Natural Resources Management Department
Ernest Brown
Director
Office: (321) 633-2016
ernest.brown@brevardcounty.us
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Partnership Promotes 'Oyster Gardening' For Indian River Lagoon Restoration

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard Oyster Gardening Project, launched by Brevard Zoo in partnership with Brevard County, is taking action within our own community to restore the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem. Together, the plan is to create, restore and monitor oyster habitats throughout the county with the final goal of rebuilding a sustainable oyster population in the Lagoon.

A single adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day, helping to keep our estuary waters clean and clear.

We are recruiting residents along the lagoon to deploy suspended oyster habitats from their docks and help monitor their progress weekly.

To become an oyster gardener, the participant needs to live on the lagoon, either on a canal or lagoon front. This opportunity is a weekly time commitment, and participants will need to attend one of our workshops to become educated about the project. At this workshop, you will create your own oyster habitats, be trained on monitoring procedures, and you will receive all of the necessary supplies for your oyster garden.

Workshops will be held at the following locations:
  • Saturday, Feb. 15, 9:30 a.m. to noon, UF/Brevard Extension Office, 3695 Lake Dr., Cocoa.
  • Thursday, Feb. 20, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Barrier Island Center, 8385 S. Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach.
  • Saturday, Feb. 22, noon to 2:30 p.m., Satellite Beach Recreation Park, 1089 South Patrick Drive.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Trinity Presbyterian Church, 638 S. Patrick Drive, Satellite Beach.
  • Saturday, March 1, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Easter State Florida College, 3865 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne.
  • Saturday, March 8, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Barrier Island Center, 8385 S. highway A1A, Melbourne Beach.
  • Thursday, March 13, 9:30 a.m. to noon, UF/Brevard Extension Office, 3695 Lake Dr., Cocoa.

For participants who don't live on the water, there's also an Oyster Garden Buddy Program. The buddies will assist oyster gardeners in their area, maintaining and monitoring the gardens. Those interested in becoming "Oyster Buddies" will also need to attend one of the scheduled workshop for training on monitoring procedures.

The goal is to introduce one million oysters into the lagoon, which could effectively filter 50 million gallons per day and more than 18 billion gallons per year. If interested in becoming an oyster gardener or oyster buddy, contact Sammy Anderson at SAnderson@brevardzoo.org or (321) 254-9453, ext. 284.

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Brevard County Board of County Commissioners
Phone: 321.633.2000   www.brevardcounty.us