Thank you to everyone who came out to the Lake Ida Parcel Saturday morning! Volunteers helped us by planting over 20 different species of native plants on the site. For a full plant list, check out our post on Facebook!
We are thrilled with the progress made so far at the site and are looking forward to how much more we can accomplish in the next year! Click here for more photos from the event.
Once again, we'd like to give a special thank you to the Delray Beach Parks & Recreation for all of their help organizing and running the events, Jane Thompson from Indian Trails Native Nursery for providing the plants, and to John Miller and Iain Paterson for being our wonderful boating chauffeurs!
Our Restoration Volunteer Day at Lummus Park on April 20th was a huge success! Volunteers from 20 countries and 4 continents helped IRC remove several large patches of Scaevola taccada, plant over 250 sea oats, and remove dozens of garbage bags worth of trash and microplastics from the beach.
We would like to thank the City of Miami Beach for all of their help and funding for this event. We would also like to thank Starbucks and Global Ties Miami for bringing such wonderful groups of volunteers!
Kick off Earth Day Weekend with IRC on Friday April 20th from 9am - 12pm by restoring a portion of Lummus Park, a beach front park in South Beach. Volunteers will help IRC plant native species and pick up trash at the park. For more information, click here.
Volunteers needed at George N. Avery Pineland for a restoration day! This site is one of many that IRC is currently working on restoring. Volunteers will help IRC restore this site by removing invasive ferns and other restoration work. For more information, click here.
IRC would love to have you join us at these restoration events! Please remember that we advise all volunteers to wear close-toed shoes and long pants! You can RSVP with us at or call the number provided in the links!
Back at it again! IRC will be holding our second Lake Ida Parcel volunteer day at the end of this month, on March 31st at 9:00am-12:00pm. Volunteers will help IRC to continue to restore this important greenspace by removing invasive plant species and picking up trash and debris. We will also be prepping the site for planting natives at upcoming events by raking up dense leaf litter dropped by invasive plants. Please remember to wear long pants and closed shoes!
Volunteers of all ages are welcome! We will meet at the Lake Ida Boat Ramp before shuttling participants to the site. All volunteers receive a free t-shirt! We will also have waters and light refreshments for the volunteers. Come join us!
IRC would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the volunteers who made our first restoration event at the Lake Ida Parcel such a success on Saturday morning! Participants helped remove invasive plants like Acacia auriculiformis (Ear-leaf acacia), Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar-periwinkle), Melinis repens (Natalgrass), Panicum repens (Torpedo grass), Richardia grandiflora (Largeflower Mexican clover), Sansevieria hyacinthoides (Snake plant), Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian-pepper), Sida cordifolia (Lima), and Urena lobata (Caesarweed) from throughout this important passive greenspace. It’s amazing to see how much can be accomplished when the community works together! Future events are scheduled for March 31 and May 5.
Thank you to the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties for funding this project and to Suzanne Fisher, Gerard Smith and Matt Reynolds from the Delray Beach Parks and Recreation Department for all of their help in organizing and coordinating these events. We would also like to thank Jim Chard for all of his support in bringing this project to life. Special thanks also go out to John Miller, Bill Bathurst and Ian Paterson for the use of their boats for shuttling supplies and volunteers at the event.
For more pictures from the event, click here
The Institute for Regional Conservation has had the pleasure of meeting Uli Nagel with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, who is peddling a Pebl tricycle for ‘Pebling for a Carbon Free Future’ along the coast of Florida and Judy Fox who is attending and documenting all events with her! She will have traveled over 300 miles by tricycle from Miami to Jacksonville by the end of the month of February with the hopes of perhaps making it to Georgia!
Uli’s goal is to communicate with as many people as possible about what exactly is happening with our oceans. From her blog to her Facebook page, Uli is constantly posting about her travels, meetings, and experiences from this trip. They are meeting people as they travel by attending environmental events at schools and walking along popular areas like Hollywood Boulevard and Lincoln Street Mall. Their goal is to talk to people who are environmentally aware as well as the public. Uli and Judy are hoping to get as many people as possible to write a simple letter to their representatives in Congress about their concerns about climate change and sea level rise.
IRC observes the effects of climate change on a daily basis as we work to conserve rare plants, animals and ecosystems. Therefore, we encourage you to join a local Citizens’ Climate Lobby chapter today. You can also sign up to receive their monthly newsletter to learn more about what CCL does! If you’re interested in writing a letter to Congress about your concerns on climate change, you can use this form from the CCL website.
The Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC) seeks a Chief Executive (CE) to implement policies and programs and provide critical leadership to advance IRC’s mission and long-term vision. The successful candidate will work collaboratively with the Board of Directors, staff members, volunteers and partners to design, implement and curate innovative science-based conservation programs in Florida, the Caribbean and beyond. Based at IRC's office in Delray Beach, FL, the CE will oversee a staff of 10-15 and an annual budget of more than $500,000 derived from agency contracts, grants and other fundraising. A passion for biodiversity conservation, familiarity with technical aspects of ecological restoration, and the ability to develop collaborative relationships with government agencies, conservation groups and academia are desirable characteristics for the successful applicant.
To request a copy of the entire job description and application instructions, send an email to email@example.com.
IRC’s Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, is a coauthor on a paper recently published in the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas by Alan S. Weakly et al. titled “New Combinations, Rank Changes, and Nomenclatural and Taxonomic Comments in the Vascular Flora of the Southeastern United States. II” In this paper, Gann and Weakley rename the Florida bristle fern Didymoglossum punctatum subsp. floridanum. This species, formerly known as Trichomanes punctatum subsp. floridanum, was listed as federally Endangered in 2015 and is a species of high conservation concern. To read the paper, click here.
IRC is excited to say that our volunteer days at Lake Ida Parcel in Delray Beach will be back on starting Saturday, February 24th from 9:00am-12:00pm! So please RSVP once again with us for the new starting date!
Volunteers will help hand-pull invasive plants and remove debris/trash from the site. Participants are REQUIRED to wear close-toed shoes (NO FLIP-FLOPS!) and long pants.
All volunteers will get a free t-shirt when you check-in! We will provide all necessary tools, gloves, and refreshments. The meeting point will be at the Lake Ida boat ramp, so please check in before being taken to the site. See the flyer below for more info and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and RSVPs.
IRC staff members spent the day planting 90 Croton linearis plants at the National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge! We would like to give a huge thank you to the volunteers at the native nursery at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park for helping us propagate these plants. And another thank you to Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge for storing the plants until they are ready for planting.
Although Hurricane Irma destroyed most of the Croton linearis IRC has planted at NKDR throughout the last year, our staff members observed signs of regrowth while installing the new plants.
We are excited to participate in #GiveMiamiDay this Thursday, November 16! To donate, simply go to our homepage and click on the "Give Miami Day" icon. You can also search for IRC on the Give Miami Day website.
By supporting IRC on Give Miami Day, you will help us restore more acres of critically imperiled pine rockland habitat while conserving the endangered organisms that call this habitat home.
Why donate on Give Miami Day? IRC will receive a bonus gift from the Miami Foundation for each donation of $25 - $10,000 received during the 24 hour period.
***UPDATE*** This event has been postponed. There is now going to be Hurricane Irma SNAP Event at Lake Ida Park on Saturday, October 21. Due to this event, the park is closed and we will not be able to hold our previously scheduled restoration volunteer day.
We apologize for any inconvenience and hope that those of you who RVSPed will be able to join us at the next event! We are working with the City of Delray Beach to reschedule this volunteer day and will let everyone know once we have a new date.
IRC is excited to announce our first of six volunteer days at the Lake Ida Parcel in Delray Beach on Saturday, October 21st from 9am-12pm! Volunteers will help hand-pull invasive plants and remove debris/trash from the site.
Participants are REQUIRED to wear close-toed shoes (NO FLIP-FLOPS!) and long pants. All volunteers will get a free t-shirt when you check-in! We will provide all necessary tools, gloves, and refreshments. The meeting point is still being determined, so check back soon for info on where to park.
See the flyer below for more info and contact email@example.com with questions and RSVPs.
IRC is excited to announce new job opportunities in Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys! See the flyer below for more information on where to submit your information. Please share with anyone who might be interested!
IRC's Acting Director, George Gann, has been invited to join the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) North American Plant Red List Authority. This will make him an official member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), the largest of six commissions in the IUCN.
The SSC undertakes assessments of the status of species, develops species conservation action plans and strategies, prepares technical guidelines and formulates IUCN policy statements. The Commission delivers and promotes this technical knowledge, advice and policy guidance to those who can influence the implementation of conservation actions across the world. The major role of the SSC Red List Authority is to contribute status assessments of species to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, in collaboration with Global Species Programme (GSP) staff in the IUCN Secretariat and the Red List Partner institutions.
IRC Pine Rockland Initiative Program Coordinator, Maha Nusrat, and IRC Entomologist, Sandy Koi, recently installed a Bioacoustics Recorder at the USCG offices where the instrument will record wavelength data for the next month. IRC will then view the recorded wavelengths to look for bonneted bats echolocation calls at their specific high or low frequencies (19-20 kHz). The goal is to map the areas near and within boundaries of the Richmond tract to verify scientifically that bonneted bats (and probably others) are indeed on this property. If observed in this study, then bonneted bats are likely to be located within the Coral Reef Commons property as well which has not been adequately addressed by RAM developers in their Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).
IRC is excited to announce that we have been awarded a $5,000 Environmental and Sustainability Grant from the City of Miami Beach to promote environmental stewardship through a Beach Restoration program. We plan on using volunteers to help us remove invasive plant species and replace them with plants native Miami's dune ecosystem. IRC has a long history of restoring Miami Beach and we are thrilled to continue that work this year.
Stay tuned throughout the next year to find out how you can participate in our volunteer days!
Mark your calendars! IRC will be holding our next restoration volunteer day at Atlantic Dunes Park in Delray Beach on Saturday, April 8 from 9 am to 12 pm. This event, sponsored by Tina Pugliese of Pugliese Public Relations, will help continue to restore the park by removing invasives, planting natives, and picking up trash/recyclables.
See the flyer below for additional information. Questions and RSVPs can be sent to Cara Abbott (firstname.lastname@example.org and 305-304-6610).
Thank you to the 25 volunteers who came out to IRC's Pine Rockland Resoration Event on Saturday! Volunteers of all backgrounds came from Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade County to help restore the beautiful private pine rockland located on the Medloks, participants helped remove invasive plants such as Jasminum fluminense (brazilian jasmine), Schefflera actinophylla (umbrellatree), and Tradescantia spathaceaoyster (Oysterplant). Volunteers also provided maintenance on the trails throughout the 5 acre pineland by trimming back palms. IRC was able to donate approximately 20 pine rockland native plants to the Medloks, thanks to the Connect to Protect Netowork!
For additional photos from the volunteer day, check out the facebook album here.
IRC is pleased to announce the release of â€œA Gardening Guide to Living on the Barrier Islandâ€. IRCâ€™s Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, authored this brochure with Rob Barron of Coastal Management and Consulting thanks to Kimberlee Duke Marshall of the Ocean Ridge Garden Club and Jerry Lower of the Coastal Star. This brochure, which was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ocean Ridge Garden Club, discusses landscaping best practices for living on the barrier island. Specifically, the brochure details how to create a resilient, native dune, which common invasive plants should be removed, how to keep your lighting safe for sea turtles, and more! If interested, you can purchase a copy for $2 at the Ocean Ridge town hall.
IRC's Senior Botanist, Jorge Carlos Trejo, recently presented a talk at the IX Caribbean Biodiversity Congress, a triennial meeting organized by the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Trejo presented on the Puerto Rican web page and data base Plants of the Islands of Puerto Rico and also discussed our YucatÃ¡n and South Florida projects.
Below: J.C. Trejo with Jorge Mancebo, Coordinator of the School of Agronomy, posing with the fist tree planted at the Arboretum of the Instituto PolitÃ©cnico Loyola in San CristÃ³bal, Dominican Republic. The arboretum was funded in 1968 by the highly respected priest Julio CÃcero, a Yucatecan that lived and contributed to botany for 44 years in the Dominican Republic. Trejo is currently preparing a essay on Cicero's life and botanical contribution in the DR, which is totally unknown in the YucatÃ¡n.
We are excited to announce that IRC will be holding a Pine Rockland Restoration Volunteer Day on Saturday, March 4 from 9 am to 12 pm on a private pine rockland in Homestead during National Invasive Species Awareness Week.
This event is unique because we are helping private pine rockland owners who are enthusiastic and passionate about preserving this endangered ecosystem in their own backyard. Unfortunately, they do not have the resources, time, or energy to restore their land. This will be a great opportunity for everyone at the event, including already educated pine rockland enthusiasts, to learn some personal stories about these owner's history with their pine rockland, before, during, and after Hurricane Andrew, which was a significant event that unfortunately impacted the Homestead area significantly.
Check out the flyer below for more info!
IRC's Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, moderated a breakout session titled "Plant and Animal Biodiversity: Including a Critical Element of Everglades Restoration" on Friday, January 6 in Ft. Myers. Panelists included Todd Hopkins of Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Sandy Koi of Tropical Audubon Society, and Jennifer Rehage of Florida International University.
The session was well attended and resulted in great dialogue between panelists and attendees about making biodiversity a priority in Everglades Restoration as the water is sent south. To see additional pictures, click here. To read more about the Everglades Coalition, click here.
The topic of "Rare Plants and Everglades Restoration" was also presented by George Gann at the Miami-Dade chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society January meeting.
Only 2% of the original Pine Rockland ecosystem remains in Miami-Dade's urban corridor and the enduring fragments stand vulnerable to habitat destruction, invasive pest plants and lack of fire. IRC continues its dedication to long-term habitat restoration of this imperiled ecosystem by actively working to minimizing these threats. We implement the Pine Rockland Initiative Program and own and manage two pinelands in southern Miami-Dade County. In December, Craig van der Heiden, through a partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service completed a prescribed burn on our John Kunkel Small pineland in Homestead. Fire is a fundamental management tool in Pine Rockland restoration. We look forward to monitoring the vegetation regrowth after the fire.
To see additional photos from the burn, click here.