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June Water News


The CWC is proud to sponsor the RiverKidz organization in Indian River County which is run by the enthusiastic staff at the Audubon House: Donna Halleran and Lauren Reeves.

The Indian River County RiverKidz are having a blast! Kayaking in March was a huge success with 17 parents and children paddling, including a family from Quebec. IRC RiverKidz is now international!

“Entomology for Kidz” in May brought together families around their interest in insects. The participating families learned from Florida Medical Entomology Lab students Vilma Castro-Montenegro and Morgan Rockwell. There were lots of questions about mosquito control - Vilma and Morgan’s specialty! After learning from the experts, the group hiked into the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area to do what entomologists do best: catch bugs and study them! One of the KIDZ vowed to start their own bug collection! Everyone left with a deeper understanding of the little critters sharing the Earth with us.

Another notable field trip was to the IRC Landfill. Indian River County Education staff gave us a full tour and taught the participating families about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. The Kidz witnessed firsthand the many sights and smells the landfill has to offer. The view from the top of trash mountain left children awe-struck!

The IRC Riverkidz has many other cool events just around the corner. Our Shark-cuterie night will take place on June 17th from 5:00-7:30. Come learn about the important predators that live in our waters while enjoying a variety of cheese, crackers, and other charcuterie items! We will also be taking field trips to the newly-opened Jones’ Pier Conservation Area to create field guides and a species inventory for others to use while visiting!


Riverside Park Revegetation Update

The Riverside Park Revegetation Project, initiated by the Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County (CWC), created a salt marsh perimeter in a drainage canal at Riverside Park after mangroves were removed to enhance flood control. Aimed at shoreline stabilization, salt marsh habitat creation, and stormwater runoff filtration, the project revegetated the area with four species of salt marsh plants. A key objective was to achieve 95% vegetative cover within two years. Despite some maintenance misunderstandings, many of the plants have survived and are thriving.

The project has been a learning experience, as the region has not seen a similar initiative before. Despite setbacks, the project's success is expected to resume in the coming months. The ultimate goal is to use what is learned from this project to enhance the ecological function of the Indian River Lagoon through similar, larger-scale initiatives. An informational board/interpretive panels will be installed once the project site fully recovers.


Summer Rains are Upon Us – Stop Fertilizing

Please be reminded that fertilizer restrictions are enforced beginning June 1. This is a critical time when nitrogen, phosphorous, herbicides, and pet waste can by washed from lawns to pollute and the impaired Indian River Lagoon.

The fertilizer ordinances implemented by our communities include the following regulations:

  • no lawn fertilizer to be used between June 1 and Sept. 30

  • phosphorous-containing fertilizers are prohibited at all times

  • fertilizers must contain at least 50% slow-release nitrogen

  • no fertilizer should be applied within 10 feet of any water body, wetland, or from the top of a seawall.

If you employ a lawn care service, please discuss these regulations with the company and request that their employees refrain from blowing grass clippings onto roads, storm drains or the Lagoon. These clippings contain fertilizer nutrients that contribute to water pollution and cause muck. For detailed information on the ordinance and fertilizing tips, you can watch Indian River County's video here or contact Alexis Peralta, the county's stormwater educator and fertilizer enforcement officer, at

Compliance with the fertilizer ordinance is crucial for both your health and the health of our waterways since excessive nutrients lead to the growth of harmful and potentially toxic algal blooms. Such blooms are already being reported in other parts of our state. Please do your part to improve our water quality.


Our Partner, The Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA) recently announced the renovation of their new headquarters in Vero Beach. However, unexpected costs, such as the need for a new roof to ensure insurance coverage, have arisen. To overcome this last hurdle, ORCA is seeking an additional $300,000 through their capital campaign.

Despite operating without a headquarters for nearly two years, ORCA has successfully continued their programs, including the Center for Citizen Science in Vero Beach, remote work, and growing Citizen Science Programs. They have engaged hundreds of citizen scientists in measuring and monitoring local environmental conditions, identifying pollution sources, and participating in shoreline mitigation efforts.

ORCA's Kilroy Water Quality Monitoring network has expanded, utilizing advanced technology for tracking harmful algal blooms and monitoring seagrass. Educational outreach initiatives, such as the Team ORCA Data Jam and A Day in the Life of the Indian River Lagoon, have also been impactful. With support, ORCA aims to achieve even greater accomplishments. Donations are welcomed to help them reach their goals.

Learn more about their building and needs here!


Check out this new video from our partner, the India River Neighborhood Association featuring Captain Paul Fafeita. As you may know, Captain Paul has begun a new life chapter in Maine, leaving us behind. Our commitment to safeguarding our precious waterways and nurturing our environment remains undeterred. In fact, his legacy serves as a continuous inspiration for our mission. The struggle is not an easy one. The fight calls for unity, dedication, and an unwavering sense of purpose. Every effort counts, and together, we can make an immense difference! Captain Paul might have embarked on a new journey, but his vision still echoes here. And now, it's your turn to rise and step up.


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