Find a Class or Event
We offer a variety of classes and events for the entire family. Click here to see what's coming up.
October is National Seafood Month!
Read more about Florida's seafood.
Ghouls and ghosts are not the only scary things to be on the lookout for this Halloween. While Halloween is a fun and festive time for children, it can also be a time of increased injury and danger. By taking simple steps, you can make this Halloween a safe and exciting time for all. Read More
Get Involved in Citizen Science!
One way that you can get involved in environmental issues in your area is to volunteer with a citizen science monitoring program. Citizen science is “the involvement of the public in scientific research – whether community-driven research or global investigations” (http://staging.citizenscience.org). Read More.
Water Quality Monitoring in the Indian River Lagoon
Water quality has been a hot topic in our area, especially with regard to the Indian River Lagoon, for many years now. We often hear more about this term when news and events bring up various subjects such as algae blooms, seagrass loss, oyster restoration, fish kills, fertilizer bans, septic tanks, and freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee. More and more people are talking about water quality and want to learn more about the current water conditions in the Indian River Lagoon. Fortunately, there are actually many agencies with websites that show water quality conditions in our Lagoon. Additionally, many of these agencies have remote water quality stations that collect samples of water at various intervals during the day, and display real time data for what’s happening in the water. All you have to know is where to look. Read More.
Helping to Heal the IRL in a Few Small Steps
Unless you live under a rock, and I admit that sounds pretty good some days, you have heard about the challenges facing the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). Cleaning up the IRL will be no easy task. It will take a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of scientific research, and some major lifestyle changes. Yes, lifestyle changes. To save the IRL, we have to learn to think differently about our lawns and landscapes; we have to approach ordinary tasks such as washing our vehicles differently; and we have to all get involved in our community. Read More.
Agricultural BMPs Protect our Waterways
Did you know that according to the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture, there over 145,000 acres of farmland in Brevard County? Our primary commodities are cattle, sod (we currently rank fourth in Florida), honey, and nursery/greenhouse crops. With all of that land in production, you may be wondering about the impact of agriculture on our water quality. That’s where Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) enter the picture. Read More.
Although the Zika virus is circulating in Central and South America and the Caribbean, currently, there is no evidence that local populations of Florida mosquitoes are infected. However, we need to be prepared and vigilant in case local transmission occurs, said Jorge Rey, professor and interim director of the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL), in Vero Beach Florida.
Roxanne Connelly, an Extension medical entomology specialist with FMEL, part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, says:
- People need to do all they can to manage the mosquitoes most likely to be involved in Zika virus transmission in Florida if the virus shows up in local mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are among those known as “container mosquitoes” specifically, the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, and the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus.
- Initial measures include getting rid of containers in your yard or outside your business, because they collect water and become perfect habitats for immature stages of these mosquito species. These include tires, wheel barrows, potted plants that sit on saucers, cans, bottles and more. You should inspect your yard weekly to make sure you don’t have any containers. Bromeliad plants and bird baths also can house container mosquitoes, Connelly said. For these types of mosquito habitats, they can be flushed with clean water weekly, or can be treated with mosquito-specific Bti granules (Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Bits).
- Inspect windows and doors for hole and tears and repair them to exclude mosquitoes.
- Mosquito repellents should be used when people plan to be outdoors at the time mosquitoes are biting. The longest lasting repellents contain DEET and picaridin. Whatever type of repellant you use, read the label to make sure you’re putting on a product registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
My Brevard Yard Workshops
Sign up for the My Brevard Yard Workshop and learn how you can have a healthy lawn and protect our waterways!
One or three-hour workshops are available. Longer workshops are great for municipalities, homeowner associations, and other large groups. Call 321.633.1702 x 222 or Email to schedule a group workshop.
Soil Testing Information
Use these forms to send samples to the UF/IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory
Call a Master Gardener
You can do your part to protect water quality by following a few simple steps toward making your yard Florida Friendly. For help with your lawn and landscape, call or email a Master Gardener at 321.633.1702.
Soil and Water Conservation District
The Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District assists farmers and ranchers with applying Best Management Practices to their operations.
Contact Dave Millard at 633-1702 x241 or email Dave Millard for assistance.
We are developing a teaching and demonstration garden right here at the UF/IFAS Extension office. Learn how you can help.