July 2020
Happy International Mangroves Day!
Mangroves are super plants that are celebrated throughout the world for the services they provide to coastal communities. What do mangroves do?

  • Build shoreline by trapping sediments and creating compost
  • Protect property by mitigating destructive wave energy
  • Provide habitat for fish and crabs in the water and birds and insects in the canopy
  • Take up dissolved nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus
  • Sequester carbon from the atmosphere
  • Beautify and enhance the shoreline

Show mangroves some love! Help MRC plant mangroves along the lagoon.

MRC's Wishlist - Help Support Our
Mangrove Nursery!

We are in need of plastic nursery pots of various sizes (3,5,7,15,30-gallon) to expand our nursery capacity, both at the Lagoon House and at our nursery in Vero Beach. If you have any that you can part with, p lease drop them off at the Lagoon House in Palm Bay or reach out to Caity at caity@mrcirl.org to coordinate drop off. Thank you!
MRC Historical Library:
Building sustainability one neighborhood at a time
An eco-neighborhood is a community that aims to integrate the objectives of sustainable development by focusing on energy, the environment, and social life. In 1992, before sustainability was a mainstream word and before there was Florida-friendly landscaping, MRC was launching eco-neighborhoods in Brevard County.

According to this historical Florida Today article featuring Anne Curtin (Birch) and Diane Barile, neighborhood “walk-throughs” were conducted to provide guidance on stormwater management, exotic, invasive plant control, and landscaping. Energy audits were conducted by Florida Power and Light and neighbors met each other at community presentations. The first certified neighborhoods were in Palm Bay, and at the time the article was written the Honeybrook subdivision in Melbourne was being certified. The Town of Melbourne Beach was also certified an eco-town, as it established the first Environmental Advisory Board. 
Tee off for the Lagoon at MRC's 2nd annual golf tournament!

Join us for this year's 2nd annual charity golf tournament hosted at Aquarina Beach and Country Club. Come play on this one of a kind course,  which follows FDEP's Golf Industry Best Management Practices,  and help protect the Indian River Lagoon at the same time. Our goal is to double the funds raised last year!

Don't wait, spots fill up quickly - register your team today!

Date: Saturday, October 10th, 2020
Time: 9 am tee off
Location: Aquarina Beach and Country Club

We can't wait to see you out on the green!

August Brown Bag Virtual Seminar
"Coral Reefs in Rapidly Changing Times"
with Dr. Robert van Woesik
August 4th, 2020
12pm - 1pm
Held via Zoom Webinar
Registration required!
Join us for our Virtual Brown Bag Seminar, "Coral Reefs in Rapidly Changing Times" with FIT's Dr. Robert van Woesik! The seminar will entail how coral reefs are formed through a remarkable symbiosis. We will explore coral reproduction, growth, and reef connectivity. We will also discuss climate change and the recent causes of coral bleaching, the breakdown in symbiosis, and coral disease. We will end the seminar with views on conservation, refuges, and the restoration of coral populations to help reef conservation.

The seminar will end with a live Q&A session, but you can email questions in advance to MRC's Nicole Broquet at  nicole@mrcirl.org  by August 3rd. 

The Brown Bag Seminar will be at the same time as always, from 12-1pm, but will be held through the virtual platform Zoom! To attend this webinar, you must pre-register as space is limited, but we will live stream the program on the MRC's Facebook page.
Join the MRC National Ocean Sciences Bowl Team!
Do you love all things ocean? Are you a high school student, aspiring to have a career in ocean science or engineering? Do you have a competitive edge?

Then join MRC's Ocean Bowl Team and put your knowledge to the test. The Ocean Bowl competition engages 9-12th grade students in a battle of the brains, competing against other teams on topics such as chemistry, biology, physics, geology, astrology, and ecology. MRC's team nearly took first place last year, thanks to the support of our outstanding Ocean Bowl coach, Johann Baumann! This year, we are recruiting team members from any Brevard County high school that does not have an existing Ocean Bowl Team. No experience necessary, but it is helpful to have biology and chemistry courses completed. Email Nicole at nicole@mrcirl.org for more information or to sign up!

The National Ocean Science Bowl is an academic competition that addresses a national gap in environmental and earth sciences in public education by introducing high school students to and engaging them in ocean science, preparing them for ocean science-related and other STEM careers, and helping them become knowledgeable citizens and environmental stewards. Click here to learn more about NOSB .

Sponsor MRCs Ocean Bowl Team and support ocean education! Funds are needed to cover the travel cost to attend competitions and the team needs buzzers to use for practice. Sponsor the team and get your name on the team t-shirt! Please email Kate at kate@mrcirl.org or click the button below!
Right whale #3560 with her calf off Georgia in December 2019. Photo courtesy of Georgia DNR/CMARI Aerial Survey
Sad News for the North Atlantic Right Whale Population
On June 25th the first right whale death of 2020 was reported off the coast of Elberon, New Jersey. The whale was identified as the first calf of the 2020 calving season, a male born to Catalog #3560. This mother and calf were spotted several times off the coast of Florida and Georgia by MRC and other organizations before they made their way to the Gulf of Mexico. The 6-month-old whale was determined to have died by two separate vessel strikes weeks apart.

On July 9th the status of the North Atlantic right whale on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was changed from Endangered to Critically Endangered. The population has declined about 15% in the last decade and there are fewer than 100 breeding females. This is the last step in the threatened species recognition process before Extinction. Scientists believe if right whales continue to face deaths from entanglements and vessel strikes at their current rate, and their reproductive rates remain low, that North Atlantic right whales could be biologically extinct by the year 2040.

MRC's Lagoon Castaway Camp 2020
Implementing a strict COVID-19 protocol, MRC proceeded with a modified summer camp, providing hands-on science and experiential learning to twelve middle school campers. Session 1 of Camp focused on animals in the lagoon, including species and the food chain dynamics. Session 2 focused on coastal interactions and the kids built shorelines that could withstand hurricanes! Session 3 will focus on Shifts in our World, talking about human impacts on the environment and our role in mitigating them.

Session 3 (July 27-31) only has a couple of seats left, so act now if your interested! Look for more youth lagoon learning opportunities from MRC in the future!
Are you longing for some outdoor action along the Treasure Coast? Participate in the 13th Annual Waterway (Virtual) Cleanup anytime between July 18 - 27 and help make the world a more beautiful place! Partners will clean up 125 miles of waterways in Martin, St. Lucie & Indian River Counties. Since 2008, more than 10,600 volunteers and 3,050 boats removed more than 88 tons of trash from the waters of the Treasure Coast. To stay safe during COVID, the event is being held virtually this year.
To participate for the Virtual Cleanup:
  1. Register online by clicking the button below
  2. Pick up trash along the Treasure Coast during cleanup week.
  3. Record your data using the digital data collection link

You are encouraged to cleanup multiple times during the week. Loaner grabbers and burgees for boaters, will be available for pick up at various marina locations along the Treasure Coast. 
More events may be added/removed as we follow CDC guidelines.
July 25th: International Mangrove Day - Limited volunteer opportunities
July 27th: Start of Summer Camp Session 3 - Few seats left!
Sept 1: Brown Bag Seminar (Virtual?) - Recycling in Brevard
Sept 26th: National Estuaries Day Celebration
Oct 6: Brown Bar Seminar - Horseshoe Crab Monitoring
Nov 3: Election Day! Don't forget to vote!
Nov 11th: Lagoon House Closed for Veterans' Day
Nov 25th-26th: Lagoon House Closed for Thanksgiving
Dec 24-25th: Lagoon House Closed for Christmas
Jan 1st: Lagoon House Closed for New Year's Day. Goodbye 2020!
Visit us at www.SaveTheIRL.org