– FL Team Participate in Beach Clean Up


Our Florida team is out doing beach clean up & helping our Florida oceans stay healthy! We can all do our part to promote healthy beaches by being aware of what we leave behind and picking up what we see.

– Dolphin Survey News

It’s November and time to celebrate the season of giving! When you purchase a Discover Florida Oceans license plate, you directly contribute to research on the Indian River Lagoon that helps us learn more about Florida dolphins like the one pictured here from our survey last week.

Funds from this program allow research scientist and volunteers to conduct surveys where they photograph, document and assess each dolphin sighted. Last week our Florida team conducted two very busy dolphin surveys covering the Mosquito Lagoon and the Halifax River. We saw several animals leaping and playing with fish – a total of 50 groups of dolphins made up of 226 animals.

– Natural Sea Wall at Coconut Point

Recently, our Florida volunteers and staff partnered with the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves to plant marsh grasses near the seawall to help buffer the effects of wind, water and hurricane damages at our Coconut Point lab in Melbourne Beach. This project will serve as a natural coastal defense by forming a vertical barrier between the land and the sea.

Plants were harvested in a collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at the salt marsh donor site, the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach, then replanted at our Coconut Point lab. It truly took a village of dedicated people from various organizations to cultivate and create this new ecosystem.


– Thank you to Viera and Brevard County Tax Collectors

We wanted to send a thank you to Brevard County Tax Collectors for partnering with us to benefit and contribute to thriving Florida Oceans. A special thank you to the Viera Tax Collectors branch, who registered the most licenses plates in the month of August through our Discover Florida’s Oceans license plate program.

Florida residents who purchase a HSWRI Oceans license plate directly contribute to scientific research, community education and marine life rescue on Florida’s coast.

Pictured are Susan Phillips, HSWRI, Pamela Smith, Viera Tax Collectors and Eileen Sigler, HSWRI after our thank you breakfast.

– Brevard County Barrier Island Center Creature Fest

Thank you Brevard County Barrier Island Center Creature Fest for having us today!

– Facilities Update: Painting Completed!

Thank you so much to our volunteers Ann Harmon and John Love for their help painting our newly restored Florida lab! And very special thanks to Dave Goodman of Quality Painting for donating the primer. We couldn’t accomplish all we do without our incredible volunteers and supporters.

– Hubb’s Dolphin Surveyors Save Entangled Turtle

Our Florida team got more than they bargained for on this week’s dolphin survey in the Halifax River:  after spending the morning searching for dolphins, and picking up garbage along the way, they saw a sea turtle caught on a fisherman’s line. Fortunately, they were able to bring the turtle on board and call the proper authorities at Volusia County Environmental Management, who picked up the turtle.

The female loggerhead was transported to the nearby Marine Science Center sea turtle hospital where she’ll receive expert care and hopefully be returned back to the estuary soon.

– WFME: Placards Posted to Save Indian River Dolphins

All Posts This year, the Indian River Lagoon has seen a surge in the number of dolphins killed by fishing lines. Source: Hubbs Seaworld Research Institute

by Madeline Ninno (WMFE)          / August 18, 2017

Biologists are posting hundreds of signs on the seawalls of the Indian River Lagoon in an effort to save dolphins. The placards caution visitors not to feed the dolphins or discard fishing gear in the lagoon.

The placards, which have been used in other coastal areas, have proven effective.

“We’re using them on seawalls and fishing piers where the fishermen set up all their gear and they’re sitting there, waiting for a fish, and they’re looking down and the massage is right there,” said Cheryl Munday, Marine Mammal Outreach Specialist.

Seven dolphins have been killed by fishing lines and hooks so far this year, a surge from recent years. Fishing lines can entangle dolphins or cause them to choke on their food. Biologists believe the increase in deaths is caused my mother dolphins teaching their calves to take fish off fishing lines and approach humans for food.

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– Orlando Sentinel: Dolphin dangers on rise in Brevard County’s Indian River

By Kevin Spear / August 17, 2017

Biologists are gluing hundreds of placards to the tops of seawalls this week in Brevard and Volusia counties that caution anglers and boaters not to feed dolphins or discard fishing gear into their coastal environment. “An entanglement [with fishing line] can act as a knife that can cut their appendages, their flippers, dorsal fin, their jaw,” said Megan Stolen, research scientist with Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute. The message isn’t new but the technique is emerging, done first in Galveston, Texas, several years ago and more recently at Fort De Soto Park at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico….

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– WOFL Fox 35: 500 placards warn of dolphin endangerment across Indian River Lagoon

Posted: Aug 17 2017 08:59PM EDT

– From her fishing spot at Kelly Park, Katie Orcutt has seen dolphins tangled up in fishing line.

“It’s absolutely devastating that people’s negligence leads to the harming of something so amazing as a dolphin,” said the Merritt Island resident.

NOAA Fisheries says dolphins are very susceptible to injury or death from fishing line and marine rope. The most recent example was a young dolphin that had a crab pot line permanently snagged in its mouth. It was rescued the line removed, but others have not been so fortunate….

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