February 2020

Learn More about the Lagoon

with Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch is a Governing Board Member of the South FL Water Management District and an avid Lagoon Lover and educator. She writes a regular in-depth educational blog that includes stunning photos and stories about the health, history, and science of the Indian River Lagoon.

Meet Jacqui at MRC's 19th Annual Conservation Awards Dinner next Saturday, 2/22 at the Melbourne Bch. Hilton where she will be guest speaking along with Maggy Hurchalla, Blair Wickstrom, Kathy Meehan, Robert "Wingnut" Daniel, & Virginia Barker. Scroll down to register today!
*St Lucie Inlet, near shore reefs, photo Ed Lippisch
Only twenty (20) seats left for MRC's 19th Annual Conservation Awards Dinner!! This evening celebrates our Lagoon Heroes with esteemed speakers, live music, and fine food. Please join us for an unforgettable event!

The event takes place on Saturday, Feburary 22nd from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront located at 3003 North Highway A1A, Melbourne.

Click on the button below for more information.

Horseshoe Crabs by the Numbers!
During a recent survey by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission , Beth Rutenber, Laurilee Thompson and Ruthie Cook counted 10,635 horseshoe crabs (HSC) on the Titusville Causeway! In early spring, horseshoe crabs come to the shore to spawn, covering sandy beaches where they lay blue eggs.

Truly a unique and special creature, the horseshoe crab is a living fossil with fossil records dating back about 450 million years. Although they are called crabs, they are actually more closely related to spiders, scorpions, and ticks. They play an important role in coastal estuaries by providing a food source for numerous animals including shorebirds, sea turtles, and sharks. This ancient species has been studied for medical purposes and used for diagnosing and treating rare diseases.

*photo by Laurilee Thompson.
Our Mangrove Babies Thank You for your Rolls!
Thank you for your overwhelming response to our request for toilet paper rolls!! Many of those rolls were put to good use at our recent mangrove potting event where 60 students potted over 120 red mangroves. The event demonstrated the success of this simple potting method that we can use in the future. We have all the rolls we need!

If you still have toilet paper rolls to donate, please consider donating them to the
Florida Wildlife Hospital for squirrel enrichment.
Together Kind, Always Kindness
Together Kind is an action project started by Tropical Kingdom, a Transitional Kindergarten (TK) class in Florida to promote kindness.

The Kindness Symbol (featured above) is a symbol for peace, love and happiness. Tropical Kingdom believes there is a need in our schools, our communities, our nation, and our world for more kindness and that helping others become aware of kindness will generate more kindness. 

They have started a petition through Change.org to make their Kindness Symbol the Universal Symbol of Kindness. CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION
The Right Whales are Here!
There have been two confirmed sightings of right whales off the coast of Brevard County. On January 31st, Halo and her second calf were verified off the coast of Cocoa Beach by volunteer Joel Cohen. He spent the day working with Jamison Smith (Blue World Research Institute) to ensure the whales' safety as vessels departed and entered Port Canaveral. On Feb. 4th, a single right whale was verified off Sebastian Inlet. It is believed it could be a yearling, but identification is still pending.

The calf count for the 2020 right whale calving season is up to 10, which is higher than the previous two years combined!  Let's hope they stay healthy and untangled.

Please report right whale sightings to MRC's hotline at 888-97-WHALE (888-979-4253) and when out on the water or in the air, remember to give whales their space.  The legal approach limit for right whales is 500 yards, including approaches by drones .
MRC Ocean Bowl Team Rocks the Manatee Bowl!
National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB)
MRC is super proud of our team of outstanding Eau Gallie High School students who won 3rd Place in the regional National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB) competition! The NOSB is an academic competition that addresses a national gap in environmental and earth sciences in public education by engaging high school students in ocean science, preparing them for ocean science-related and other STEM careers, and helping them become knowledgeable citizens and environmental stewards.

The MRC sponsored Eau Gallie Team competed in the Manatee Bowl on Saturday, February 1st, at UM's Rosenstiel School of Oceanographic and Atmospheric Sciences in Miami. Congratulations to the team and their coach, Johanna Bauman, whose dedication and commitment can not be overstated. We need more brilliant ocean scientists!

If you are a high school student who loves marine science, is interested in Ocean Bowl and you do not have a Ocean Bowl Team at your high school, contact Nicole Broquet at MRC to find out more information. We need more team members for next year! 
Love Fly Fishing?
Attend the 2020 Fly-fishing Film Tour
February 23rd from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM | $25
Premiere Theaters Oaks 10, 1800 W. Hibiscus Blvd., Melbourne

Our partners at Anglers for Conservation are bringing the 2020 Fly Fishing Film Tour to Brevard. This visual smorgasbord for the senses includes gorgeous vistas, fly fishing experiences, and nature encounters. Doors open at 3:45 pm and the show starts at 4 pm sharp. Intermission held at 5 pm upstairs on the balcony includes FREE beer and hors d’oeuvres provided by Hemingway’s Tavern along with a raffle and silent auction. Tickets are $25. All proceeds benefit Anglers for Conservation, a 501c3 non-profit with a mission to inspire new generations of marine stewards through education, conservation, and community outreach.
March Brown Bag: Plastics Ingestion of Post-Hatchling Sea Turtles
Date: March 3rd, 2020

Location: Ted Moorhead Lagoon House

Time: 12:00-1:00pm

Admission is FREE!
Join us for our March Brown Bag Seminar to learn about recent research on the increasing issue of plastics ingestion by post-hatchling sea turtles! This program will be presented by Mission: Clean Beaches, a local non-profit dedicated to raising marine litter awareness and action through beach clean ups, educational outreach, and quantitative plastics surveys on the local sea turtle nesting beaches. Come learn about this critical problem, Mission: Clean Beaches, and what we can do in our everyday lives to make a difference in our plastics pollution!
Sustainability Workshop Series: Indian River Lagoon Health Update
Wednesday, March 4th at 6:00 PM at the Cocoa Beach Public Library
MRC will present an update on the lagoon health report card at the first Sustainability Workshop Series Sponsored by the Cocoa Beach Sustainability Committee. Dr. Leesa Souto will present information on the updated health assessment of the lagoon including the addition of ten tributaries. Learn how you can make a positive impact on the lagoon! The event is FREE and open to the public.
Upcoming Events
February 22: Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet 2020 at the Hilton
Melbourne Beach Oceanfront Hotel 5:00-8:00pm
February 29: Lagoon Litter Patrol at Lagoon House, 9:30-11:00am
March 3: Brown Bag - Plastics Ingestion of Post-Hatchling Sea Turtles at Lagoon House, 12:00-1:00pm 
March 4: Sustainability Workshop Series: Indian River Lagoon Health Update at Cocoa
Beach Public Library 6:00pm
March 7: Downtown Melbourne Botanical Gardens Fest- Rain Barrel Workshops at the
1900 Building parking lot 10:00am-4:00pm
Visit us at www.SaveTheIRL.org