MARINE RESOURCES COUNCIL OF EAST FLORIDA INC

Turning Science into Action!

aka MRC   |   Palm Bay, FL   |  www.SaveTheIRL.org

Mission

The mission of the Marine Resources Council, an environmental 501(C)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, is to improve water quality and to protect and to restore the fish and wildlife resources of the Indian River lagoon, coastal waters, inshore reefs, and the watershed by advocating and using sound science, education, and the involvement of the public at large.

Notes from the nonprofit

We have the honor and privilege to work with our coastal community to bring our estuary back to balance. The Indian River Lagoon was once a vibrant, productive estuary generating $Billions in revenue for our region. Today our estuary is polluted and dying, with no commercial fisheries and limited recreational value. We must all work together to do our part to bring the estuary back to the condition we want it to be. Marine Resources Council provides opportunities for everyone to do their part.

Ruling year info

1991

Executive Director

Dr. Leesa Souto Ph.D.

Main address

3275 Dixie Hwy NE

Palm Bay, FL 32905 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

59-3030066

NTEE code info

Professional Societies & Associations (C03)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Marine Resources Council works relentlessly to reduce pollution & to improve and restore the water quality of Florida's natural resources with a focus on the Indian River Lagoon, which spans through 40% of Florida's east coast.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Green Business Program

The MRC’s Indian River Lagoon Green Business Program (IRLGB) helps local businesses, restaurateurs, and lawn care professionals become good environmental stewards and helps them save money!

Learn how to conserve water and energy, prevent pollution, and reduce your waste footprint through this simple pledge program. Make the Green Business Pledge today at http://www.savetheirl.org/greenbiz-pledge/.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Marine Resources Council's Right Whale Monitoring Program was established in 1995 to reduce human impacts to the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Citizens on the east coast of Florida & Georgia report land‑based sightings of right whales to our hotline (1‑888‑97‑WHALE). This information is passed on to local ship traffic to avoid ship strikes, which account for over one‑third of documented right whale deaths in the North Atlantic Ocean.

The endangered Right Whale utilizes the Atlantic Coast off Georgia and Florida as calving grounds. Volunteer spotters, most living in high-rise beach side condos, report right whale sightings to track the whales' movement and behavior patterns along the Atlantic Coast in an effort to determine migration characteristics of these highly endangered marine mammals.

Report Sightings Toll-Free to
1-888-97-WHALE (1-888-979-4253)

Mission Statement for Volunteer Whale Observers

To be the eyes, ears and voice of the northern right whale in its only known calving grounds off the Florida Atlantic coast.

To cooperate with scientists and resource managers and report whale sightings to alert ships at sea in order to reduce ship collisions, the greatest known cause of death of northern right whales.

To gather scientific data regarding right whale occurrence, movement patterns and behavioral characteristics in the southeast critical habitat.

Use this link for more program info http://mrcrightwhalemonitoring.blogspot.com/p/staff.html.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Activists

Marine Resources Council is a mangrove aquaculture facility, licensed and permitted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In our mangrove restoration program, we care for the three species native to Florida (red, black, and white), a total of approximately 4,000 plants. These mangroves will all eventually be transplanted along the Indian River Lagoon to provide nutrient uptake, wildlife habitat, storm protection, and erosion control.

Our goal each year is to plant thousands of mangroves along the IRL shoreline.

MRC is always accepting mangrove seeds & propagules. The next time you are on the beach it is easy to help our restoration efforts by collecting seeds and dropping them off to us at the Lagoon House! We like to cultivate the plants for 3 years prior to planting.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The MRC education programs goal is to offer a unique, fun, and educational experience for students of various ages that focus on science lessons, experiential learning programs, hands-on activities, and field trips to learn about the Indian River Lagoon, enhance STEAM skills, and inspire future careers in environmental science.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adolescents

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of fields trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

MRC's Youth Educational Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The total number of youth field trip presentations that occur at the Lagoon House, in the classroom, and through new virtual formats.

Number of students educated through field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

MRC's Youth Educational Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are the total number of youth education through a field trip presentation, either at the Lagoon House or in the classroom setting.

Number of meetings held with decision makers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We classify meetings with decision makers as any meetings with coalition partners, politicians (city, county, state, and federal), political advisors, etc.

Number of people on the organization's email list

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollars received in contributions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Contributions include all donations, membership gifts, and special event gifts. These do not include contract, grants, or services.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are volunteer hours donated to our organization from across all of our programs.

Total number of organization members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are the total number of members, both annual and sustaining members, that belong to our organization at the end of each calendar year.

Number of trees planted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mangrove Farm & Shoreline Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The total number of mangrove planted each year.

Number of trees cared for

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mangrove Farm & Shoreline Restoration

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The total number of mangroves grown under our care.

Area of land, in hectares, indirectly controlled by the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mangrove Farm & Shoreline Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Area of land, in hectares, directly controlled by the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mangrove Farm & Shoreline Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of invasive species removed from managed area(s)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mangrove Farm & Shoreline Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of invasive species, both treated and removed, from all project sites and land under our direct and indirect control.

Number of linear feet of shoreline restored.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mangrove Farm & Shoreline Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of linear feet of shoreline restored through the use of native plants and mangroves.

Number of overall donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The MRC is aiming to publish and maintain the first ever comprehensive health analysis of the entire Indian River Lagoon ecosystem to guide restoration and policy for protecting and improving the water quality and quality of life for the east coast of Florida.

The organization is also aiming to partner with local municipalities to create Low Impact Development standards to ultimately implement statewide, which would result in the infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of stormwater in order to protect water quality and associated aquatic habitat. Urbanization increases the variety and amount of pollutants carried into our nation's waters. In urban and suburban areas, much of the land surface is covered by buildings, pavement and compacted landscapes. These surfaces do not allow rain to soak into the ground which greatly increases the volume and velocity of stormwater runoff. In addition to these habitat-destroying impacts, pollutants from urban runoff include: sediment, oil, grease and toxic chemicals from motor vehicles, pesticides and nutrients from lawns and gardens, viruses, bacteria and nutrients from pet waste and failing septic systems, road salts, heavy metals from roof shingles, motor vehicles and other sources, thermal pollution from impervious surfaces such as streets and rooftops, these pollutants can harm fish and wildlife populations, kill native vegetation, foul drinking water, and make recreational areas unsafe and unpleasant. With Low Impact Development practices we can reduce and reverse the negative impact we have on our environment.

MRC executes science-based research and gathers consensus through invested stakeholder groups to educate the community and steer policy. The organization manages many outreach programs to reach and educate the diverse coastal communities for the adoption of positive changes in behavior for the well-being of Florida's water resources and environment. MRC programming includes a presidential award winning Lagoon Watch citizen science water monitoring program, a citizen science muck mapping program, a citizen outreach speakers bureau, a water saving rain barrel program, a citizen science mangrove farming program, a shoreline restoration program, a groundwater/wastewater monitoring program, a green business sustainability program, adult and youth education programs. MRC also manages the Ted Moorhead Lagoon House Learning Center/IRL National Scenic Byway Welcome Center, the South East North Atlantic Right Whale Monitoring and Conservation Program, a volunteer, internship, and membership program, a conservation awards program, and many annual events to advocate for positive change. For more information please visit SaveTheIRL.org.

MRC has a strong positive wave of support from Florida's east coast communities with direct contact to over 16 thousand followers, and partners with countless organizations including the Spacecoast League of Cities, the National Estuaries Program, the Department of Environmental Protection, St. John's Water Management District, South Florida Water Management District, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, Northrup Grumman, Harris Corp.

MRC created and advocated the National Estuaries Program into a Federally governing entity
MRC manages the oldest, largest, and only presidential award-winning citizen science water monitoring program
MRC executed the science and advocacy to pass fertilizer ordinances statewide
MRC created the first Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Indian River Lagoon
MRC created and advocated the Indian River Lagoon Act into law
MRC created the first-ever comprehensive health analysis of the entire Indian River Lagoon known as the IRL Health Update
MRC deploys hundreds of water saving rain barrels each year
MRC cultivates and plants thousands of mangroves each year
MRC reaches and educates countless residents, youth groups, & visitors each year
MRC hosts multiple trash and litter pickups each year
Next, we are going to create and advocate state-wide Low Impact Development Programming into law
Next, we are going to expand the data reporting in the IRL Health Update to include tributaries and expand the distribution of the report
Next, we are going to expand our reach into more k-12 grade classrooms and cultivate curriculum for school boards to adopt
Next, we are launching a brand new youth after school education program that will focus on STEM and Lagoon based education
Next, we are launching 8 weeks of full day summer camp to educate and inspire the next generation of Lagoon advocates.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    All residents within the Indian River Lagoon watershed.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Constituents prefer not to received mailed items because of the resource waste. We moved to an electronic news platforms instead of a printed newsletter.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We initiated an inclusivity program and started seeking opportunities to partner with people of all types, be they incarcerated, disabled, or financially challenged, everyone should have an opportunity to participate in our mission.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

MARINE RESOURCES COUNCIL OF EAST FLORIDA INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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MARINE RESOURCES COUNCIL OF EAST FLORIDA INC

Board of directors
as of 08/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Terry Casto

Strategic Growth Consulting LLC

Term: 2018 -


Board co-chair

Jim Moir

Bill Cox

Coast Guard Auxiliary

Lady Shirley Beirne

BGH Farm

Dave Botto

Stephen Chalmers

Robert Day

Paul Laura

Southeast Region, Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida

Bo Platt

Surf Rider

Joanie Regan

City of Cocoa Beach

Maureen Rupe

Turtle Coast Sierra Club

Jeff Smith

Florida Power and Light

Steven Casanova

Surfer Law

Roger Hickman

David Jackson

Congressional Aide

Nancy Johnson

David Marley

Kevin Smith

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/1/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/01/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.