The IRLNEP has funded a total of 24 projects for the 2017-2018 fiscal year that amount to $1,742,088 in funding. Each project is unique in its own regard and focuses on lagoon restoration, science or research, public education and engagement, or nutrient reduction.



Six projects totaling $439,523


Seven projects totaling $356,623


Four projects totaling $574,148


Five projects totaling $295,044


Two projects totaling $76,750


Tetra Tech, Inc.: Technical Support and Data Management for Revision of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP)

Project Cost: $100,000.00

Tetra Tech, Inc. will provide technical support and data management to the IRLNEP as the process of revising the 2008 CCMP moves forward.  They will develop and provide a database of lagoon-focused projects on the planning horizons of agencies, counties and cities having regulatory responsibility for the lagoon.  They will also analyze elements of the 2008 CCMP for relevance, update existing information and develop new information to inform development of a fully revised CCMP; present update information to the Management Conference and community stakeholders, collect and incorporate public comment and deliver a finalized plan that will guide program implementation over the next ten years.

University of Central Florida: Oyster Reef and Living Shoreline Restoration

Project Cost: $82,770.00

Project will add to the network of restored shorelines and oyster reefs in Mosquito Lagoon. Led by the University of Central Florida, with the support of Marine Discovery Center and the Coastal Conservation Alliance, the project will engage volunteers from a variety of organizations to accomplish the following:  creation of an additional 4 – 6 oyster reefs in locations where dead reefs are currently located; stabilization of 1,000 meters of shoreline using living shoreline restoration techniques; distribution of 60,000 pounds of oyster shell via the Shuck and Share program; and community engagement via 10 restoration events and workdays in Mosquito Lagoon utilizing a minimum of 500 volunteers. Once implemented, the project will protect cultural and historical assets in Mosquito Lagoon and provide water quality benefits associated with oyster filtration.

Brevard Zoo: Restore Our Shores

Project Cost: $81,280.00

The project will restore a minimum of 500 linear feet of shoreline using native plants and oyster reef restoration techniques. Brevard Zoo will collaborate with Brevard County and additional partners to collect, recycle, cure and bag approximately 1,300 oyster shell bags; collect, pot and grow a minimum of 1,000 native shoreline plants; conduct a minimum of 20 public workshops to engage volunteers that will provide approximately 2,500 hours of labor to prepare the site and install the living shoreline materials.

Various: Grant Writing Support and Capacity-Building for IRLNEP Stakeholders

Project Cost: $80,000.00

Three consultants, each with specific areas of expertise, will assist the IRLNEP and lagoon stakeholders with capacity building through technical assistance in grant-writing.  This service will be provided at no cost to stakeholders wishing to utilize grant-writing services to leverage funding in order to complete projects that improve water quality, reduce nutrients, or engage the public.

Florida DEP Aquatic Preserves: IRL Shoreline Restoration

Project Cost: $52,425.00

The goal of the IRL Shoreline Restoration Project is to re-establish living shoreline habitats on public shorelines along the IRL while promoting public use and enjoyment of public lands.  This project will continue implementation of the IRL Shoreline Restoration Site Selection and Ranking Report and update it where needed.  Additional native saltmarsh vegetation will be restored to 200 square-meters of shoreline along the IRL.  Existing restoration sites will be managed and monitored to continue successful vegetation re-establishment. A minimum of 4 engagement events will be provided with Brevard Zoo through the Adopt-a-Mangrove program in order to solicit volunteer participation. Other activities associated with this project include mapping existing oyster reefs; monitoring and reporting on IRL populations of horseshoe crabs, diamondback terrapins, shore birds, and river otters; and presenting findings at one professional scientific meeting.

Florida Oceanographic: Seagrass Restoration Using New Genetic Techniques

Project Cost: $43,048.00

Project will improve a 500-square meter seagrass nursery housed on the Florida Oceanographic campus; propagate seagrasses non-destructively by collecting washed ashore fragments; genotyping of propagated seagrasses; and maintenance of genetically distinct clonal cultures. Project will create a baseline of knowledge for genetic diversity in IRL seagrass populations while raising seagrasses that can be utilized during two restoration events at permitted sites to both increase patch size in existing beds and increase genetic diversity within plots. This unique project couples restoration activities to novel scientific research that will enhance our knowledge of seagrass diversity and genetic resilience.

Bethune-Cookman University: Reed Canal Stormwater Improvements

Project Cost: $181,148.00

Project creates a one-acre stormwater treatment wetland in the city of South Daytona Beach that retrofits Rinker’s Pond in the Reed Canal, which accepts urban drainage from the cities of Daytona Beach and South Daytona.  Project increases the capacity of the canal to treat stormwater runoff prior to its release. It is expected to decrease nutrient loading to the estuary by 20% and sediment loading by 30%. The engagement component of the project will provide stormwater education and outreach to a minimum of 100 residents and property owners, helping to improve public awareness of the effects of stormwater.

Town of Sewall’s Point: Mandalay Marguerita Stormwater Improvements

Project Cost: $180,000.00

This project constructs a stormwater treatment train that includes installation of baffle boxes outfitted with filters for stormwater treatment, and a 1-acre Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) that will replace most of the 8 existing outfalls currently draining directly to the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. Included in the project is monitoring of baffle box effluent, and educational signage and communication to keep the public informed about the project’s water quality benefits. Project is expected to remove 62.4 pounds per year of total nitrogen (TN) and 9.6 pounds per year of total phosphorus (TP).

Town of Ocean Breeze: Stormwater Treatment Train

Project Cost: $180,000.00

This project constructs a stormwater treatment train that includes bioswales, exfiltration trenches, grassed detention and baffle boxes fitted with stormwater treatment filters.  Project location is along Indian River Drive from Jensen Beach through the town of Ocean Breeze and is part of a larger project that will remove 500 mobile homes from septic systems, replacing them in a community redevelopment with 350 homes on a sewer system. The stormwater improvements are expected to remove 307 pounds per year of total nitrogen (TN) and 19 pounds per year of total phosphorus (TP), as well as reducing fecal coliforms by approximately 48% and copper by 69%.

City of Satellite Beach: DeSoto Parkway Stormwater and Drainage Improvements

Project Cost: $33,000.00

Project implements water and habitat restoration along DeSoto Parkway in Satellite Beach.  Project elements include installing vegetated stormwater bioretention swales, vegetating the shorelines of existing retention ponds, and planting a minimum of 10,000 Spartina grasses and 500 mangrove plants. Pre- and post- water quality monitoring will be conducted by the City.  Citizen outreach components include 4 city events to engage volunteers in planting activieties, 6 citizen workdays, 3 stormwater workshops, development of web information as well as 3 educational videos, educational signage along the project site, and deployment of 10,000 door hangers to keep residents informed.

Florida Institute of Technology: Sediment Aeration Efficacy Evaluation

Project Cost: $120,000.00

Project will provide an objective assessment of whether aeration of sediments can oxidize (decompose) the 10 – 30% organic matter in Indian River Lagoon muck while impeding or sequestering releases of bioavailable nitrogen and phosphorus to the overlying water. If the project is successful, it is expected that aeration of muck will provide a significant decrease in the organic content of sediments and in benthic fluxes of bioavailable nitrogen and phosphorus. It may also provide evidence for the use of sediment aeration as a complement to muck dredging and will inform future management of muck deposits in the lagoon.

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute: Wildlife Heath Indicators

Project Cost: $66,000.00

Project will deliver a comprehensive review of IRL bottlenose dolphin and river otter health over the last two decades. Investigators will review necropsy data on bottlenose dolphins to collect health indicators such as body condition, cause of death, gross pathology findings, age, presence of contaminants or diseases. Also included will be an analysis of river otter tissues collected from carcasses. Skin samples will be analyzed for mercury concentrations; muscle tissue will be analyzed for stable isotope values, blood samples will be analyzed for disease presence and biomedical assays. Findings will be analyzed to determine key factors indicating health.

Applied Ecology, Inc.: State of the IRL Web Application

Project Cost: $42,590.00

Project will deliver a fully functional web application with visualization and querying tools that house key water quality and habitat/benthic indicators of ecological health.  Included in the projects are delivery of a User Guide and a gap analysis that evaluates spatiotemporal resolution of existing data sets, gaps in data collection and target estimates of key indicators.

University of Central Florida: Shoreline Restoration Suitability Model – Phase I

Project Cost: $41,454.00

Investigators will conduct a shoreline assessment of 125 miles of north Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon. Analysis will include a characterization of shoreline condition, extent of hard armoring, and identification and prioritization of shorelines in need of stabilization or restoration. Project will improve our understanding of current shoreline conditions and identify areas of highest priority for shoreline restoration or stabilization in order to better inform decision-making and likelihood of success in conducting wetland and oyster restorations.

AMEC Foster Wheeler: Atmospheric Deposition Monitoring Station

Project Cost: $25,000.00

Project will continue monitoring efforts of meteorological conditions and dry and wet deposition of total phosphorus and total nitrogen from a monitoring station located at Coconut Point near Sebastian Inlet.  This station is the only one in operation for the entire lagoon watershed. Sample collection and processing will provide an estimate of nitrogen and phosphorus loading to the lagoon from atmospheric deposition.

IDEAS: IRLNEP Brand Activation and Implementation

Project Cost: $100,000.00

This project will develop strategic messaging to assist in implementing Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) priorities, expand engagement with local communities, and succinctly articulate the vision and value proposition of the IRLNEP.  Deliverables include 2 half-day enculturation sessions, production of a learner’s guide summarizing important IRL-focused topics, audio production of compelling, personal IRL stories for up to 50 stakeholders, creation of a One Voice web page to house archived audio/photo/video experiences. This archive may be used to drive social media content, news channel content via YouTube or other options and will serve to enhance public support for IRL restoration and protection efforts.

IRLNEP: Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) External Communication with Stakeholders

Project Cost: $40,000.00

This project will fund development of print and web materials, maps and graphics production associated with revising the 2008 CCMP.  Project will provide for enhanced communication with the Management Conference and community stakeholders to improve understanding of IRL issues and solutions, communicate the content and value of the lagoonwide CCMP, and improve community understanding and support for the role of the IRLNEP in lagoon restoration and protection efforts.

O.R.C.A.: The Living Lagoon

Project Cost: $37,434.00

In association with other Indian River County organizations,  O.R.C.A. will involve community groups in establishment of living shorelines, breakwater construction, and native plant restoration of shorelines on properties owned by the Indian River Land Trust. A minimum of 600 students will be engaged to grow native shoreline plants and then use these plants in hands-on shoreline restorations. Living shorelines will be installed at 11 locations using 1,200 student-grown native plants. Restored sites will be monitored and managed for changes in water or sediment quality, species abundance and species diversity.

Marine Resources Council: LagoonWatch Network

Project Cost: $28,788.00

Working with partners in Volusia County and Martin County, the Marine Resources Council seeks to expand the LagoonWatch citizen water quality monitoring network. The project will develop an improved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for approval by the U.S. EPA to insure data quality and data management protocols are adequate. Additionally, 80 volunteers will be outfitted and trained to perform water quality monitoring. Volunteers will be tested with quality control blind samples to insure accuracy of their methods. Volunteers will submit data to a central database and MRC will create a database on their website to archive collected information and share among partners.

University of Florida Extension Services: Nutrient Source Evaluation of Waterfront Homes

Project Cost: $27,401.00

Seven Extension Services horticulture, natural resources, and Sea Grant Extension agents will work with citizen volunteers to illustrate the sources of nutrients entering water bodies from residences and that Florida-Friendly landscaping provides water quality benefits by reducing the need for nutrients in home landscapes. Ten waterfront homes will be selected to participate in a study to assess surface runoff from their properties. Five homes will use traditional landscape practices, while five will be Florida-Friendly landscapes. A minimum of 130 surface water samples will be collected and analyzed for forms of nitrogen and phosphate present. Data collected will be utilized as case studies in public education program targeting a minimum of 1,500 lagoon community residents. Extension agents will also incorporate study results into existing Florida-Friendly Landscaping programs and other education efforts to showcase the benefits of using Florida-Friendly practices.

Various: IRLNEP Small Grants Program

Project Cost: $100,000.00

The IRLNEP will provide small grants valued between $500 – $5,000 to community groups and organizations wishing to conduct lagoon-focused restoration projects and community engagement or education projects.  Two grant cycles will occur, each making $50,000 available. The IRLNEP Citizens’ Advisory Committee will review and rank proposals received and make funding recommendations to the Management Board and Board of Directors. The goal of the Small Grants Program is to more widely engage the lagoon community in order to engage teachers and schools, small community groups and civic organizations, involve them in IRLNEP activities and efforts, and over the long term, enhance community knowledge about the IRL, improve stewardship, and improve public support for IRL Restoration and protection efforts.

R.W. Parkinson Consulting: Resilient Coastal Communities Risk Assessment – Phase I

Project Cost: $24,700.00

This project will complete a risk-based vulnerability assessment of Indian River Lagoon communities to climate change and sea-level rise. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Steps for Climate Change Risk Management Methodology publication will guide development of the vulnerability assessment. In this phase of the project, the consultant will contact and communicate with lagoon stakeholders, establish a context for IRL vulnerabilities to climate change and sea-level rise, identify particular risks and analyze them, producing a final risk evaluation for IRL communities.

R.W. Parkinson Consulting: Resilient Coastal Communities Risk Assessment – Phase II

Project Cost: $52,050.00

This project will complete a risk-based vulnerability assessment of Indian River Lagoon communities to climate change and sea-level rise and assist in improving community understanding of coastal risks and potential adaptations to climate change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Steps for Climate Change Risk Management Methodology publication will guide development of the vulnerability assessment. In this phase of the project, the consultant will develop an adaptation plan for lagoon communities, decide on a course of action based on the risk assessment conducted during Phase I, identify specific actions to be undertaken to adapt to potential risks, prepare and implement an action plan, and monitor and review changing conditions. The final risk assessment and adaptation plan will be shared with communities throughout the region to inform their future planning efforts.