The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) is one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in North America, providing a home for more than 4,000 species of plants and animals. This treasure is right in our backyards, and it needs our help to recover from decades of declining water quality! Luckily, you can help us improve water quality on the Lagoon by restoring populations of native, filter- feeding oysters.
Just one adult oyster can clean up to 50 gallons of water per day through filter feeding, and oysters also provide a whole host of other ecosystem benefits, like shoreline stabilization and food and habitat for other important species. You can give these selfless shellfish a hand through one (or both!) of our two oyster restoration programs in partnership with Brevard County and the University of Central Florida.
Click here to view upcoming events and workshops, photos and additional information.
Help build a home for oysters through our oyster mats program! At public workshops throughout Brevard County, volunteers attach recycled oyster shells to squares of aquaculture mesh with zip ties to create oyster mats. These mats are then deployed along the estuary floor in the northern portion of the Indian River Lagoon to serve as habitat for new free-swimming oyster larvae.
You can also become an oyster foster parent through our oyster gardening program! Brevard County waterfront residents volunteer to care for and collect data on their very own family of live juvenile oysters, which are settled onto recycled oyster shells and housed in specially designed habitats suspended from their docks. At the end of the program, the live oysters are used to build and populate new oyster reefs right here in Brevard County.
Click here to view the 2016 oyster gardening final report
For information about other ways to help the Indian River Lagoon, please visit BLUE LIFE.