Environmentalists Discuss Health of Indian River Lagoon

By  //  August 29, 2013

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Capt. Rodney Smith urges to keep up the fight

ABOVE VIDEO: “A Day on the Indian River Lagoon” in Brevard County with Laurilee Thompson, owner of Dixie Crossroads, and passionate guardian and advocate of the Space Coast environment.

‘Hands Across the Lagoon’ Planned Statewide In Sept.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Environmental groups from around Brevard County recently assembled at Brevard Zoo to discuss the importance of improving the health of the Indian River Lagoon.

Neta Harris executive director of the Brevard Nature Alliance with Rodney Smith, whose presentation entertained and educated an enthusiastic audience. Smith stressed that there is much work to be done to clean up and reverse the damage done to the Indian River Lagoon. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

Neta Harris, executive director of the Brevard Nature Alliance, left, with Rodney Smith, whose presentation entertained and educated an enthusiastic audience. Smith stressed that there is much work to be done to clean up and reverse the damage done to the Indian River Lagoon. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

Friends of Ulumay and Preserve Brevard hosted an evening with Capt. Rodney Smith, whose presentation urged audience members to keep up the fight to make people aware of the importance the health of the Indian River Lagoon.

“Not only fishermen reap the benefits of the Indian River lagoon,” Smith said.

“It’s a way of life here that the Indian River Lagoon supplies.  Many species are supported by the Lagoon and we need to fight to keep it clean.”

Attending the event were groups including the Audubon Society, Brevard Nature Alliance and Keep Brevard Beautiful.

“It’s devastating what is happening to our lagoon,” said Laurilee Thompson of Dixie Crossroads in Titusville.

“It’s devastating what is happening to our lagoon,” said Laurilee Thompson of Dixie Crossroads in Titusville.

“There have been a few events recently that were attended by diverse segments of our environmental organizations.  They have all been extremely well-attended and that sends a clear message that our community wants to fix our Indian River Lagoon.”

The health of the Indian River Lagoon has been an issue that has been gathering media attention in news outlets across the country.

NYTimes.com Details Brevard’s Environmental Challenges

Fishing guide Mike Badarack, above left, said as the number of people who want to see manatees, go fishing and enjoy a vacation at the indian River Lagoon increases, the lagoon's health decreases. Here, Mike assists a vacationer in the Lagoon. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Fishing guide Mike Badarack, above left, said as the number of people who want to see manatees, go fishing and enjoy a vacation at the indian River Lagoon increases, the lagoon’s health decreases. Above, Mike assists Dr. Jess Yates, right, of Satellite Beach Family Dentistry with a trophy fish. Badarack and many others have contacted legislators to ask for help in the clean up of the Indian River Lagoon. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

“The fact that metropolitan newspapers have covered the declining health of the Lagoon shows you that this issue is very important,” said Mike Badarack, well-known fishing guide from Satellite Beach.

“There are several factors at work here:  Stormwater runoff; septic leakage; fertilizer and accumulated biomass from the loss of habitat.  Our Lagoon is almost depleted and we need to reverse this trend.”

Several “Hands Across the Lagoon” events will be held throughout Florida Sept. 28 at 9 a.m., including a lineup across the Melbourne Causeway and a lineup across the Titusville Causeway.

For more information, contact Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, at 321-722-5363, or e-mail khill@sjrwmd.com.

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Capt. Rodney Smith made a presentation that underscored the importance of keeping fertilizer and other pollutants out of the Indian River Lagoon. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

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At the Brevard Zoo event, Doug Sphar, right, noted it was one of the biggest crowds he had ever seen gathered to discuss the health of the Indian River Lagoon. “It’s great that all aspects of the environment are represented here in the room,” he said. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

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Also on hand to participate in the evening’s discussion were longtime environmental advocates, left to right, Virginia Barker, Maureen Rupe and Mary Sphar. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

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Jane Goddard, attorney with the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, left, said that the Indian River Lagoon and all bodies of water need to have their best interest represented at the table. Goddard’s work embodies a new type of environmental law. Here she is pictured with Jim Durocher and Jaro Baima of Space Coast Kayaking. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

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Brevard Nature Alliance, which annually holds the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, was out in force as Neta Harris and her entourage gave a report about the success of the top-rated annual event. Pictured above are Rhonda Harris, left, and Dianne George.(SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

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Representatives from many of the nature organizations in Brevard County got together to hear Rodney Smith speak about our environment and the Indian River Lagoon’s declining health. Above, left to right: Matt Hayden, Rodney Smith, Laurilee Thompson and Jim Eager. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

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At the recent gathering of Friends of Ulumay – Preserve Brevard, Rodney Smith addressed the crowd on the health of the Indian River Lagoon. Above are Jon Branagan, left, and Sharon Watkins. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Denise Song of Port Canaveral Association, Michael Slotin of Floatin’ With Slotin Adventure Tours, Barb Venuto of Keep Brevard Beautiful and Bob Day of the Indian River Lagoon Estuary Program enjoy an evening with fellow nature enthusiasts. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)


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