Dec. 12, 2014
The Friends of the Spoil Islands Citizen Support Organization for the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves received a generous donation of $30,000 from private donors. Kevin Claridge, director of the Florida Coastal Office, and Brian Sharpe, manager of the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves, met with donors Friday for a personal thank you and dedication of the funds.
The private donors, Jack and Bonnie Mollen, donated the funds for the primary purpose of protecting and preserving a bird-nesting rookery in Melbourne, located just south of Melbourne Causeway and east of Front Street Park. The island has suffered from severe erosion primarily due to boat-generated waves.
“We are very thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Mollen for their generous donation to the Friends of the Spoil Islands Citizen Support Organization,” said Brian Sharpe, manager of the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves. “Their support of this project and the protection and preservation of the resources of the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves is an inspiration to us all.”
In an effort to curtail future erosion and provide adequate nesting area for a variety of bird species, a series of oyster reefs are proposed for the east and northeast sides of the island. In conjunction with the oyster reefs, upland trees, mangroves and shoreline grasses will be planted. All work will be conducted through and overseen by the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves Office.
Any funds remaining from the project will be used to support oyster-reef and shoreline-restoration projects throughout the Indian River Lagoon. The Florida Coastal Office, Friends of the Spoil Islands Citizen Support Organization and the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves are grateful to the Mollens for their generosity and desire to help protect the resources of the Indian River Lagoon.