Indian River Lagoon Restoration

Saving the most bio-diverse estuary in North America

The Indian River Lagoon…

…or IRL, is a nationally renowned aquatic ecosystem that has been identified by the Department of Environmental Protection as an impaired body of water for over a decade. A lagoon is a type of estuary that is separated from the ocean by the presence of a barrier island. The IRL is one of the most bio-diverse estuary in North America spanning 156 miles along Florida’s East Coast and yet it has become plagued with pollution from point and non-point source pollution.

Pollutants in the Indian River Lagoon

Sources of pollution that have led to the decline of the IRL include (but are not limited to) septic tank leaks, fertilizer, dog poop, chemical spills, over use of herbicides and pesticides, and the list goes on and on. Many of these non-point source pollutants are carried to the Lagoon via stormwater, which flows through stormdrains and down the canals that all empty into the Lagoon. 

CCinc, in partnership with Indian River County, rely on many community volunteers to help collect shell and create oyster bags every few months. During fall 2018, CCinc will be expanding the Shuck-n-Share program, allowing this oyster recycling program to expand the entire Indian River Lagoon. Volunteers of CCinc will collect used oyster shell from local restaurants, allowing our community to have a direct impact on the health of the lagoon.

In Partner with Marine Discovery Center

The Shuck-N-Share program (a community based oyster recycling program) was started in Volusia County. The program’s success and great leadership has allowed it to grow into multiple other Counties stretching the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Watershed. However, there is currently a gap in community oyster recycling efforts in the Central IRL. Starting in the fall of 2018, CCinc will initiate this program to engage the IRC community in oyster recycling and lagoon restoration efforts.

Indian River Shuck-N-Share will be volunteer based, and will rely on restaurants to store used oyster shell in sealed 5-gallon buckets to be collected and re-stocked 1-2 times per week. Volunteers will recycle these buckets by storing these shells and allowing them to curate for 3+ months until this shell can be bagged for oyster restoration and living shoreline projects. Participating restaurants will have educational materials available for guests to read about oysters and their importance to the health of the IRL watershed. Want to be a steward for conservation? Enjoy oysters at these locations and learn more about the Shuck-N-Share program.

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A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free (800-435-7352) within the State. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the State.