By Tyler Treadway
May 30, 2017
The Indian River Lagoon Council wants to know how to make more people more lagoon-friendly.
With help from the University of Florida and the St. Lucie County Cooperative Extension Service, the council will sponsor a focus group on lagoon issues Thursday afternoon.
Organizers aren’t looking for hardcore environmentalists or environmental scientists to weigh in: They want to hear from ordinary people.
“We want to hear from people who know a little about lagoon issues, but not a lot,” said Lily Maynard, a doctoral candidate at the UF School of Natural Resources and Environment. “They can help us understand what ordinary people think about the lagoon and how they interpret the issues facing it.”
The goal is to find out how to make the lagoon more relevant to the people who live along it, Maynard said, “and ultimately get them more involved and more lagoon-friendly.”
No one will be turned away, Maynard said, “but if you pre-register, we’ll serve you lunch.”
The lagoon council was formed in 2015 to oversee the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, which provides funds from the federal Environmental Protection Agency for research and restoration projects.
The council is made up of the South Florida and St. Johns River water management districts, the state Department of Environmental Protection, four of the five counties along the lagoon — Martin, St. Lucie, Brevard and Volusia — and the cities of Fellsmere, Sebastian and Vero Beach to represent Indian River County.
If you go
What: Focus group on Indian River Lagoon issues
When: Lunch at 12:30 p.m., discussion from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: St. Lucie West Services District Council Chambers, 450 S.W. Utility Drive, Port St. Lucie