Tuesday, December 10, 2013

We are looking for more volunteers for the New Year!

One of MRC’s Habitat Restoration team’s main grants this past year consisted of clearing 5 acres of invasive plants and planting 4,000 red mangroves and 11,000 wetland grasses in Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. The majority of our work has been at Paul’s Island, which is a 2 ½ mile boat ride from the launch site. We have finished the invasive removal, but we still have planting to do.

To complete the restoration, we have to rely on a boat. But over the course of several months, our boat slowly degenerated. What should have been a five to ten minute ride took 45 minutes, because our boat could not cope with the faster speeds. Eventually the boat’s engine completely failed. After one of our volunteers, familiar with boat mechanics, could not help us to get it back up and running it was declared finished.

Lately we have been relying upon volunteers to help us get out to our planting sites. It’s the volunteers and members who really make the difference. Without them, we would not make it very far; even one volunteer can make a huge difference in restoring and protecting our Lagoon.

When the New Year rolls around, MRC will be pushing to finish the planting in this grant. We can use all the help we can get! If you have a boat and are willing to donate your time and boat for us to get our plants into the ground, we would be very grateful. If you would rather carry extra volunteers than plants or if you do not have a boat but would like to go out to the island to help us with planting, that would be great as well.

At this time, no dates are set for the field work. Because we do not have our own boat right now, we have to rely on our volunteers to make the schedule.

If you are interested in donating your boat for a couple of days, please email me at aquatic@mrcirl.org or call 321-725-7775. If you would like to be on MRC’s overall volunteer list for planting or our other programs, you can sign up here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Help us pot propagules!

We've gathered up some propagules and it's time we got them into pots. Once the propagules are potted, they will be moved down to our Sebastian property where our greenhouse is located. The propagules will be cared for and grown into young mangroves, which we will plant along the Lagoon's shoreline to restore habitat for wildlife and stabilize the shores.

Starting in December, we will have a potting event every week, on either a Friday or a Saturday. The events will be from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. at the Ted Moorhead Lagoon House, located at:

3275 Dixie Hwy. NE
Palm Bay, FL 32905

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The scheduled dates are December 6, 13, 21, and 28, and January 4, 11, 18 and 25. You can view the event calendar by clicking here.

You do not need to R.S.V.P. unless you plan to bring a very large group. If you would like to schedule a specific time to do potting with your group other than the above-scheduled times, please call us at 321-725-7775 or email me at aquatic@mrcirl.org.

We are more than happy to schedule an event with you and your organization or group for potting at the Lagoon House if you are unable to make it to the scheduled events. And don't forget, you can also go out propagule hunting as a volunteer, as well!

We hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Collect propagules and help our Lagoon!

Red mangrove propagules are the easiest to find
and the easiest to grow! We look mainly for these.

It’s time for our annual propagule collecting contest. It is that time of year when mangrove propagules start washing up on our shores. Mangroves filter pollutants from runoff, provide habitat for animals both in the water and out, and provide food to those animals. At the Marine Resources Council, we depend upon volunteers to help us gather as many propagules as we can so that we can grow them into small trees and plant them on the Lagoon’s shoreline. During the fall you can collect mangrove propagules that are floating around the Lagoon or washed up on the beaches. Red mangrove propagules resemble green pencils and need to be kept in water until they are planted in soil. If a propagule is already growing roots and is in the Lagoon, be sure to leave it where it is! They are likely to take root where they’ve washed up and for this reason rooted propagules are legally protected in the Lagoon. Winners of the propagule collecting contest will get a pizza party from the MRC, so get a group together and start hunting!

If you would like to collect some white
mangroves also, please feel free!
After you’ve donated your propagules, we will pot them and move them to our greenhouse down in Sebastian. Once they grow large enough to withstand waves and weather, we will plant them at various sites where we are doing habitat restoration work. One of the sites we tend to focus on is Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. Once the mangroves grow large enough, they will help to stabilize the shoreline and promote erosion resistance. They will provide valuable nursery habitat to small fish, sharks, invertebrates, and other animals. Their branches can provide nesting and roosting areas for different species of birds. Even a couple of propagules can help to make this a reality. Each propagule has the potential to become a large tree, and we couldn’t do any of this without your help. If you’re ready to help the Indian River Lagoon, you can bring propagules to the Ted Moorhead Lagoon House at:

3275 Dixie Hwy NE
Palm Bay, FL, 32905

Call us at 321-725-7775 to find out more, or you can email me, Casey Hederman, at aquatic@mrcirl.org if you have any additional questions.

Keep in mind that the same rules apply for all types
of propagules: if it has roots, don't remove it!
If you would like to help with potting the propagules, we can schedule that too! Please email if you would like to set up a potting event with your group.  We are always looking for more volunteers!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

News for the program

Due to the recent changes in field activity we have had good days at planting sites due to their locations on the beach with an occasional breeze blowing, keeping us relatively comfortable in the current weather conditions.

Tomorrow on July 11 we will be having an event with 50 first-sixth graders Center for Child Development's summer camp group. The event includes a tour of the Lagoon House and re-potting red mangroves in order to put burlap into the pots. Burlap helps to keep the root ball stabilized after planting, is biodegradable and mangroves planted with burlap are 31 times more likely to survive. The potting events are held here at the Lagoon House and the planting days are currently at Paul's Island. Any age is appropriate for the potting events and for the planting events we can take from the ages of thirteen and up.

We will soon be having a butterfly garden being created and managed by our caretaker down at our Greenway property in Vero Beach. We are still deciding on which plants to get. Any suggestions or donations for a butterfly garden would be extremely helpful. For any suggestions on plants, tricks on gardening, or any advice from personal experience please contact our caretaker at donald@mrcirl.org, and for donations please go to our website at www.mrcirl.org and go to "How to Help" at the top of the page.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

NEWS. Updates for the Pepper busting program June 22, 2013

As of recent weeks due to the heat and humidity it is going a bit slower than usual with all the proper safety equipment on for the pepperbusting part of the program. We will shortly be finishing up with the pepperbusting grants and will be focusing more on plantings for the moment. We will be having an event coming up in about a month with fish and wild life for planting on pauls island with volunteers attending. Propagule season will also be coming up shortly so we will be able to restock the green house with new propagules when there is more room for more plants