IRL Action Assemblies


Delegations of Citizens Using Science to Reach Consensus

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Ted Moorhead Lagoon House & Florida Institute of Technology

Presented by MRC LagoonWATCH

Since the mid-1980s, MRC has presented more than 20 Assemblies. The Assemblies bring together representative citizen delegates representing diverse east central Florida stakeholder groups.

The delegates are briefed on current science, progress underway, and consider possible strategies to restore balance to the lagoon region. The delegates reach consensus on and prioritize next steps to be taken, as well as the organizations that will be responsible for leading and reporting future progress.

Assembly delegations have led to much of the progress underway across the lagoon.

Highlights of the 2014 IRL Action Assembly follow, after which the 2024 IRL Community Action Assembly was modeled. Of the 20+ Assemblies presented by MRC, these two are the ones with the broadest regional scopes.

The 2024 IRL Action Assembly will be held at Florida Institute of Technology, July 24–25. Sign up to get Lagoon News for updates on this event.

2014 Action Assembly

Lagoon Action Assembly 2014 Priority Actions

1. Develop a lagoon-wide, long term public education program such as “Be Floridian” that affects behavior change through incentives and communications.

  • Focus on topics such as:
    • Lagoon-friendly living
    • Understanding and using reuse water
    • Integrated pest management
    • Fertilizer ordinances
    • Pollution prevention and
    • Water and energy conservation.
  • Evaluate success.

2. Establish and fund a State of the Lagoon” report similar to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Report Card that includes social and ecological indicators.

  • Define appropriate pollutant, habitat, species, socio-economic, and behavioral metrics.
  • Report monitoring results back to the community in appropriate formats.

3. Remove and reduce muck by implementing a comprehensive muck management plan.

  • Prioritize muck removal.
  • Prevent muck by addressing sources.
  • Investigate beneficial uses of muck.
  • Monitor muck accumulation and movement.

4. Reduce impacts from septic tanks.

  • Complete a lagoon-wide mapping project.
  • Prioritize septic tanks based on their likelihood to impact the Lagoon.
  • Investigate and assign corrective actions.
  • Identify sources of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), bacteria, pharmaceuticals, and toxins and calculate relative loads.

5. Improve storm water management

  • Retrofit aging storm water systems.
  • Promote retention/detention and water reuse on residential and agricultural lands.
  • Implement street sweeping programs to prevent pollutants from entering storm drains.
  • Work to implement the FDEP statewide storm water rule to reduce pollutants from new development.

The delegates were divided into nine working groups to better work on problem-solving sessions.