March 2020
To Our MRC Family
Even just a week ago, I think few of us comprehended the magnitude of things to come. As our community grapples with the far ranging impacts of this virus outbreak, the thoughts of the MRC team go out to those that have been affected. Volunteers, supporters, donors, staff - we are one united MRC family.

During this time, we will be closing the Lagoon House to the public and volunteers, but you can rest assured that we will be continuing our work to protect and restore the Indian River Lagoon; our local source of beauty, fun, and learning. 

LagoonWatch volunteers can email Kara or Caity with questions or to request that reagent refills be mailed directly. No need to come to the Lagoon House!

For updates about our electronic education programs, email Nicole !

In the end, John Muir said it best, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." 
Conservation Awards Dinner - Honoring our Lagoon Heroes!
Thank you to all of the sponsors, guest speakers, attendees, and volunteers who helped make the 19th annual MRC Conservation Achievement Awards Dinner a success! This year's dinner, held at the Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront, was a fantastic evening honoring our Lagoon heroes. This celebration raised over $16,000 to help continue MRC's work to protect and restore our Indian River Lagoon.

Congratulations to all the nominees and award winners!
Mangroves Matter to R. L. Stevenson Elementary!
This past fall, the MRC conducted a Mangroves Matter program with three 4th grade classes at R. L. Stevenson Elementary. The students learned how to identify the mangroves of Florida, the benefits of mangroves, and how to start their own mangrove nursery. The students collected red, black, and white mangrove propagules along the shoreline of Kelly Park in October and over the last few months they lovingly cared for the mangroves. In total the students were able to successfully raise over 50 mangroves! The mangroves are now being grown at the MRC's Lagoon House until they are able to be transplanted to restoration projects along the shores of the Lagoon.

Lagoon Litter Patrol Workshop Champions!
On March 7th, the Lagoon Litter Patrol Workshop collected 47.6 lbs of trash along the Lagoon House shoreline and Hwy 1!

Due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 , the April Litter Patrol Workshop has been cancelled. As of now, the May Litter Patrol Workshop is tentatively scheduled, but we will keep you updated, as volunteer safety is our number one priority.
Calling for Lagoon Explorers!
The MRC is hosting our 4th Annual Lagoon Castaway Summer Camp this June! Our action-packed camp is designed to give campers hands-on experience in the exploration of science and nature!

Camp highlights include:

  • Restoring mangrove habitat
  • Building your own terrarium
  • Learning about bees as pollinators
  • Learning about tips to reduce our impact on the environment
  • Learning about protecting endangered species, including right whales and sea turtles
  • Classifying different types of animals through in-person observations
  • Testing water quality and collecting animals for identification
  • Exploring a spoil island
  • Meeting owl ambassadors and dissecting owl pellets
  • And much more!

Campers ages 9-12 or entering grades 3rd-6th are welcome! The camp will be from 9am-1pm, Monday-Friday. We will be providing two opportunities to be a Lagoon Castaway: June 8th-12th and June 22nd-26th.

Click HERE for more information or email our Education Coordinator, Nicole Broquet, at nicole@mrcirl.org
April Brown Bag Seminar Recycle Brevard - Cancelled
Following the guidelines of the CDC, we have decided to cancel our April Brown Bag Seminar. Our next Brown Bag Seminar is tentatively scheduled for May 5th, from 12pm-1pm, at the Lagoon House. Meanwhile, we will be exploring electronic alternatives to help us continue our program during this challenging period.

Thank you for your understanding and stay safe out there!
Whale Volunteer Potluck - Postponed
The whale volunteer potluck will be postponed until further notice. We want our whale monitors to know how much we appreciate them and we want to keep them safe. We are thankful for your understanding and we will keep you updated when we are able to celebrate your dedication to the program!

Anyone with questions can call the whale hotline: 1-(888)-979-4253
Brevard County Citizen Oversight Committee Meeting
Cancelled Tomorrow (3/20)
Brevard County has cancelled tomorrow's (3/20) Citizen Oversight Committee Meeting. The proposed agenda items for the March 20th meeting have been tentatively rescheduled for the currently planned April 17th meeting. However, circumstances may require the delay of the April meeting as well. All County meetings are subject to rescheduling for the foreseeable future. 
The Gopher Tortoise Day Shell-ebration is Just a Few Weeks Away!
April 10th was proclaimed as Gopher Tortoise Day by the Gopher Tortoise Council to raise awareness for this gentle, hard-shelled reptile. Save the date to give one of Florida’s most cherished chelonians its day in the sun!

The gopher tortoise is the only land tortoise east of the Mississippi River and can live to be more than 60 years old! It is a keystone species that supports over 350 different species, including the endangered Eastern Indigo Snake. Their burrows provide critical habitat and protection from forest fires for a host of other animals.

For more information and fun facts, check out the link below !
The Best Ways To Preserve Nature While Hiking
Millions of people go hiking every year because of the benefits that come from hiking. Hiking is great cardio that can lower your risk of heart disease and other health problems. However, when millions of people trek on hiking trails every year they can cause a lot of damage to the local environment.

When you’re hiking always do these five things to do your part to preserve nature and not harm the local ecosystem:

  • Take Out The Trash - One of the most common ways that hikers harm the environment is by littering. Whatever you pack in, be sure to pack out.

  • Don’t Leave The Trail - Hiking trails are there for your safety and for the safety of the environment. Making your own trails could disturb native animals as well as kill plants and trees.

  • Clean Your Boots - Your boots pick up a lot of seeds, bacteria, and other debris when you’re hiking. Clean your boots before you go from one trail to another to prevent the spread of disease among plants and trees or cause the growth of invasive/non-native plants and grasses.

  • Go Reusable - One way to cut down on the amount of trash that you need to pack out on your hike is to use a refillable water bottle and reusable packaging for your food.

  • Keep Dogs On A Leash - If you’re bringing your dog on your hike make sure that your dog is always leashed. Dogs that are running lose can cause damage to the environment by digging up plants, eating grass, and scaring off animals in the area.

Information courtesy of Eric Minghella
FWC and partners update the Florida Wildlife Conservation Guide
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Florida Natural Areas Inventory, has updated the Florida Wildlife Conservation Guide. This online resource is intended to help landowners, permit applicants and environmental consultants make wildlife-friendly decisions during development planning and identify opportunities for conservation of Florida’s unique biodiversity. 

The guide covers wildlife assessments and impacts, market-based conservation options, permitting, and opportunities for conservation actions at various stages of a project. It includes tools for effective land use planning, site assessments and project designs, with short descriptions and links to important resources from federal, state, county and private organizations.

FWC Land Use Planning Program biologists work with state and federal permit applicants, local governments, federal agencies, environmental organizations and others to help them minimize impacts to fish and wildlife and their habitats by providing technical assistance, project design recommendations, and imperiled species permitting guidance.

Space Coast Music Project
May 16th at 7 pm

Located at the Satellite Beach United Methodist Church
The MRC is excited to be partnering with this year's Space Coast Music Project! This annual performance showcases classically trained performers from the Florida State University College of Music, all to benefit local non profit organizations. 

This performance will be held at the Satellite Beach United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 16th at 7 pm. We hope you will be able to join us for an evening of classical music to benefit the MRC's work to protect and restore the Lagoon!

Click on the button below for more information and please be aware that the date of the concert may change as we monitor the COVID-19 situation.

Upcoming Events (To Be Announced)
More events may be added/removed as the COVID-19 situation develops.
May 5: Save the Manatee Club at 12pm to 1pm at the Lagoon House (or electronic)
May 16: Space Coast Music Project May 16th at 7pm at the Satellite Beach United Methodist Church
Visit us at www.SaveTheIRL.org