First Legends of the Indian River Lagoon Hall of Fame to be Inducted Nov. 4 in Melbourne
By Space Coast Daily // September 8, 2022
Legends will be inducted annually and honored at MRC headquarters in Palm Bay
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE BEACH, FLORIDA – The first Legends of the Indian River Lagoon, a new hall of fame, will be inducted by Marine Resources Council at the Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront on November 4.
The event is set to take place from 5-8 p.m.
Their stories will then be promoted to help call attention to the significant progress that is being made in restoring balance to the rapidly developing coastal community east of metropolitan Orlando and what more needs to happen.
The diverse, narrow, and fragile 156-mile-long lagoon waterway parallels 40 percent of the Atlantic coastline of Florida and is one of only 28 Estuaries of National Significance in the U.S.
“The Legends of the Indian River Lagoon will be the people, organizations, and projects that should be long remembered for protecting, restoring, uniting, and promoting Florida’s east-central coastal community,” said MRC Executive Director Leesa Souto, Ph.D.
Legends will be inducted annually, honored at MRC headquarters in Palm Bay, and their stories promoted through various channels to help advance the cause of restoring balance to the region.
The celebration also will feature the annual MRC Conservation Awards, including five categories: government employee, elected official, volunteer, a project of the year, and wave maker.
While progress is being made, the foundational seagrass habitat of the lagoon is dying, due to rapid population growth, growing pollution, outdated infrastructure, and unchecked development.
“We need to understand better what is polluting our water and achieve balance as we develop our communities,” said Souto.
“Counties and cities need to implement common-sense, cost-saving Low Impact Development (LID) practices, which will reduce flooding and water pollution, build more resilient communities and strengthen their economies,” she added.
The lagoon is surrounded by beaches, wildlife refuges, Kennedy Space Center, and more than 40 rapidly developing municipalities.
East of Orlando, fresh water from 10 major tributaries and a vast network of creeks, canals, and roadways all drain into the lagoon, introducing a variety of pollutants that mix there, with salt water from the Atlantic Ocean.
Since 1990, MRC members and volunteers have worked together to create a SEA Change: Science + Education + Action.
“A protected and restored lagoon in turn will protect home values, the economy, and industries such as eco-tourism and commercial and sport fishing,” Dr. Souto concluded.
Those interested in attending the Love Our Lagoon Celebration, knowing more about the Legends of the IRL, and MRC volunteer and member opportunities may visit SaveTheIRL.org or phone 321-725-7775.
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