"To protect and restore the Florida coastal and Indian River Lagoon ecosystems
through education, research and community stewardship."

Vision and Goals


The long range vision of the Marine Discovery Center is to see a healthy Indian River Lagoon Estuary (IRL) and the ecosystem it supports preserved and enjoyed for its natural beauty, unmatched diversity of species and rich fishery for generations to come. Initiatives and activities designed to achieve this vision include providing education, research, restoration and heightened public awareness of this wondrous, fragile natural resource. In order to preserve the IRL for the enjoyment of future generations, a goal of the Marine Discovery Center is to showcase the biodiversity of this treasured natural resource and to examine, research and encourage human interaction “ON THE WATER” with the estuary.

From the Executive Director:

As all of you know the Indian River Lagoon(IRL) has made a lot of news during the past couple of years.  Unfortunately, most of the news has been focused on a polluted lagoon that is declining.  While it’s true that the Lagoon is under a lot of stress, it’s not news to us and those that have been working on and around the lagoon during the last decade.  There are many contributing factors to the decline of North America’s most biologically diverse estuary and there are also many solutions and lifestyle changes that we can implement to improve Lagoon health.  MDC is dedicated to protect the IRL through education, research and community stewardship.  It’s what we do on a daily basis.

Last month I attended the Lagoon Action Assembly at  Florida Institute of Technology.  The 3-day workshop included one hundred Lagoon delegates that represented the 6 counties of the IRL.  These delegates were stakeholders from business, agriculture, education, research, restoration and government.  In fact, Mayor Adam Barringer and I drove to the assembly together and discussed ideas for specific actions our community could adopt to improve the Indian River Lagoon.  The Lagoon Action Assembly identified five major outcomes.

  1. Develop a lagoon-wide, long term public education program such as “Be Floridian” that affects behavior change through incentives and communications.
  2. Establish and fund a “State of the Lagoon” report similar to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Report Card that includes social and ecological indicators.
  3. Remove and reduce muck by implementing a comprehensive muck management plan.
  4. Reduce impacts from septic tanks.
  5. Improve storm water management