Be a Muckateer!
Marine Resources Council, Brevard County Natural Resources Management, and Brevard County citizens are doing muck research to quantify and prioritize muck management actions in the Indian River Lagoon.
Volunteer citizen scientists are given the education, training, and equipment needed to collect scientifically valid data to verify the presence and depth of muck in targeted areas so the county can “Get the muck out!”
Muck is a major problem in the lagoon: covering the bottom, smothering clams and mussels, impeding boat traffic, and continuously releasing pollution back into the water column. Brevard County’s Save Our Lagoon Plan dedicates more than $100M for muck removal, but we need to know where it is so projects can be prioritized to get the best benefit for the buck!
MRC’s citizen science “Muckateers” go out with calibrated poles to measure muck depths so that accurate muck depths can be mapped and muck can be directly targeted for removal.
Each team of three Muckateers includes:
- Boat Captain/ Navigator: Navigates boat and sampling team to pre-determined GPS locations for sampling.
- Muck Measurer: Collects muck thickness data by probing pole into the water and muck to identify respective depths.
- Data Recorder: Enters GPS location, water depth, and muck depth, and maintains site sample list via Muck Finders app, data sheets, and Grid Map.
The pilot project has fostered hundreds of hours of volunteer engagement and driven data collection for the production of Muck Thickness Maps in various areas of the Indian River Lagoon. This pilot project is an outstanding example of how citizens can help guide priority lagoon projects.
If interested in contributing to MRC’s Muck Finders Program, please contact MRC’s Citizen Science Coordinator, Jared McNally, at email@example.com or (321) 725-7775.