March 15, 2018
Banana River Blooming Again
Get your aquarium bubblers ready! 

Brevard County is again facing an extensive brown tide algae bloom (Aureoumbra lagunensis) like the one that caused the massive fish kill in March 2016. The maps above show the concentrations of chlorophyll-a (a measurement of algae) from before the fish kill in March 2016 alongside recent maps from January 24 and February 20, 2018. Recent measurements indicate that the current concentrations have exceeded those from two years ago, so our community is bracing for another possible fish kill. Brevard County officials are coordinating local groups and commercial fishers to respond to a potential fish kill and are asking residents to be on the lookout for gasping, dead and dying fish, and to report them to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511.  

Why do fish kills occur?

The algae doesn’t kill the fish directly. The fish suffocate from a sudden drop in dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water that occurs when the algae stop blooming and die off all at once. Scientists are uncertain what triggers the algae bloom and what makes it suddenly stop. Lower water temperatures and wind are helping to maintain dissolved oxygen right now, but we fear the worst is yet to come. With increasing temperatures and decreasing wind, we may experience another extensive fish kill. 

How can you help?

If you live along a canal, you may be able to help fish survive by adding air to the water. An air pump connected to a bubble stone can provide a refuge of dissolved oxygen for fish to breathe. Alternatively, a submersible pump with a fountain can help aerate and circulate the water. It can’t hurt! Share your ingenious ideas with friends, family and neighbors on how to provide fish first-aid by aerating the water.
Explore with Us at MRC's Lagoon Castaway Summer Camp
Join us in our discovery of the Indian River Lagoon!

Open to children ages 8 to 11.

Session 1: June 4-8 from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.
Session 2: June 18-22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We'll be:

  • Testing water quality
  • Building ROVs
  • Planting mangroves
  • Meeting some of the local wildlife
  • Making a shelter and tools using Ais Indian techniques
  • Learning about bees as pollinators
  • Releasing butterflies
  • And much more!

MRC Summer Camp Internships and Volunteer Positions Available!
Do you love working with kids and have a passion for science? We need enthusiastic leaders to help guide our campers through our MRC Summer Camp from June 4th to 8th and from June 18th to 22nd. Help us inspire the next generation to become stewards of the environment!

Contact Kate Zehnder for more information.
How Will Sea Level Rise Affect You?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management has created a mapping tool that allows the user to see the impact of coastal flooding due to sea level rise. Choose the height of sea level rise on he slider from 1-6 feet and watch the shoreline disappear. Fun and kinda frightening!

In reality, one of the first impacts we will feel along the lagoon is flooding from stormdrains backing up. As the lagoon water rises, the stormwater outfalls will become submerged and rain water will have nowhere to go. The stormdrains that discharge into the lagoon will back up and flood roads and neighborhoods. Encourage your local representatives to start planning for sea level rise before it floods our roads.

To use the Sea Level Rise Viewer, click here.
It's Easy to be Green!
MRC's Green Business Program wants to promote you as a sustainable community steward! Our goal is to help local businesses adopt money-saving, sustainable practices that help protect the Indian River Lagoon and our environment. Participating in the program provides businesses with money-saving alternatives, free advertisement, networking opportunities, and online resources.
Take the pledge to be green today! Click here or email us. 
Lucky's Bags For Change
From now until May 26th, use your reusable shopping bags next time you shop at Lucky's, and they'll give you a wooden dime to donate towards MRC. At the end of the quarter, they'll double the amount raised!
Volunteer of the Month: Kara Woods
Kara became a Volunteer with MRC in September 2017. Since then, she has become a consistent friendly face here at the Lagoon House. She has volunteered for a variety of jobs and events, including revamping our Lagoon Lifesaver presentations and sewing curtains for the back office and map table. She has a Masters Degree in Geology and is an avid seamstress. She seems to radiate positivity to all those around her. Kara, thank you for all that you do for MRC! You make the Lagoon House a brighter place when you are here.
Learn to Compost this Growing Season!
Worms Eat My Garbage
Ted Moorhead Lagoon House
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for our April Brown Bag Lunch with Florida Master Gardener Lila Gilbert. She will be speaking about how to compost using worms and how to create your own worm bin. Composting worms eat the food waste that is generally thrown away, creating a rich soil mixture. This rich soil component can be added to the soil you use for gardening, creating a healthier growing medium for plants and vegetables. This is an inexpensive way to not only improve your soil, but to also reduce the amount of waste that reaches our landfills.

To register for the April Brown Bag Lunch, click here.
Big Changes at the Lagoon House
As a result of damage from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, MRC received the aid of a work crew through Career Source. The crew has helped with tasks including building improvements, large scale debris cleanup, access to the Lagoon and much more. Thank you!
Photo by Sea to Shore Alliance, taken under NOAA permit #20556
North Atlantic Right Whale Update
After a dismal 2017, with 17 deaths, only 5 births, and a 4 adult right whales that migrated to the southeast (3 of whom gave birth), the North Atlantic right whale population now sits at fewer than 450 individuals. Unfortunately, the 2018 season has followed a similar pattern. As of March 9th, a 10-year-old female (Catalog #3893) was found dead due to chronic entanglement on January 22nd off the coast of Virginia, not a single calf has been documented, and only 12 right whales have been confirmed in the southeast. 

On January 31st, two of those right whales were spotted off the coast of Georgia. Both were females, 7-year-old #4111 and Halo( #3546). Halo has been a favorite of MRC since she first calved in 2014 and was been spotted several times off Brevard's coast. Fingers crossed that both are pregnant! To read more on Halo and #4111, click here

MRC's Right Whale Volunteer Appreciation Party will be Saturday, March 24th at 10 am at the Lagoon House. We will give a more in-depth presentation on the 2018 season, present awards to 2 lucky people, and have a raffle and silent auction. We're having a potluck brunch, so please join us and bring a breakfast dish to share. If you're planning on attending, please email Julie to RSVP and let her know what you're planning on bringing.  See you there!
Thank you Rotary Clubs of Brevard for sponsoring two mangrove plantings!
The first planting event was held Saturday, February 17th at the Lagoon House. Volunteers planted 52 mangroves and spartina plugs along the shoreline of the Lagoon.

The second planting event was held this past Saturday, March 10th. Volunteers planted 36 pots of mangroves and spartina along the Lagoon shoreline at the Cocoa Beach Golf Course. We hope that these mangroves will become established to help prevent erosion, reduce storm and wave damage and create habitat for Lagoon creatures.

Thank you Rotary Clubs of Brevard!
Looking for Ways to Get Involved?
Become an MRC Volunteer! Get involved in Science with our Groundwater-Wastewater Study, Restoration with our Mangrove and Rain Barrel Teams, or Education with our Lagoon Lifesaver and Green Business Teams. We also have Community Outreach and Event volunteer opportunities.

Click here  to fill out our Volunteer Application!
Upcoming Events
March 23: Spring Fling Gala

March 24: Whale Party

May 1: Brown Bag: Living Docks
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