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Oct. Seminar: Brevard County SOIRL Program

An MRC Lagoon at Noon Seminar

October 3, 2023
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Marine Resources Council is pleased to partner with Virginia H. Barker, Director, Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department, to present October’s Lagoon at Noon: Brevard County Save Our Indian River Lagoon (SOIRL) Program Update. See below for video from this event.

The Indian River Lagoon is a priceless natural treasure that was neglected for decades, but hope is on the horizon. The SOIRL Program has a science-based plan for investing in the most cost-effective projects to reduce pollution. There is no single or simple solution. Progress takes time and long-term commitments, but we are seeing signs of improvement. Everyone has a role in helping to heal the Lagoon.

The Presentation Features

  • Overview of the SORIL program and Citizen Oversight Committee
  • Current projects funded by SOIRL
  • How we can all help to heal the Lagoon

Meet the Presenter

Virginia Barker, Director, Brevard County Natural Resources ManagementVirginia Barker completed undergraduate degrees in Science and Math at Duke University and returned to Duke after five years of professional work to pursue a Masters in Coastal Environmental Management. Her thesis was in Resource Economics. She has worked in Sri Lanka for US AID, as a research diver for the Florida Department of Natural Resources, and in marine and environmental management positions for Monroe County and Brevard County.

Ms. Barker currently serves as the Director of Brevard County’s Natural Resources Management Department. During her 25 years with the County, she has been responsible for beach management, the stormwater utility program, mosquito control, Indian River Lagoon efforts, and numerous other environmental initiatives and programs.

In 2016, Virginia spearheaded development of the science-based Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Plan and establishment of a Citizen Oversight Committee. The Project Plan and Oversight Committee guide how a new 1/2-cent sales tax that was approved by Brevard voters will fund approximately $500 million of pollution elimination efforts to restore healthy conditions to the Indian River Lagoon. Implementation of the 10-year Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Plan began in 2017.

MRC’s Lagoon at Noon Seminar series (formerly Lunch & Learn) is a long-standing and cherished social offered to the East Central Florida coast region, and is supported by volunteers and the community’s charitable giving. If interested and able, we ask participants to donate toward our guest speaker series. All donations are tax-deductible.