(~80 acres worth) to off-set the 100 acres of wetlands to be filled in. Unfortunately, buying mitigation credits does nothing to help save our local waters, critters, and plants. If you value Brevard County water and wildlife, just say no to destroying our local wetlands.

Concerns and questions about this application should be directed to the project manager, John Palmer, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida, 32926, by electronic mail at [ John.Palmer@usace.army.mil ], by fax at (321) 504-3803, or by telephone at (321) 504-3771 extension 10. Deadline for comments is tomorrow (Thursday, 11/21/19)
Happy Thanksgiving from the MRC!
From our family to yours, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Here are three tips to reduce your Thanksgiving footprint
1.Compost your vegetable and fruit scraps and improve your garden while reducing waste going to the landfill (and in Melbourne, get a $50 rebate! - see below)

2. Don't pour fats or oils down the sink drain. It compromises and clogs pipes and causes septic tanks to be inefficient. Jar it up and put it in the trash, or take it to a vegetable oil recycling center.

3. Don't use plastic this Thanksgiving, use biodegradable, non-plastic serving ware if you need it and invest in plant-based cellophane.
MRC is Excited to Announce a
Donor Sneak Peak of the
2nd IRL Health Update Report Card
this Saturday, November 23, 2019 (11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.)
at Djon's Steak & Lobster House in Melbourne Bch.

Early Results Are In! We Have the Data, Now We Need Your Help to Distribute this Vital Information to Our Lagoon Coastal Community.

MRC is hoping to raise $50,000 in the next few months in order to broadcast the 2nd IRL Report Card to our lagoon residents and leaders. That is only 50 individuals, groups, or companies donating $1,000 each. We can do it, but not without your help. Please join us at our celebration and launch of this educational tool to help guide future restoration and policy regarding the improvement of water quality in our estuary of national significance.

Djon Loves Our Lagoon! You are Invited to Djon's Love Our Lagoon Foodie & Wine Tasting Fundraiser for the 2nd IRL Report Card.
International Day of Giving on December 3rd!! #GivingTuesday
Mark your calendars for this year's #GivingTuesaday, Tuesday December 3rd. Take a moment during this season of giving, and give back to our community centerpiece, the Indian River Lagoon. Make this 2019 #GivingTuesday a #GivingLagoonDay!

We are incredibly thankful to have such wonderful Lagoon Advocates within our community! Thank you for making it possible for us to continue our work to protect the Indian River Lagoon. Donations received before Giving Tuesday will potentially be matched by a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Facebook fundraiser. So Double your Money and donate now!

The Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves Office is conducting an IRL Drift Card study to understand currents and movement patterns. The project released hundreds of orange, biodegradable drift cards made of untreated wood and non-toxic low-VOC paint. If you find a card, report it to IRLAP@FloridaDEP.gov 

 For more information, please visit: http://angari.org/lagoondrift/
December Brown Bag!
North Atlantic Right Whale Status Update -Teetering on Extinction
presented by Julie Albert

Ted Moorhead Lagoon House
3275 Dixie Hwy NE, Palm Bay,

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 (12 p.m. to 1 p.m. )
MRC's Julie Albert attended the annual Right Whale Consortium meeting in Portland, Maine Nov. 13-15. Over three days, scientists and stakeholders discussed the future outlook of the North Atlantic Right Whale—a species on the brink of extinction. The population status, threats to their survival, possible solutions to their decline (ropeless fishing), and more will be presented at this Brown Bag.

Is their functional extinction still predicted in 20 years? Which right whales were named in 2019? Could there be fewer right whales than we think there are? Is climate change playing a part in their demise?

Please join us to find out!

 Admission is free, but please register below . Don't forget to bring your lunch!
When Duty Calls...
Last month we encouraged our readers to pick up after their pets and we received some excellent comments concerning the use of plastic bags to pick up waste. We share your concerns and have done some short research to find more environmentally friendly alternatives. 

We found that many dog waste bags claim to be “biodegradable”, implying that the bags will break down into natural components within one year. However, many of them are actually created from oxo-biodegradable materials that breakdown the plastic bags into smaller pieces but do not degrade completely. 

More environmentally friendly options are Bio-based products , which are made from plants and other agricultural/forestry materials (maize flour, vegetable oil, etc). These products are completely decomposed by microorganisms , releasing the carbon from the plant matter. Unfortunately, these products can be more expensive. Below are some products that are more environmentally friendly!



City of Melbourne Composter Rebate Program!
Florida is known for its sandy soil, which drains quickly and holds very little organic material or nutrients. Soil rich in organic material has a sponge-like quality that holds water and contains adequate carbon for plants to uptake nutrients. Healthy soil means healthy plants and compost is an inexpensive, earth-friendly way to enrich soil while reducing waste. It can be mixed into soil used for new plants or placed as a thin layer on bare soil creating a barrier against evaporation and enriching topsoil.

The City of Melbourne is offering a limited composter rebate program on a first-come, first-served basis. One $50 rebate is provided per Melbourne water customer for purchasing and installing a composter that has at least a 30-gallon capacity. Rebates are available until budgeted rebate funds are depleted or until September 30, 2020,

This program is being offered as a means to create healthier soil with higher water-holding capacity thus reducing the need for lawn irrigation and fertilizers that can be carried into the stormwater system.

MRC's 4th Annual BMW Margaritas for Mangroves Holiday Fundraiser!
Join us for a fun-filled night on December 6th at Melbourne BMW from 5:30-8:30pm!

Featuring: Complimentary Tapas & Margarita Service, Live Music by Twitchy, Silent Auction, Live Auction, Prizes, Winning Margarita Contest Announcement, and Keynote Speaker.

The event features Brevard’s most popular businesses, EL Leoncito Viera, Cuban Island Restaurant, The Melting Pot, The Jungle Organic Restaurant, Chili’s of Palm Bay, Old School Pizza, The Bar Butlers, A Better Copy, Paddling Paradise, Dr Baiker Family & Cosmetic Dentist, Applied Ecology, Inc. & Great Faces Rx at Renata’s Salon, to name a few. This is a great opportunity to meet the MRC team to discuss all your lagoon questions and concerns, and to get involved.

$40.00 Donation gets you this and so much more! All proceeds support MRCs lagoon saving education, restoration and science programs! Click on the button below to register.

Currently Seeking Event Sponsorship:

1. Live & Silent Auction Donations: Please mail or deliver donations to the MRC Ted Moorhead Lagoon House at 3275 Dixie Highway, Palm Bay, FL 32905.

2. Food Purveyor Donations: Donate hors d’oeuvres & tapas. (Must be a restaurateur.) Please message event management at SharkeyMRC@gmail.com for details.

3. Participating Margarita Contestant: This is a great opportunity to showcase your business at one of Brevard’s most prestigious and fun events of the year. Each participating local business will present a classic margarita and a flavored margarita to be judged by the event attendees. Each attendee will be given 3 tickets to vote for their favorite margarita, from which the best margarita of the lagoon is chosen. The winner will receive bragging rights and a $1,500.00 marketing package from iHeart Radio.

To participate, donate, or sponsor this event, please message Steve at SharkeyMRC@gmail.com .

Check out last year's event here! https://www.youtube.com/margaritasformangroves
Upcoming Events
November 23: 2nd IRL Health Update Report Card at Djon's Steak & Lobster House
November 28: Thanksgiving!!! Lagoon House Closed
November 29: Lagoon House Closed
November 30: Malabar Fallfest at Malabar Community Park
December 3: Brown Bag - North Atlantic Right Whale Update at the Lagoon House
December 6: BMW Margaritas for Mangroves Holiday Fundraiser for the Lagoon
December 7: Mangrove Workshop at the Lagoon House
December 21: Litter Control at the Lagoon House
December 24: Christmas Eve (Lagoon House Closed)
December 25: Christmas Day (Lagoon House Closed)
January 1st: New Year's Day (Lagoon House Closed)
Visit us at www.SaveTheIRL.org