More From Our Students in the Field Blog Series. Checking in from the Indian River Lagoon with our NSF Coastal Connections undergraduate research team.

Hey everyone! We’ve had so many interesting conversations lately with people on the Indian River Lagoon. For my last experience out in the lagoon, I went out with another Coastal Connections team member named Sara. We began the day at a dock in the Canaveral National Seashore. It was an exciting place with lots of manatees and interested people who were fishing nearby and taking photos of the beautiful area. We talked to many people that morning and had a noteworthy conversation with a fisherman who showed us pictures on his phone of a company that he had seen dumping waste into the lagoon the week before. It was mind blowing to see these pictures and that it is still happening when we don’t even realize it. Next, we changed locations and walked along Parrish Park near the A. Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville. We had a few detailed conversations with wind surfers and fisherman along the park area. It was fascinating to hear that the wind surfers were concerned about the vegetation loss and erosion happening along some of the Indian River Lagoon shoreline. There is a significant difference between the everyday citizens who visit the lagoon occasionally and the fisherman/locals. Many of the locals have a great understanding of the environmental problems occurring, yet the others will only mention that they have seen some debris washing up in the lagoon. We learn something new in the field every day and we cannot wait to keep speaking with and learning from community members.

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