On Earth Day 2021, Katey Leban of the Brevard Zoo shared ways and ideas to help us be good stewards of the beautiful waterways in Brevard county. Her presentation took place in Eastminster’s courtyard facing the breathtaking Indian River lagoon. This amazing event was planned by the Outreach committee (with the Earth Care ministry) and Adult Discipleship.
Katey Leban, B.S., M.S. received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology and a Master of Science degree in Conservation Technology from Florida Institute of Technology. Following graduate school, she worked for a variety of biological institutions, including Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Proaquatix LLC., before joining the Brevard Zoo’s oyster restoration team in 2016. Katey is now the Conservation Oyster Coordinator and manages over 200 Brevard County citizen scientists, who are tasked with growing juvenile oysters from their lagoon-front properties for future Indian River Lagoon oyster reef restoration. Katey is an avid sports fan and enjoys visiting zoos and aquariums whenever traveling around the United States.
Brevard Zoo’s Restore Our Shores (ROS) program has been involved with improving Brevard County’s section of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) since 2014. To date, over 1.3 miles of living shoreline projects (oysters and native vegetation plantings) have been added to restore native filtration systems and vital habitat for our amazing estuary. Since its 2014 creation as well, the Oyster Gardening project has provided a community-based citizen science project where lagoon-front residents raise batches of young oysters (spat) through their vulnerable developmental stage and close to adulthood. To date, over 1,500 Oyster Gardeners/Oyster Buddies have participated all throughout the county and helped add over 463,000 live oysters back into Brevard County’s waters.