I was so excited to get a personal invitation from James Burke( Watercraft Technologies) and Billy Gibson of Motorized Kayak Adventure’s to be a part of the 1st Annual Spoil Island Preservation Day! This event was in cooperation with Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Indian River lagoon Aquatic Preserves Field Office. This was a positive step in the Indian River Lagoon issues and I was honored to be the only media person in attendance. The weather was a bit unstable with sporadic rain but we all were able to enjoy the event.
The purpose of the event was to promote the importance of the Spoil Islands, the Indian River Lagoon and their importance to the environment and our local economy. This annual event was also an effort to solicit support for preserving and enhancing the islands for recreational, conservation and educational use.
On December 14th, the select few that were invited met at the North Bridge Boat Ramp to transport us to the Spoil Island Number 13. The Motorized Kayak Adventures Team adopted this spoil Island many months ago. They provided transportation for everyone and about 30 of us arrived on the Island for a “meet and greet” with some of the adopters of the Islands and environmentalist specialists. I was privileged to interview Pam Philips from Tallahassee’s External Affairs Administrators office of water policy and Bryan Sharpe, an environmental specialist. Our County Commissioner, Chris Dzadovsky was present to support the efforts and was one of the several speakers which included Jame’s Burke from Motorized Kayak Adventures, and Marc Virgilio, an environmental specialist. The DEP team brought a field biologist, David Heuberger and Captain Donald Voss from Marine Cleanup Initiative also attended. The video below has some of the highlights from the day.
After the brief lectures, the guests had time to plant mangroves, a native species, with the help of Dana Maira( Shoreline Restoration Project Coordinator). I learned that her job is sustained by the sale of Florida Indian River Lagoon license plates. The proceeds help fund Dana’s projects.
Danny and Linda Craig(Motorized Kayak Adventure Tour guides) catered a wonderful lunch for everyone and provided an atmosphere to initiate more of these events to help draw attention to these incredible islands that we need to help preserve. This experience opened my eyes about the committed people who participated in this event and what our State and Federal Government is doing to help preserve the Spoil Islands and waterways. Many of these island are used as education and recreation, but to better serve our area we must be responsible for cleaning up and taking care of the natural native plants that help keep the fish beds and sea grass healthy. Here is our chance to get involved in a level that is not out of our reach,. For example, take your children on a lagoon kayak tour, help clean a spoil island, become an adopter or an ambassador. It’s never too late to educate.For more information go to www.spoilislandproject.org Kayak tours www.motorizedkayakadventures.com
The Motorized Kayak Adventures team is spearheading the Spoil Island Ambassador program. Here is some information they handed out. Many thanks to all that participated.