Loving & Protecting the Lagoon for a Quarter Century

img14_projects As Vero’s weather heats up, so to does activity in and around the Indian River Lagoon. Daily, hundreds of hopeful fish fanatics are casting lines from its shores or from a boat hoping to land Vero’s Best Catch!  Hungry and healthy fish make for happy anglers and are generally a sign of a healthy Lagoon. The Indian River Lagoon and its environs is home to an amazing 685 species of fish, 370 species of birds and a whole host of other wildlife .  A healthy home is as important to their survival as it is to ours. A healthy Lagoon is not now, nor has it always been, a given.  For much of the Lagoon’s past, few paid any attention to its health with disastrous results.  These days, the health of the Lagoon is a hot and often polarizing topic.  Conserving this treasured resource in our backyard should be important to each and every one of us. IRLT-properties A quarter century ago, in 1990, The Indian River Land Trust (IRLT) was established to save McKee Botanical Garden.  Their mission and vision have expanded over the years and they are today, one of the best stewards of the Lagoon.  IRLT works tirelessly to “save our Indian River Lagoon by preserving the wildlife habitat, protecting our scenic waterfront and providing access for public recreation and education”. IRLT carries out its passion for the Lagoon’s preservation in many ways.  Land conservation is one of their biggest and most important programs.  Either through direct acquisition or conservation easement, the Land Trust acquires the ability to manage these fragile ecosystems in perpetuity.  Their free Conservation Tours are one of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Lagoon, learn about the varied habitats and understand a property’s importance to conservation efforts.  Padgett Creek Ranches, Spoonbill Marsh, Bee Gum Point and Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail are a few of the unique habitats on the tours list. IRLT’s efforts have given us  two family-friendly nature preserves open to the public.  “The Lagoon still needs our help…. The Indian River Land Trust has protected 900 undeveloped acres, including eight miles of shoreline along the Indian River Lagoon.  More work is needed to restore the fish and wildlife habitats of the Lagoon – the Cradle of the Ocean.” Advocacy, public education and volunteer sweat equity go only so far in keeping the Indian River Land Trust moving forward with its mission.  Donations of money and land are vital to their cause – conserving our Lagoon.  Be a part of the solution.  Volunteer.  Donate.  Treasure our Lagoon.
“You cannot conserve what you haven’t got.” –  Marjory Stoneman Douglas
_______________________ indian-river-land-trustLearn More: https://verovine.com/IndianRiverLandTrust/3566 https://www.indianriverlandtrust.org/ Read Vero Vine’s article on “Lines in the Lagoon” Explore the IRLT’s conservation properties virtually: https://www.indianriverlandtrust.org/cfiles/projects_lagoonwfinitiative.cfm Conservation Tours: To make a reservations call 772-794-0701, email rsvp@irlt.org. Volunteer: https://www.indianriverlandtrust.org/cfiles/join_volunteer.cfm Donate: There are many ways to give to The Indian River Land Trust and help protect our Lagoon.  Some of the many include: In honor of their 25th Anniversary the Land Trust created 25 ways to help the Board and Staff give back to the community in 2015.  Your donations support this celebration of giving. A $100 donation by March 31st is a delicious way to support IRLT.  Your donation supports conservation AND provides dinner for two with a bottle of wine from Chelsea’s.  Call 772.794.0701 to participate. Explore more ways by visiting the donation section of IRLT’s website: https://www.indianriverlandtrust.org/cfiles/join.cfm  
Sherry Nist