The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is a state agency charged with balancing the needs of Florida’s more than 500 native species of saltwater fish, 200 native species of freshwater fish and 575 species of wildlife with the needs of nearly 19 million residents and millions of visitors.
The FWC encourages divers to remove lionfish from Florida waters whenever they can and helps educate the public about the lionfish issue through outreach campaigns and programs such as Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (first day after Mother’s Day each year) and the Reef Ranger Lionfish Removal Program. Staff are also investigating lionfish habitat use, prey items and reproduction in nearby Indian River Lagoon.
Founded by husband and wife dive team Bob and Maria Hickerson in 2010. Our goal is to develop innovative techniques and tools to aid in the safe removals of invasive lionfish as well as aid in establishing a successful market for them. Our current project involves the development of a unique Lionfish-Specific trap called the “Frapper Trap”. Testing of our concept, design and fabrication of trap components is ongoing at our own facility in Vero Beach.
Indian River County is home to some of the most densely nested beaches in the United States. Thanks to the County’s Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and a large group of volunteers, all beaches within the county undergo uniform daily sea turtle nest monitoring. Every day County staff or volunteers load up ATV’s with nest marking supplies and data sheets, roll out onto the beach and begin recording details about every turtle crawl made the night before. These individuals may end up working on the beaches up to 8 hours a day covered in sand, sweat, and saltwater to protect sea turtles so their populations can return to a sustainable level. Volunteers also commit to helping rescue sick or injured turtles, lead lighting surveys in parts of the county and conduct educational programs to better inform the residents and guests of our sea turtles and the importance of our beaches.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserve (IRLAP) Field Office is responsible for the overall management, preservation, and restoration of seven Aquatic Preserves: the Indian River Lagoon – Malabar to Vero AP; Banana River AP; Mosquito Lagoon AP; Indian River Lagoon – Jensen Beach to Jupiter Inlet AP; Indian River Lagoon – Vero to Ft. Pierce AP; Loxahatchee River/Lake Worth Creek AP; and North Fork of the St. Lucie River AP.
We manage a total of approximately 107,712 acres of sovereign submerged lands between these seven aquatic preserves, including the spoil islands located within them. The main goals of the IRLAP are resource management, exotic species removal, education and outreach, and research and monitoring. Resource management is conducted through several of IRLAP’s programs including the Shoreline Restoration Program (SRP) and the Spoil Island Program (SIP). Education and Outreach events are conducted on a year round basis in all six counties where the IRLAP manages aquatic preserves. IRLAP staff coordinates numerous projects, presents to students ranging from elementary to universities classes, attends workshops held by various organization and government groups, and attends numerous festivals.
A 501-c-3 environmental nonprofit organization, Keep Indian River Beautiful has been serving Indian River County and the inclusive cities and towns since 1998. Our mission is to empower individuals to take greater responsibility for community environments by involving volunteers in litter prevention, beautification, recycling, and conservation education. Our work is amplified by private and public partnerships and we leverage every dollar to make a meaningful and memorable difference in the lives of our neighbors. We know the best solutions come when everyone collaborates and combine our core strengths to solve local problems.
The Friends of the Carr Refuge is a non-profit organization dedicated to provide resources to meet the needs of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge where funding and assistance is not otherwise available. They aim to promote the conservation of sea turtles and natural resources of the ACNWR and engage in such educational, scientific partnership and civic activities as will support the mission of the refuge.
Riverwalk Nature Center, part of Brevard County Parks & Recreation, is a marine science center focused on the Indian River Lagoon. Located at 5355 US Hwy 1 in Rockledge, it provides environmental education programs for preschool through adults. The center itself boast a collection of live animals from the Indian River Lagoon as well as other interactive exhibits. A 915 foot boardwalk winds through just over six acres of a nature preserve, which includes an oak hammock, freshwater swamp, and a beach along the estuary open to explore. The nature center is open Tuesday through Saturday while the trails are open seven days a week.
The ELC is a 64-Acre Natural Lagoon Island Preserve open to the public with 1 1/2 miles of boardwalks, nature trails, greenhouse with native plants, butterfly garden, canoe and pontoon boat dock, dip-netting pond, Nature Nook Gift Shop, Discovery Station Interactive Museum & Aquariums with a 145 gallon marine life Touch Tank.
Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower all people, including those with minimal access to nature, to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being.
The St. Johns River Water Management District is an environmental regulatory agency of Florida with an 18-county service area. Florida’s five regional water management districts were established in 1972 by the state Legislature. The work of the district is focused on its four primary, core missions of water quality, water supply, flood protection and natural systems enhancement. The district works to ensure a long-term supply of drinking water, and to protect and restore the health of northeast and east-central Florida’s water bodies.
The premier saltwater fishing spot on Florida’s east coast. Surfing is also a popular recreation and several major competitions are held here every year. Two museums provide a history of the area. The McLarty Treasure Museum features the history of the 1715 Spanish treasure fleet; the Sebastian Fishing Museum tells the history of the area’s fishing industry. Three miles of beautiful beaches provide opportunities for swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, shelling, and sunbathing. Canoeing and kayaking in the Indian River Lagoon are also favorite pastimes. Visitors can relax with a stroll down the mile-long Hammock Trail. Waterfront pavilions and picnic areas are great for family outings. A campground for RVs and tent campers is available along with a boat ramp. Located on State Road A1A, 7 miles north of County Road 510 in Wabasso.