Brevard Zoo’s Olivia Escandell Talks About How Oysters Help Clean the Indian River Lagoon
By Space Coast Daily // January 19, 2020
SPACE COAST DAILY TV FEATURES Brevard Zoo Conservation Coordinator Olivia Escandell
DO YOU LOVE OYSTERS? Oysters are being used to help clean the Indian River Lagoon and Brevard Zoo Conservation Coordinator Olivia Escandell talks about the process and how oysters help, on Space Coast Daily TV.
Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition to Hold Public Forum, ‘Lagoon Straight Talk’ on January 22 at Satellite Beach High School Auditorium
BREVARD COUNTY • SATELLITE, FLORIDA – January 2020, marks the third anniversary of the massive undertaking to restore the Indian River Lagoon, and progress is gradually and steadily being made.
In November 2016, citizens of Brevard County took bold steps, unlike no other Florida community.
Voters overwhelmingly said yes to establish the Save Our Indian River Lagoon Trust Fund with a half-cent sales tax to heal our lagoon.
Currently, the fund has collected over $125-million, nearly a fourth of which is contributed by tourists. Over the 10-year life of the tax, it is expected to raise over $400-million.
It’s time to take stock of all that has been done, and what the future holds.
The Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition will hold a public forum, Lagoon Straight Talk, on January 22 at the Satellite Beach High School auditorium, located on 300 Scorpion Court, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Eighteen lagoon projects are complete, with more than 64 in the pipeline and actively moving forward. Every project represents progress for the lagoon.
In the first three years over 160 septic systems have been converted to sewer systems, eliminating a primary source of nutrient pollution in the lagoon. More septic conversions are underway.
ABOVE VIDEO: Marilyn ‘MJ’ Waters and Brandon Smith talk with Space Coast Daily’s Giles Malone about an update on the Indian River Lagoon on Space Coast Daily TV.
Two significant muck dredging projects are complete, another is underway, and another is ready to start in 2020.
Millions of cubic yards of muck are being removed. Dredging clears muck waste from the sea bed of the lagoon, allowing for regrowth of seagrasses and restoration of fish habitat.
Four Baffle Box projects are completed. More are planned, including the largest installation east of the Mississippi. Baffle boxes capture stormwater debris and pollutants before they can flow into the lagoon.
Through the Brevard Zoo’s conservation program natural mangrove shorelines are being replanted, oyster reefs are being added to help filter nutrients.
3.7-million pounds of oyster shells have been replanted. Oysters are coming back to the lagoon for the first time in a half-century.
At the free Straight Talk forum, progress reports will come from Virginia Barker, Director of Brevard County Department of Natural Resource Management; and Dr. Duane De Freese, Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon Council of the National Estuary Program.