Symposium Inspired!

Quo Vadis? Where are we Going?

The issues of the Indian River Lagoon are difficult and often leave me feeling exasperated, but yesterday I was totally inspired! FAU Harbor Branch’s ( Indian River Lagoon Symposium was an uplifting experience. I have attended before as I previously sat on the foundation board, nonetheless, yesterday seemed better than ever and the enormous auditorium was completely full.

Because one of the goals of the symposium is “to promote participation of university students and new scientists,” many young people were presenting. I have never seen such diverse and wide-spread geographic participation. Excellent!

As a former teacher, I value public speaking training immensely. The best scientists are those who can communicate their work in simple terms to the public. Well I’m telling you, these young people coming up know how to tell their IRL story.

I enjoyed everything, but was most inspired by a couple of university students from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona. The title of their presentation was  “Integrating Construction of a Treatment Wetland to Reduce Nutrient Loading From Stormwater Runoff into Coastal Waters.” ~Particularly important as this is a densely populated area, polluting the Halifax River, located  just north of the Ponce Inlet. Of course the Indian River Lagoon is 156 miles long and covers more than 40% of Florida’s east coast. The IRL affects all of us! Thank you to Harbor Branch for inspiring me, and a whole new generation of students!

~Please check out the program schedule below.

1630-1645 Integrating Construction of a Treatment Wetland to Reduce Nutrient Loading From Stormwater Runoff into Coastal Waters: Miranda White, Abraham DaSilvio, Samuel Mwenda, and HyunJ.Cho Bethune-Cookman University Daytona Beach, FL
Hlifax River:


FAU, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute:

Link to program schedule below:

Click to access IRLS-2019-Program-Final.pdf

~IRL Symposium Schedules, 2012-2018:

Overview, HBOIF

The Indian River Lagoon Symposium (IRLS) is the result of a multi-institutional, multi-agency effort to provide a forum for discussing Indian River Lagoon science and its application to management of the lagoon. The symposium is open to scientists, decision makers, students, education and outreach professionals, and the interested public. The intent is to facilitate better communication among these groups so that the gaps between research and its application can be narrowed.

The goals of the symposium are to:

Provide a forum to disseminate current knowledge of the IRL and its management

Foster collaborations and discussions among scientists, students, education and outreach professionals, and decision makers

Promote participation of university students and new scientists

Provide results and discussions that can be used to inform policy related to management of the IRL

5 thoughts on “Symposium Inspired!

  1. I attended a small high school on Cape Cod as a lad. Every year we played against our significantly larger rival across the bridge in the big Thanksgiving football game.

    On the eve of the ‘big game’ the coaches and some alumni came out and gave pep-talks and speeches and as they addresses the crowd. The chants were uplifting and “inspired” the masses even though the impending trouncing that would be tomorrow mornings score was all but carved in stone.

    I was reminded of this when I got the the presentation on ‘seagrass wrack’ because all of our grass is dead or dying. As I type this reply I am looking across an expanse of estuary and wonder if we should substitute ‘Medice, cura te ipsum,’ for ‘Quo Vadis’?

  2. All these rocket scientest putting oyster shells in plastic bags throughout the lagoon really does tic me off. They need to take the shells OUT of the plastic bags so manitees don’t eat them when they try to get at the calcium algae growing on them. If they are so dam smart why on earth would they do such a thing.

    1. Brent – Thank you for pointing out the fact that manatees are endangered by those PLASTIC BAGS … I had no idea that is how the oyster shells were assembled and placed. #WTF=Welcome2Floriduh.

  3. Thanks, Jacqui, for sharing your experience. I am curious if Brian Lapointe is still on his campaign to have Sewell’s Point convert from septic. I bet the presentation on Food or Trash was a hit. We all need to contend with corporations to stop the flow of single-use plastics and get back to basics (following China’s example) using biodegradable papers. We are such a throw-away society. I am looking forward to hearing Dr. Goforth this week.

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