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Holly Abeels, Brevard County
3695 Lake Drive
Cocoa, Fl 32926
FAX (321) 633-1890
Brevard County is located just 35 miles east of Orlando and is the home of Kennedy Space Center, the only facility in the world that launches the Space Shuttle; Port Canaveral, the second-busiest cruise port in the world; 72 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches; and the Indian River Lagoon, the most biologically diverse estuary in North America. The Indian River Lagoon watershed is 2,284 square miles with a surface water area of 353 square miles. It is a spawning and nursery ground for ocean and lagoon fish and borders six counties including Brevard County.
Brevard County is also integral to the region for landings of blue crab. According to the Indian River Lagoon Economic Assessment Analysis Update, issued in August 2008 (Hazen & Sawyer 2008), more than 1 million pounds of blue crab were landed in the county in 2007 equaling over $1 million. This made up more than 64% of the total value landings for the 5-county region. Both recreational and commercial fishing are important in this region and especially in Brevard County with the most popular fish species being redfish, grouper, sea trout, and snook.
Brevard County is a popular tourism site with visitors frequenting the Brevard Zoo, the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, Canaveral National Seashore, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Port Canaveral, and Kennedy Space Center. There are many places and opportunities in the county for nature viewing, kayaking/canoeing, surfing, and of course boating and fishing. Brevard County’s waterways are environmental, recreational, and economic resources that provide unique habitats for a wide variety of plant and animal life.
The marine extension program in Brevard County is active in many areas including boating and waterways especially in regards to the Comprehensive Maritime Management Master Plan (CM3P) for Brevard County, freshwater systems (e.g. pond management), saltwater and brackish systems, sustainable fishing, and natural history.
Oyster Biology and Restoration
B.S. Marine Science - Biology, Southampton College of Long Island University, 2002
M.S. Environmental Science, Florida Gulf Coast University, 2009