Brevard Zoo’s Palmer Hero of Conservation

By  //  May 12, 2013

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recognized by Field & Stream magazine

A Field & Stream Hero of Conservation is someone who spends his or her own time working to create, improve, or restore fish and wildlife or habitat. A Hero is dedicated to the spirit of conservation volunteerism and stands out among other volunteers. Some heroes are members of conservation organizations involved with dedicated efforts to benefit a particular species or area. Others are simply individuals who take it upon themselves to improve habitat where they live.

A Field & Stream Hero of Conservation is someone who spends his or her own time working to create, improve, or restore fish and wildlife or habitat. A Hero is dedicated to the spirit of conservation volunteerism and stands out among other volunteers. Some heroes are members of conservation organizations involved with dedicated efforts to benefit a particular species or area. Others are simply individuals who take it upon themselves to improve habitat where they live.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Jody Palmer, oyster restoration community outreach coordinator, was recognized by Field & Stream magazine as a hero of conservation for her efforts in an ongoing collaborative oyster reef restoration project in the Indian River Lagoon – the most biologically diverse estuary in the continental United States.

Jody Palmer,

Jody Palmer,

“If I can get people excited about something as small as an oyster, I guess my passion shows,” said Palmer, who recruits and trains volunteers to prepare, build, and deploy oyster-shell mats in an ongoing collaborative reef project in central Florida’s Indian River Lagoon.

The oyster reef restoration project was started in 2005 by Linda Walters of the University of Central Florida. Palmer brought the project to the attention of Brevard Zoo, and they partnered with UCF and the Nature Conservancy in an effort to allow species to flourish in the Indian River Lagoon.

IN THE RUNNING FOR CONSERVATION HEREO OR THE YEAR

Jody Palmer, Oyster Restoration Outreach Coordinator, reports in after a day out on the Mosquito Lagoon: What a great day I had working with Dr. Linda Walters, Paul Sacks of UCF, CJ Greene from The Nature Conservancy and half a dozen UCF Undergraduate and Masters students! We spent the day in the Indian River Lagoon collecting data on oyster reefs, both previously restored and natural reefs. With the help of many wild dolpins jumping around our boat and the beautiful sunshine above, we were able to have a very productive day! Astonishing numbers continue to come in showing the success of oyster restoration mats in the lagoon as they provide a habitat to young oysters (called spat-isn't that fun?!). Thanks to our volunteers and partners for making this such a great project and for helping Brevard Zoo put our mission statement of 'Wildlife Conservation through Education and Participation' into action. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Jody Palmer, Oyster Restoration Outreach Coordinator, reports in after a day out on the Mosquito Lagoon: What a great day I had working with Dr. Linda Walters, Paul Sacks of UCF, CJ Greene from The Nature Conservancy and half a dozen UCF Undergraduate and Masters students! We spent the day in the Indian River Lagoon collecting data on oyster reefs, both previously restored and natural reefs. With the help of many wild dolpins jumping around our boat and the beautiful sunshine above, we were able to have a very productive day! Astonishing numbers continue to come in showing the success of oyster restoration mats in the lagoon as they provide a habitat to young oysters (called spat-isn’t that fun?!). Thanks to our volunteers and partners for making this such a great project and for helping Brevard Zoo put our mission statement of ‘Wildlife Conservation through Education and Participation’ into action. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

The project consists of preparing, building and deploying oyster-shell mats, constructed from mesh and oyster shells. This project has brought together more than 30,000 volunteers who have made more than 36,000 mats to restore 58 reefs in Mosquito Lagoon, according to Palmer.

Oysters are filter feeders that improve water quality and clarity by filtering water. They also are a food source and provide habitat for many species of wildlife.

Recognition as one of March’s heroes of conservation puts Palmer in the running to be the conservation hero of the year and has earned the conservation department $500 to put toward operations.

For more information about the oyster reef restoration project log on to BrevardZoo.org/conservation/local


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