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!

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