Nearly four decades ago, back in 1983, a group of Florida Institute of Technology professors convened to determine what was needed to reverse the negative impacts facing the Indian River Lagoon.

The group made a decision to create a 501c(3) organization devoted to protecting and restoring the waterway. It was this initiative that led to the launch of what is now known as the MRC (Marine Resources Council).

Governed by a diverse group of Board of Directors and advised by a dedicated collaboration of scientists, the MRC, headquartered at the Ted Moorhead Lagoon House, located at 3275 Dixie Hwy NE in Palm Bay, will celebrate 30 years of engaging the coastal community in restoration, education, and citizen science this year.

“The Indian River Lagoon is important to our community not only for its beauty and splendor but also for the economic value it provides; nearly $7 billion to our regional economy in jobs, fisheries, and enhanced

property values. Our community loves the lagoon and the MRC gives them a chance to get involved in helping it,” said Leesa Souto, Executive Director.

After purchasing the first conservation buffer lands along the lagoon back in the late 80’s—in an effort to protect the wetlands—the staff and volunteers continue to manage these lands and more.

“The MRC engages the community in every aspect our numerous missions,” Souto said.

From the national award winning volunteer water quality monitoring program, “Lagoon Watch,” to collecting muck, measuring ground water pollution, restoring shorelines, building rain barrels, watching for whales, educating youth and capturing aerial imagery, the MRC provides opportunities for citizens of all ages to help protect and preserve our important natural resources on the Space Coast.

On Saturday, September 19th, from 8 a.m. to noon, the MRC will take part in a national initiative, “The International Coastal Clean-Up”. Communities worldwide will come together for the common goal of collecting and documenting trash found along their area coastlines.

The MRC, in collaboration with local chapters of the Ocean Conservancy and Keep Brevard Beautiful will be coordinating three clean-up sites along the lagoon: These locations include:

  • Melbourne Causeway at Kiwanis Park/ Geiger Point
  • Eau Gallie Causeway and Boat Ramp
  • Pineda Causeway & POW/MIA Park

Funds will be raised through event t-shirt sales and donations.