One Lagoon, One Voice:

Your Quarterly Guide to IRLNEP News and Progress

Rising temperatures and summer rains have arrived, signaling the beginning of algal bloom season in the Indian River Lagoon. So far this year, water quality has remained good throughout most of the Lagoon. However, routine sampling conducted by the University of Florida and Florida Atlantic University-Harbor Branch (funded by the IRLNEP), Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, and other partners show that two species of single-celled algae have been blooming sporadically. Pyrodinium bahamense, a dinoflagellate, and Pseudo-nitzschia sp., a diatom, are both common in the IRL. Under the right environmental conditions, each can produce toxins. For the most part however, this year’s blooms have remained localized and short in duration with no reports of toxic conditions causing harm to wildlife or people.

An interesting thing to note about algal blooms is that they can be beautiful too. Pyrodinium bahamense is also known for producing bioluminescence, the shimmering bluish glow of light that captivates local residents and visitors who kayak the Lagoon during the summer.

Person kayaking on the Lagoon during bioluminescence
organisms living in estuaries that produce light

In much the same way that a firefly glows in the dark, many marine organisms living in estuaries and along our coasts also produce light. From June to October, the waters of the Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River, and Indian River Lagoon come alive with bioluminescence. It’s produced by energy released from chemical reactions occurring inside the organism and comes in response to disturbance or attempted predation. Water movement caused by paddling enhances the emission of light in Pyrodinium. If you’ve never observed bioluminescence in the lagoon, there are numerous guided, nighttime tours available. Just reach out online to providers or to your local Office of Tourism.

Plastic Bottle Caps Can Do What?!

Plastic bottle caps can do what?! Florida Institute of Technology researchers repurposed bottle caps to decrease nutrients in the lagoon… and it’s working!

In nature, aerobic bacteria can consume or “eat” nitrates and phosphates. Nitrates and phosphates are nutrients often found in fertilizer, animal waste, and decaying plants. While these nutrients are natural and necessary for plants and other organisms to grow, too much of them can cause problems like water pollution and harmful algal blooms.

This is where the “good” bacteria come in. They have a special skill called bioremediation which allows them to break down or remove excess nutrients from their environment. When nitrates and phosphates are present, these bacteria can use them as a source of food… and all we have to do is supply the place for them to grow.

That’s exactly what Dr. Austin Fox with Florida’s Institute of Technology set out to do when he experimented with using discarded plastic bottle caps to provide the bacteria with water, food and shelter. Plastic “bio-balls” are used frequently in home aquariums to grow bacteria, but Dr. Fox didn’t want to add to the plastic problem, so he turned trash into treasure by using plastic bottle caps.

Plastic bottle caps are made from food grade, high density polyethylene and contain enough ridges that provide just as much surface area as commercial plastic bio-balls. By containing the bottle caps in mesh bags in a sealed barrel the researchers were able to reduce UV degradation and prevent breakages from movement. However, Dr. Fox was still worried about the potential for microplastics, so he and his students surveyed for microplastics before and after the water was filtered.

But how did he get thousands of bottle caps to help test this theory? He turned to the students in the Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences

Plastic bottle caps bags

college at FIT. This slowly grew to a community-wide project that involved around 30 K-12 schools, drop offs at local non-profits, and various clubs in town. In all, the project had thousands of volunteers from the southern part of the lagoon, donating over 2 million bottle caps for this project.

With funding from the IRLNEP, Dr. Fox was able to create a system that pulled lagoon water into a barrel filled with bottle caps and allowed the water to filter through before being released back into the lagoon. Researchers tested the water for nitrates, phosphates, and microplastics before it went into the system, and again as it left the system. The results were positive! In just a year, the team filtered 1.5 million gallons of lagoon water and reduced both nitrates and phosphates by over 50%. Better yet, the team discovered that it also reduced counts of microplastics by approximately 90% and there has been no indication of breakdown of the bottle caps.

So what’s next for Dr. Fox and his team? “The lagoon is not the only impaired water body on earth, and early on we realized that this system could be made using repurposed materials that are available basically anywhere on earth,” said Fox. “So our end goal is to create a simple, cheap and reliable version of the system that could be recreated using local and repurposed materials basically anywhere, especially thinking about lower income areas. I think we are on the verge of understanding the science enough to get these systems up and going in other places.”.

We think so too!

To learn more about this project, check out the IRLNEP 2022 Annual Report on onelagoon.org.

Quarterly Meetings

Citizens’ Advisory Committee
IRL Citizen’s Advisory Committee
IRL Management Conference during quarterly meetings

Citizen’s Advisory Committee

Each time the members of the IRL Management Conference hold their quarterly meetings, they demonstrate commitment to continuing the progress of bringing the Indian River Lagoon back to a healthy balance.

The Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) kicked off the quarterly meetings with a thoughtful discussion of the Small Grant Proposals.

The Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program (IRLNEP) accepts grant applications from schools, local citizen groups and non-profit organizations for projects that support community engagement/education and restoration projects. Projects selected for funding help foster a Lagoon-Friendly ethic and promote community stewardship of the IRL. The entire Management Conference views these projects as meaningful ways to engage as many segments of the public as possible to focus on IRL protection and restoration.

CAC members ranked an impressive 19 proposals and recommended funding for ten proposed projects. The CAC is committed to attracting a more diverse pool of applicants and helping them create better proposals. They suggested staff conduct a feedback workshop and grant-writing webinar for the applicants that were not recommended for funding. This webinar would be offered live, as well as recorded for the IRLNEP website.

Management Board and STEM Advisory Committee

The following week, the Management Board (MB) and the Science Technology Engineering and Monitoring Advisory Committee (STEM AC) recommended the Small Grants project list and the IRL Council Board approved the nine small grant proposals (Read Small Grants Notice of Decision)

Dr. Duane De Freese thanked Mel Bromberg for her service to the IRL Management Council as she steps down from the Management Board.

Both Dr. Chuck Jacoby, from St Johns Water Management District (SJRWMD), and Kathy LaMartina, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) reported stable, typical water quality measures, with short lived fluctuations in some areas.

Based on 700 camera drops, SJRWMD indicated some initial seagrass growth. More details will be available after SJRWMD completes its large-scale seagrass monitoring efforts (starting in May). As usual, oyster spat recruitment rates started increasing in April, indicating the beginning of the spawning season. Live oyster densities have been stable over the past two years, with an increase in densities from April 2022 to April 2023.

Dr. Kai Rains, University of South Florida, presented a restoration prioritization tool designed to help identify both current and historical wetlands draining into the IRL. By setting specific queries based on stakeholder goals, local governments can more easily identify and target wetland restoration, preservation, and/or mitigation. The STEM AC was particularly interested in the possibility of expanding the tool to include septic to sewer prioritization.

Dennis Hanisak presented One Lagoon Monitoring Plan Draft which supports the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). The plan underwent a thorough peer review process. One key goal is to coordinate IRL monitoring, data sharing, and mapping throughout the IRL and its watershed.

This plan will lead to an integrated, comprehensive monitoring network that will:

  • Provide a comprehensive set of accessible data on conditions and biological resources, recognizing that data on socioeconomic conditions represent valuable, future additions;
  • Support the assessment of progress toward consensus targets, including identifying potential barriers to success and their causes, and how to remove them;
  • Facilitate adaptive management of the IRL;
  • Be a resource for the research community, resource managers, and the public interested in understanding management of the IRL; and
  • Lead to a healthy lagoon

At the STEM AC meeting, a panel discussion on the topic of seagrass highlighted the importance of sharing both successes and failures. The STEM AC suggested forming a local seagrass task force to complement the statewide seagrass task force.

Both the Management Board and the STEM AC recommended that the IRL Council Board of Directors adopt the One Lagoon Monitoring Plan and authorize staff to submit the plan to EPA for review and certification.

Board of Directors Highlights

The Board of Directors appointed two new members to the Management Board. Keith Ramos is the Project Leader for the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Kris Kaufman represents the Restoration Center in the Office of Habitat Conservation for NOAA Fisheries Services.

The Board of Directors adopted the One Lagoon: Monitoring Plan and the IRLNEP long-term strategy for use of BIL Funds, and directed staff to forward the document to U.S. EPA for their certification .

Daniel Kolodny presented the FY 2024 Final Budget and noted some minor modifications, including an increase in administrative services to accommodate the extra workload undertaken by Special Services District (SDS). IRL Council Board of Directors reviewed and adopted the Final Budget for FY 2024 as recommended and accepted the Management Conference recommendations to fund the Small Grants Program.

The IRL Council Board of Directors approved a resolution that supports the Executive Director in pursuing discussions with East Central Florida Regional Planning Council as they seek funding from the Military Installation Resilience Review Program and other coastal resilience initiatives. Dr. Duane De Freese noted that although issuing resolutions is not common, given the extensive growth and advancements at the Kennedy Space Center, it is imperative to address the vulnerability of coastal infrastructure, as it directly affects the IRL.

IRLNEP Staff Reports: 

Community Engagement Update: Kathy Hill reported a significant increase in social media engagement thanks to the efforts of the three Community Engagement Coordinators. She also noted the new 2023 IRLNEP Specialty License Plate is now available in local tag offices.

Information Technology and Delivery Update: KJ Ayres-Guerra discussed the completed Maps & Database for Equity Plan to identify priority communities in the IRL watershed. She outlined methods used to identify Priority Communities including US EPA EJ Screening Tool 2.0, The Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Communities and Title 1 Schools.

IRL Project Update: Daniel Kolodny reported that 49 CCMP Projects/Activities are in progress. Additionally, one CCMP Project is pending. Daniel announced his recent completion of a TEDx talk that focused on seagrass recovery in the IRL. Look for his talk to be posted on YouTube in the near future.

Executive Director Report:

  • Dr. Duane De Freese reported the Economic Development Council’s Space Coast feasibility study has gained momentum and support.
  • The Florida Legislative budget includes funding requests for various projects aimed at improving the Indian River Lagoon.
  • Kathy Hill and Daniel Kolodny recently represented the IRLNEP in Washington, D.C. at the EPA Transformational Coastal Management Event.
  • Kathy Hill delivered a presentation to the House Estuaries Caucus and participated in a panel discussion. Both the House and Senate Appropriation letters that support funding for the NEPs have been submitted with bipartisan support.
  • Although the IRLNEP did not receive funding for the NOAA proposal recently submitted, the proposal was ranked in the highest tier and staff will be working to resubmit during the next round of funding.

Watch the full Board meeting here: May 12, 2023 – Indian River Lagoon Council Meeting – YouTube

Join us at the next meeting on Friday, August 11, 2023 at Sebastian City Hall, 1235 Main Street, Sebastian, FL.

News From The Front…

Local Government Happenings!

The work done by local governments within the IRL watershed is integral on our pathway to a healthy lagoon. We commend our municipal partners for their commitment, hard work and dedication.

Proposed Changes to the Water Quality Infrastructure Grant Program in Volusia County

Volusia County Economic Development Division proposed modifications to the Water Quality Infrastructure Grant, a Water/ Wastewater Support Program. The existing program is a proven, performance-based reimbursement program to expand/construct advanced wastewater treatment systems. Modifications proposed include:

  1. Eligibility changes from solely defense/space contractors expanding to all Volusia County Targeted Industries,
  2. Increasing the minimum wage requirement to exceed County average by 15%, which is proposed to increase upward mobility,
  3. Elimination of the Environmentally Sensitive Area requirement, preventing sprawl while allowing businesses to qualify if there are not existing utilities,
  4. Expanding eligibility into the entire County, instead of only in unincorporated areas in order to work jointly with the City, allowing for improved communications and buy-in.

This program is available to Volusia Target Industries without access to existing utilities and to create and retain quality jobs. Businesses are reimbursed based on their gallon/day capacity. For more on Water Quality in Volusia County, watch Volusia County Water Quality Workshop.

Brevard County receives ranking for cost-share water quality projects

The St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) Governing Board recently approved $20 million in funding for cost-share projects for fiscal year 2023–2024 as part of the Districtwide and Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) and Innovative cost-share programs. These projects all support one or more of the SJRWMD core missions: water supply, water quality, flood protection and natural systems. Projects must begin during fiscal year 2023–2024 with completion expected within two years. The approved projects include:

Brevard County Sykes Creek Muck Removal project will dredge 100,000 cubic yards of muck in 15 acres of canals and nearby open areas of Sykes Creek. Removing this muck will remove 11,101 lbs. of nitrogen and over 1,000 lbs. of phosphorus from the Banana River annually.

West Melbourne Septic-to-Sewer: Lake Ashley Circle and Manor Place/Dundee Circle Neighborhoods project includes the installation of approximately 7,100 linear feet of 8-inch gravity sewer lines, two lift stations, installation of force main, construction of laterals from existing residences, and the abandonment of 106 septic tanks. The estimated nutrient load reduction water quality benefit to the Indian River Lagoon is 1,256 lbs./yr. of total nitrogen.

West Melbourne Ray Bullard Water Reclamation Facility Biological Nutrient Removal Upgrades project includes biological nutrient removal upgrades to the Ray Bullard Water Treatment Facility. The estimated nutrient load reduction water quality benefit to the Indian River Lagoon is 10,822 lbs./yr. of total nitrogen and 2,405 lbs./yr. of total phosphorous.

For more on projects like these in Brevard County, check out SOIRL – Project Information.

Indian River County’s Derelict Vessel Update

Indian River County Commission expressed gratitude for the derelict vessel removal process which reduces pollution in waterways at the May 2, 2023, Board of County Commissioners Meeting.

Thanks to coordinated efforts between Public Works and FWC, staff provided an update on the 16 identified vessels in Indian River County waterways. Ten of them are currently pending removal and out for bid/grant process. Three are currently under investigation, two of which are totally submerged and requiring diving support. Three are in investigative process, pending application of a sticker, part of the 21-day count in order to allow owner to enter administrative process.

Learn more about FWC’s Derelict Vessel Turn-In Program

Abandoned Derelict Vessel

For a vessel to be identified as derelict, it must be open to the elements, and have a loss of steering, or no longer able to power itself. FWC staff also shared the VITP (Vessel Turn-In Program) that allows the owner to voluntarily turn in their vessel, which is a more cost-effective method for all parties involved.

Get the Facts about the St. Lucie River/C-23 Water Quality Project

The water quality restoration/storage project located at McCarty Ranch Extension and Preserve will keep nearly 9 billion gallons of water from entering the North Fork of the St. Lucie River annually. This will result in a 21% reduction in excess freshwater discharge from the C-23 Canal into the river. This treatment project will take approximately 1,871 acres of fallow citrus grove at McCarty Ranch Extension and a 528-acre water impoundment, located at McCarty Ranch Preserve, and convert them into a shallow water storage facility consisting of seven reservoirs capable of receiving water diverted from the C-23 Canal. It also will capture an annual average of 53 inches of rain fall on the property reducing the need to discharge.

Benefits of this project include:

  • 19,409 acre-ft./6.330 billion gallons of water diverted from the C-23 Canal.
  • 7,831 acre-ft./2.554 billion gallons of rainfall and excess water during annual wet season stored.
  • 27,266 acre-ft./8.884 billion gallons total will be kept from entering North Fork of St. Lucie River.
  • Recharge local water table.
  • Removal 56,959 lbs. of Nitrogen and 7,703 lbs. of Phosphorus from the water entering the North Fork of the St. Lucie River annually.
  • Reduction of discharges from the C-23 Canal into the North Fork of the St. Lucie River by 21%.

The project is the precursor to the City’s future alternative water supply. A proposed future cyclic surface water treatment plant will be built to treat the water being pumped from the C-23 Canal to drinking water standards. A certain amount of this treated water will be distributed for public consumption and the rest will be stored in on-site deep aquifer storage and recovery wells (ASRs). The stored water will then be recovered and distributed for consumption, ensuring that Port St. Lucie is able to meet growing water needs for generations to come.

Want to know more about Water Quality Initiatives in Port St. Lucie? Check out the Our Water Video series that City of Port St. Lucie and St. Lucie County teamed up to focus on different aspects of the region’s water-related issues.

East Fork Creek STA in Hobe Sound

East Fork Creek is a 2-phase water quality project whose purpose is to capture stormwater and prevent nutrient pollution from entering the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. Nutrient pollution and stormwater runoff have been identified as being large drivers of seagrass and oyster habitat decline within the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. In 2013, Martin County developed a comprehensive Stormwater Needs Assessment (SNA) Plan to prioritize areas within the County that are deficient in water quality treatment and to eliminate or reduce nutrient runoff to the St. Lucie River and estuary.  During a recent plan update, East Fork Creek was identified as a top priority due to the lack of stormwater treatment, and the amount of nutrient pollution within the system.  The pollution reduction is a Federal mandated requirement that is a part of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) that has been established for the St. Lucie River.

East Fork Creek STA

The site is located along U.S. 1 between Constitution Boulevard and Southeast Heritage Boulevard in Hobe Sound. Several residential developments, which were constructed prior to the requirement of stormwater management plans, drain through the East Fork Creek Basin.  Phase I of the project includes the construction of an 11-acre Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) and the restoration of an additional 10-acres of wetland habitat on the property.  Construction of Phase I started in August of last year and will be completed by October of this year.  Phase II of the project includes the construction of a 700-foot-long STA and 1500-foot-long lake within an unopened right-of-way. Phase II of the project will start in August to September of 2023 and should take six months to complete.  The combined projects are anticipated to remove 70% of the Total Phosphorus (1,200 lbs.) and 45% of the Total Nitrogen (5,800 lbs.) from the system.

Jan & Heather

Seagrass is vital to the health of Florida’s waterways; it provides habitat, nurseries, and food for a variety of species. It also prevents erosion by stabilizing sediments, provides long-term storage of carbon and improves water quality by absorbing nutrients.

In Florida, we have the highest seagrass biodiversity in the continental U.S.A. with seven species! And all seven are found in the Indian River Lagoon. To see the seagrass species in the IRL, click to explore seagrass diversity.

For more than 25 years, seagrass distribution, area coverage, and health have been considered a barometer of IRL health. When seagrasses do well, other animals and plants also do well; when seagrasses decline, other species follow.

The ONE LAGOON segment of the CCMP Vital Signs Wheel identifies seagrass as Level 1: Critical, meaning that its:

  • Condition threatens immediate and long-term prognosis for lagoon health
  • Indicators are unfavorable, and
  • Trend is negative
Dana, Caleta, Heather

Immediate and aggressive intervention is urgently needed to stop and reverse the trend. In order to do that, we must implement a comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated IRL strategy to remove stressors to seagrasses in the IRL and restore seagrass habitats to support and sustain healthy water quality and seagrass-dependent species.

The good news everyone can play a role in helping!

You can help remove seagrass stressors by living Lagoon-Friendly.

  • Keep grass clippings out of streets, ditches and canals. Remember: all canals lead to lagoon.
  • Pick up dog waste. Approximately, 102 tons of dog feces is left on lawns, streets, sidewalks daily in lagoon watershed (South Florida Water Management District).
  • Replace sections of lawn with attractive, Lagoon-Friendly plants.
  • Reduce chemical use on lawns and gardens.
  • Get to know your septic tank. Use it properly. Have it inspected regularly and pumped out as needed.
  • You can help restore seagrass habitats by volunteering.
    • Marine Discovery Center, Seagrass Survey: Volunteer citizen scientists work with staff to follow specific survey protocols at established sites in the northern Indian River Lagoon. Data are used by the SJRWMD to assess the growth and health of seagrass beds in the northern Indian River Lagoon. Seagrass Survey | Marine Discovery Center
    • Brevard Zoo, Restore Our Shores: Involving volunteers in planting and monitoring native IRL seagrass species grown in a local nursery, providing natural habitats and a food source for marine life. Volunteer – Restore Our Shores
    • Florida Oceanographic Society, FOSTER: The aim of Florida Oceanographic Seagrass Training, Education and Restoration is to train volunteers to assist with seagrass monitoring and restoration while educating the public on issues facing seagrass. FOSTER | Florida Oceanographic Society
volunteers monitoring native IRL seagrass species grown in a local nursery

One Community

Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup

girl in a kayak during Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup

Save the date(s) of July 15 – 23, 2023 for the 16th Annual Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup! Join us as we clean 125 miles of waterways in Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties. Since 2008, more than 13,450 volunteers and 3400+ boaters have come together to remove more than 99.25 tons of trash from the waters of the Treasure Coast. Check out the details below so you can join in on the fun!

WHEN? Onsite Effort – Saturday, July 22, 2023 at a boat ramp near you!

*NEW* Virtual Cleanup – anytime Saturday, July 15 – Sunday, July 23, 2023

WHO? This event is perfect for students, families, service clubs, yacht clubs, homeowner’s associations, or anyone who wants to be a part of the solution to pollution.

WHERE? Check out a listing of the 2023 Cleanup Sites:

Martin County

  • Blowing Rocks Preserve, 574 South Beach Road, Hobe Sound
  • Jimmy Graham Boat Ramp, 8855 SE Gomez Avenue, Hobe Sound
  • Indian Riverside Park Boar Ramp, 1707 NE Indian River Drive, Jensen Beach
  • Jensen Beach Causeway Boat Ramp, 889 NE Causeway Blvd, Jensen Beach
  • Leighton Park Boat Ramp, 1707 SW Cornell Avenue, Palm City
  • Ocean Blvd. Causeway (Stuart Causeway), SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart
  • Sandsprit Park Boat Ramp, 3443 SE Saint Lucie Blvd, Stuart
  • Manatee Park – Peck Lake Reef Dive, 4358 SE Bayview Street, Stuart
  • Shepard Park, 600 SW Ocean Blvd, Stuart

St. Lucie County

  • Fort Pierce Yacht Club, 700 N. Indian River Dr., Fort Pierce
  • Safe Harbor Harbortown Marina, 1936 Harbortown Drive, Fort Pierce
  • Jaycee Park Boat Ramp, 1800 Melaleuca Drive, Fort Pierce
  • Moore’s Creek Boat Ramp, 480 N. Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce
  • Smithsonian Marine Eco Center, 414 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce
  • Stan Blum Boat Ramp, 613 N. Beach Causeway, Fort Pierce
  • White City Park, 2081 W Midway Road, Fort Pierce
  • C-24 Canal Park Boat Ramp, 500 SE Oakridge Drive, Port St. Lucie
  • River Park Marina, 500 E. Prima Vista Blvd., Port St. Lucie
  • Veteran’s Park at Rivergate, 2200 SE Veterans Memorial Pkwy, Port St. Lucie

Indian River County

  • Sebastian Inlet Marina, 8685 US Hwy 1, Micco
  • Sebastian Main Street Boat Ramp, 700 Main Street, Sebastian
  • Riverside Park Boat Ramp, 350 Dahlia Lane, Vero Beach
  • Vero Beach Municipal Marina, 3611 Rio Vista Blvd., Vero Beach
  • Wabasso Causeway Boat Ramp, 3105 Wabasso Bridge Road, Wabasso

HOW? REGISTER to cleanup at any site(s), anytime during the week-long event, and self-report your data.

WHY? Trash is a common and recurring problem in the waters of the IRL and along its shorelines. It is especially notable along causeways and certain “trash hotspots” where vehicle access and high-volume recreation occur. The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) outlines strategies to educate the community through communicating the impacts of trash on the IRL, and fund trash removal and abatement programs. Let’s show that our community and partners are engaged and interested in trash removal!

Funding provided by USEPA Trash-Free Water Program, Florida Inland Navigation District and Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast. Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact info@TCWaterwaycleanup.com

One Voice

This quarter, One Lagoon was in the news, on a podcast, and presented at a TEDx Talk. Oh my!

Chief Operating Officer Daniel Kolodny had the opportunity to present at Cape Canaveral’s TEDx Talk event on the theme of “possibilities”. Daniel presented to an audience about the decline of seagrass in the IRL and what the NEP is doing to help it rebound.

Community Engagement Coordinator Jessy Wayles made her small screen debut for One Lagoon in an Orlando WFTV 9 News segment about horseshoe crabs in the Indian River Lagoon. Jessy spoke about their unusual nesting patterns in the lagoon, and how their blood is used for the biomedical industry.

Additionally, Jessy was featured on a local-favorite podcast called Tailer Trash Fly Fishing. The trio of Mosquito Lagoon fishermen had Jessy on the podcast to discuss current restoration projects in the northern end of the lagoon, the future of sea grass, and horseshoe crabs. The special conservation episode is available anywhere you stream podcasts or the Tailer Trash Fly Fishing website.