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FSSR Newsletter - March 2006

ST. JOHNS RIVER WMD PROJECTS HELP PROTECT THE ST. SEBASTIAN RIVER

    Troy Rice, Director of the Indian River Lagoon Program for the St. Johns River Water Management District will be our guest this month.  He will give a presentation on the District's land acquisition and water quality improvement projects in the St. Sebastian River area.  His presentation will include some of their current projects and give us an overview of some of the regional projects projected to take place over the next five to ten years.
    The meeting will be Tuesday, March 28, 7:30 PM at the North Indian River County Library on Sebastian Boulevard in Sebastian and all are welcome to attend.

MARCH IS SEAGRASS AWARENESS MONTH

    "Recognizing the importance of seagrasses to Florida's marine environment, the commercial and recreational fishing industry and the economy, Governor Jeb Bush acknowledged March 2006 as Seagrass Awareness Month."
    "'Florida's seagrasses support recreational and commercial communities throughout the State,' said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Colleen M. Castille.  'Preserving these underwater grasses is critical to the prosperity of Florida's marine life, water quality and citizens.'"
    "…seagrasses provide a nursery ground for marine life and maintain water quality and clarity by stabilizing bottom sediments and filtering nutrients from stormwater run-off."
    "Last year alone, seagrass communities throughout the state supported a commercial fish and shellfish harvest of $109 million. Florida's multi-million dollar fishing industry depends on healthy seagrasses…."
    "An estimated 173,000 acres of Florida seagrasses are scarred from boat propellers. 
Impacts from boat groundings fragment the grass bed, restricting the movement of the marine life that rely on the habitat. Seagrasses can take up to a decade to recover from propeller scars."
    For more information on seagrasses, please visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's website at - www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2006/03/0303_02.htm.

ST. SEBASTIAN RIVER TRIVIA AND FUN FACTS

    This is a new feature to our newsletter.  We hope to make this a "regular" and hope you will enjoy and learn something from it!  Please let us know if you have any interesting facts and anecdotes about the river that we can use here.
    OK, so here's the opening trivia question.  How many "prongs" does the St. Sebastian River have? (you will find the answer on the next page)