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Conserve & Restore Native Ecosystems

It’s been more than a decade since Brevard Zoo jumped into action with programs aimed at balancing the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) ecosystem. With the IRL in our backyard, we recognized the importance of taking a leadership position in restoration and protection of this regional resource.

Home to more than 4,000 species of plants and animals, 50 of which are listed as endangered or threatened, our work has been focused on finding environmentally friendly solutions for water quality improvement, habitat protection and restoration, biodiversity expansion, and increased resilience to storm damage and erosion.

Staff and thousands of volunteers from the community work steadily on living shoreline solutions that restore populations of native, filter-feeding oysters to the lagoon, grow protective mangroves, seed restorative clam beds, replace nutrient-rich seagrasses, restore and build new reefs, and create buffer zones to stem pollution and algae blooms.

We’ve established a solid foundation for current and future initiatives focused on best practices, streamlined processes, data collection and analysis that allows us to constantly evolve in our mission to combat factors affecting lagoon health. We hope you’ll join us.

Working together to bring the health of the Indian River Lagoon back!

Restore Our Shores Projects

Our projects support a complex ecosystem of vegetation, animals and humans, providing economic, cultural, educational, research and ecological benefits. Volunteers are needed for the projects below to support restoration of the water quality and resilience of the Indian River Lagoon. We look forward to your participation!

  • Spat Oyster Shell



Training residents who live on the Indian River Lagoon to be “gardeners” who grow, care for, and monitor oyster beds that can filter and clean up to 50 gallons of water a day.

  • Clams in hands



Engaging volunteers to plant seed and juvenile clam beds that boost natural hard clam populations to reduce the buildup of nutrients and encourage seagrass growth.

  • mangrove bloom



Utilizing homeowners and other volunteers to raise red mangroves plants for lagoon habitat restoration and oxygen production.

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Involving volunteers in planting and monitoring native IRL seagrass species grown in a local nursery, providing natural habitats and a food source for marine life.

  • man planting marsh grass



Using volunteers to place native shoreline plants and mulch between lagoon-adjacent yards and the water, creating a barrier that prevents fertilizer and yard clippings from washing into the lagoon.

Ways You Can Restore Our Shores

Get involved with conservation efforts by making project materials, monitoring ongoing conservation projects, or building oyster reefs.

Find out if your waterfront property is a good location for IRL shoreline restoration efforts.

Own or work at a restaurant that serves oysters and clams? Shells from restaurants can be donated to help the lagoon through our oyster gardening program.