NSB History Mystery Boat Tour

NSB History Mystery Boat Tour

Osprey Nesting Platform

NSB History Mystery Boat Tour

Wednesday, January 24 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Take a cruise through history as guides from New Smyrna Beach’s Museum of History introduce you to the city’s colorful, interesting past from the comfort of MDC’s 40 passenger boat, “Discovery”.

Learn how New Smyrna got its name  |  View the mysterious Old Fort Ruins and Bad Luck Hill  |  See where famous Union ship commanders met their deaths in an ambush during the Civil War  |  Find out where Al Capone smuggled bootleg into the city—or did he?  |  Discover Coronado Beach  |  Learn how Massacre Bluff got its name  |  View historic Ponce Inlet where long ago sailors risked death entering the ever-changing waters to get to New Smyrna


Adults $29
Seniors (62+) & Students $26
Family* $75
Children** $13

* 2 adults (parents) and 2 children (under 12); additional children $10 each
** Under 12

To register for this cruise you must call Marine Discovery Center at 386.428.4828.
Space is limited to 40 passengers.

New Challenges In 2018 For Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

New Challenges In 2018 For Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

By Lisa D. Mickey

The Marine Discovery Center hosts a lecture on North Atlantic Right Whales early each year to help citizens identify the large mammals sometimes spotted just offshore.

The presentation also encourages individuals to engage in a volunteer contact system designed to alert officials whenever these endangered animals are in the area.

Sadly, the challenges increased for the right whale in 2017, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported an “unusual mortality event (UME).” The UME detailed that 17 right whales were found dead off the coasts of New England and Canada last year, plunging the current global population of these whales to 450 animals.

Further, officials from NOAA warned in early December that the species of whale — which can weigh up to 150,000 pounds and grow as long as 48 feet (nearly 15 meters) — could be extinct within 20 years if critical action is not taken to protect them. Scientists estimate there currently are only 100 breeding females in existence.

One report noted that warmer water temperatures in Halifax, Canada, had lured some of the whales into atypical foraging areas that were also shipping channels. Of the 17 whales that were found dead in 2017, six were reportedly killed by blunt-force trauma – likely from collisions with vessels, said NOAA.

NOAA has already begun work with commercial fisheries from Canada and the United States, requesting improved communication to help avoid whale/ship encounters, as well as to help minimize entanglements. Five right whales were freed from fishing nets in 2017, with two dying following entanglement.

Precautionary measures with North American fisheries intensified in 2009. According to a NOAA report, fisheries were required to sink 27,000 miles of floating lines deep into oceanic waters, and more than 3,000 more miles of fishing line was removed from North American waters in 2014.

And while NOAA, along with various other national and state agencies, work to improve management of commercial fishing practices and methods to make waters safer for right whales, the addition of volunteer spotters has also benefitted the effort. Volunteer spotters living in coastal regions help report whale sightings to officials, who can alter shipping and commercial fishing routes, thereby preventing whale strikes.

Julie Albert, manager of the Marine Resources Council’s North Atlantic Right Whale Monitoring Program, currently leads more than 800 volunteers along the east coast of Florida. Albert will once again lead the discussion on right whales during MDC’s free monthly lecture on Thursday, Jan. 18.

The free lecture will begin at 6 p.m., at MDC, located at 520 Barracuda Boulevard in New Smyrna Beach.

The public is invited to come learn more about these endangered creatures, as well as what can be done by local citizens to help protect them when they show up off our shorelines this winter.

Contact: lisa@marinediscoverycenter.org

Annual Appeal

Annual Appeal

Annual Appeal

Because of you, the Marine Discovery Center is celebrating 20 years of community engagement through exploration, conservation and education. Together we’ve restored living shorelines, counted horseshoe crabs, measured seagrass, rescued dolphins, manatees and pelicans and most importantly educated over 30,000 people annually to create the next generation of ambassadors for the Indian River Lagoon.

As a community we all understand that our shared future, recreation, livelihood and investments will thrive as the Indian River Lagoon thrives. We’ve also been reminded recently of the vulnerability of this special body of water and how important it is to our economy, community and overall way of life.

At 20 years old, the Marine Discovery Center is a proven reliable steward of environmental and financial resources. Your gifts to the Marine Discovery Center are an investment in a respected and trusted environmental leader and this year contributions will have doubled the impact! In celebration of our 20th anniversary all donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $20,000 towards our endowment fund! Please make a gift of $500, $100, $50 or $25 to protect our common interests in the Lagoon through Marine Discovery Center’s work. Each dollar you give is a promise to support a mutual-heartfelt commitment to determined efforts by the Marine Discovery Center toward Lagoon health, awareness, and sustainability.

You may also pledge a sustaining gift via automatic credit card donations, you can donate online using any of the “donate” buttons on our site. You may contact me directly at 386-679-3622 regarding gift planning, becoming a member of the Dolphin Society or making an IRA qualified charitable contribution. Also, please remember to check with your place of business to see if it will match your charitable contribution.

Special 20th Anniversary gifts of at least $1,000 made by December 31, 2017 will be listed with your name on an anniversary plaque at the Marine Discovery Center.

Because of your support, through the years, the Marine Discovery Center has earned credibility and established far-reaching revered relationships. Loyal friends, Dolphin Society members, volunteers, and corporate partners join in the knowledge that together we make a difference.


Chad Truxall
Executive Director

Volusia County Solar Co-op selects Wayne’s Solar to Serve Group

Volusia County Solar Co-op selects Wayne’s Solar to Serve Group

Osprey Nesting Platform

News Release
November 3, 2017

VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL The Volusia County Solar Co-op has selected Wayne’s Solar to install solar panels for the 104-member group. 

Co-op members selected Wayne’s Solar through a competitive bidding process over 10 other firms. The group will hold a public information session on November 15 at 12:00 p.m., at Daytona Beach City Hall and 5:30 pm at the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library to educate the community about solar and the co-op process.

The selected installer shared, “Wayne’s Solar, Inc. is honored to be the official solar contractor for the Solar United Neighbors of Florida Co-op program.  This program is an exceptional opportunity for the home owners in Volusia County, and we look forward to designing custom solar home packages for every participating Co-op member.”

Solar United Neighbors expands access to solar by educating Florida residents about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Florida’s solar policies and its community of solar supporters.

Co-op members selected Wayne’s Solar for their strong warranties and quality equipment offerings.

Selection committee member, Julia said, “We are confident in our decision and had a lot of qualified bids to choose from for our co-op.” The co-op is open to new members until November 30.  

Joining the co-op is not a commitment to purchase panels. Wayne’s Solar will provide each co-op member with an individualized proposal based on the group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, participants can save off the cost of going solar and have the support of fellow group members and solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.

Information Sessions:

Wednesday, November 15, 12 p.m.
Daytona Beach City Hall
301 South Ridgewood Avenue (Room 149-B)
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
RSVP here

Wednesday, November 15, 5:30 p.m.
New Smyrna Beach Regional Library
1001 South Dixie Freeway
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32114
RSVP here

For more information, contact Ben Delman at 202.888.3602 or ben@solarunitedneighbors.org

UPDATE: MDC & Hurricane Irma

UPDATE: MDC & Hurricane Irma

Tuesday, September 12: MDC staff spent the morning cleaning up the center from blown-in water, monitoring tanks and checking for any issues, putting furniture and kayaks back, and generally making sure things are ok. We had some minor damage to outside structures (such as the dock and our info kiosks) but otherwise we had no major damage that we have seen.
Right now we do not have a solid update on when we’ll be back to normal operations as our power & phones are currently still not working. We’ll likely be open for business again with our regular tour schedule on Thursday, September 14.
Keep updated on any news via our Facebook Page.
Volunteers Ready To Pitch In For 2017 Coastal Cleanup

Volunteers Ready To Pitch In For 2017 Coastal Cleanup

By Lisa D. Mickey

Joe and Margaret Anglin

Once again, it’s time for volunteers to spread out on beaches and parks in Volusia County and New Smyrna Beach for the annual International Coastal Cleanup and Halifax/Indian River cleanup.

The theme for the annual event each September is to “think globally and act locally.” This year’s International Coastal Cleanup will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 8-10:30 a.m.

Volunteers collect garbage and debris from shorelines, parks and beaches at various designated sites. The collected debris is then weighed and recorded as data that is shared with Ocean Conservancy for national and global statistics.

Registration to participate in the event closes on Friday, Sept. 1. The first 1,750 registered volunteers will receive a thermal lunch tote. To register, visit: www.volusia.org/cleanup

“Last year, more than 500,000 volunteers around the world collected over 18 million pounds of trash during the International Coastal Cleanup,” said Becki O’Keefe, who works in Volusia County’s Environmental Management Division.

“In addition to taking part in the cleanup, local residents can have a major impact on marine debris simply by reducing the amount of waste they create on a daily basis and by organizing their own beach cleanups,” she added.

During the 2016 International Coastal Cleanup, 2,131 Volusia County volunteers collected a total of 7,448 pounds of trash. O’Keefe hopes to break that record this year.

Several collection sites have already reached maximum capacity for volunteers, but the listed sites below still need help. They are:

Beach Sites

* Bicentennial Park, 1800 Oceanshore Blvd., Ormond-By-The-Sea

* Tom Renick Park, 1575 Oceanshore Blvd., Ormond-By-The-Sea

* Birthplace of Speed Park (Granada approach), 21 Oceanshore Blvd.,
Ormond Beach
River Sites

* Sanchez Park, 329 Sanchez Ave., Ormond Beach

* Cassen Park, 1 South Beach Street, Ormond Beach

* Sunrise Park North, 1135 Riverside Drive, Holly Hill

* Daytona Beach City Island Park, 105 E. Magnolia Ave., Daytona Beach

* Port Orange Causeway Park, 93 Dunlawton Ave., Port Orange (located at large boat ramps under Dunlawton Bridge)

* Turnbull Bay, Between 2880 & 2902 Sunset Dr., New Smyrna Beach (river access point at the west end of Willard Street)

* River Breeze Park, 250 H.H. Burch Rd., Oak Hill (6 miles south of Indian River Blvd., SR-442 off U.S. 1)

Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing, closed-toe shoes and hats. Sunscreen, water, work gloves, trash grabbers and buckets for trash collection are also encouraged.

Ocean Conservancy spearheads this initiative each year in an effort to slow an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic from entering the ocean and impacting more than 690 species of marine animals.

Research has shown that plastics in the ocean both absorb toxins from surrounding waters and become ingested by animals. Animals that have eaten plastics and microplastics in ocean trash also potentially contaminate the food chain, which could impact human health.

For more information about the local event or to learn how you can get involved, contact Becki O’Keefe at (386) 238-4716 or at bokeefe@volusia.org.

To learn more about what you can do to help encourage trash-free oceans and waterways, visit www.oceanconservancy.org