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Accomplishments to Date

2022

June 11, 2022 - South Beach Park Restoration (Hands-On)

As part of the Society for Ecological Restoration’s “Make a Difference Week”, we worked with volunteers and the City of Boca Raton at the north end of South Beach Park in Boca Raton. We removed two large patches of the invasive Scaevola taccada (Beach naupaka), picked up over 70 pounds of trash from the beach, and planted 10 federally endangered Jacquemontia reclinata (Beach clustervine).

April 23, 2022 - Earth Day with the City of Boynton Beach (Outreach)

IRC’s Cara Abbott and Atea Anderson set up a booth at this Earth Day event where they gave away native seeds, handed out IRC print materials and recruited future RGC volunteers!

January 29, 2022 - Red Reef Park Restoration (Hands-On)

IRC continued work with the City of Boca Raton, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center staff, and volunteers to expand our restoration efforts at Red Reef Park. Together, we removed several large patches of the invasive Scaevola taccada (Beach naupaka) and Tradescantia spathacea (Oysterplant) and also cut back some Coccoloba uvifera (Seagrape).

2021

December 17, 2021 - Red Reef Park Restoration (Hands-On)

IRC worked with the City of Boca Raton, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center staff, and volunteers to continue restoration efforts at Red Reef Park. Together, we removed several large patches of the invasive Scaevola taccada (Beach naupaka). We also cut back some sea grapes to open up an area containing a beautiful patch of the federally endangered Jacquemontia reclinata (Beach clustervine) to provide more sunlight. Finally, we increased diversity of native plants in the coastal strand by adding plants such as Serenoa repens (Saw palmetto), Jacquemontia reclinata (Beach clustervine), Ernodea littoralis (Beach- creeper), and Dalea floridana (Florida prairieclover).

June 5, 2021 - World Environment Day at Atlantic Dunes Park (Hands-On)

IRC held a volunteer day at Atlantic Dunes Park in honor of World Environment Day, the launch of the United Nation's Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and the Society for Ecological Restoration's Make a Difference Week. Volunteers removed invasive species and planted Tephrosia curtissii (Curtiss' hoarypea) (state endangered and IRC critically imperiled) and Dalea floridana (Florida prairieclover) (Federally and state endangered and IRC critically imperiled), which have been grown specially for our RGC project by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Thank you to New York Life and Pugliese Public Relations for sponsoring this important work!

April 17, 2021 - Earth Day with the City of Boynton Beach (Outreach)

IRC’s Samantha Gabriel joined the City of Boynton Beach’s drive-thru 200-tree giveaway event for Earth Day 2021. We had a booth to hand out stickers and info on IRC’s work with some of our friends like Community Greening, Sea Turtle Adventures, Surfrider Foundation, Loggerhead Marine Center, and more!

February 8th and 12th, 2021 - Red Reef Park Restoration (Hands-On)

IRC continued restoration work with Neglected Plants, Coastal Growers, Inc., and a few volunteers at Red Reef Park in Boca Raton by improving areas of the park to benefit native coastal plants. To follow up this habitat restoration work, we planted over 130 native plants including Baycedar, Beach morningglory, Blacktorch, Blolly, Marlberry, Saw palmetto, White indigoberry, and much more. These efforts were made possible by a collaboration with Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the City of Boca Raton.

January 23rd, 2021 - Field Workshop with BPOA (Hands-On)

IRC led 12 members of the Beach Property Owner's Association through a field workshop at Delray Municipal Beach. Participants learned how native plants were added in areas where sea grapes had been trimmed as well as in areas where undesirable invasive species were removed. The benefits of biodiversity were described and shown in the middle of the dune system, which opened several eyes and minds.

January 19th, 2021 - Delray Municipal Beach Restoration (Hands-On)

IRC worked with small group of volunteers to continue restoration of Delray Municipal Beach IRC continued adding diversity to the dunes at Delray Municipal Beach. We added a variety of hardwoods and herbaceous plants, including Common snowberry, Blolly, Varnishleaf, Beach verbena, Seaside goldenrod, and Marinevine.

2020

December 9th, 2020 - Seagrape and Biodiversity Workshop (Lecture)

IRC hosted an online workshop contributing to understanding the issues behind seagrape trimming, ecological restoration, and coastal conservation. IRC would like to thank our amazing panelists (George Gann, Rob Barron, Niki Desjardin, Jimmy Lange and Mike Zimmerman) and 40 participants for making this workshop a great success.

December 5th, 2020 - Atlantic Dunes Park Restoration (Hands-On)

IRC worked with small group of volunteers to continue restoration of Atlantic Dunes Park.

December 1st, 2020 - Oceanfront Park Restoration (Hands-On)

Volunteers joined Cara Abbott and Keith Buttry on this chilly morning at Oceanfront Park. We built upon our last planting at this park by adding an additional 125 native plants to the dunes. The City of Boynton Beach coordinated this event with us.

November 14th, 2020 - Atlantic Dunes Park Restoration (Hands-On)

This morning our volunteers added 20 Saw Palmettos in this dune crest which was recently cleared of invasive Brazilian-pepper at Atlantic Dunes Park.

October 22nd, 2020 - Presentation for FAEP (Lecture)

IRC’s George Gann presented on our RGC program to the Treasure Coast Chapter of the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals (FAEP). Thank you to Rebecca Dougherty for the invitation. Link to presentation here.

October 16th, 2020 - Restoration Event at Red Reef Park and South Beach Park (Hands-on)

IRC collaborated with Jimmy Lange from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden at Red Reef Park and South Beach Park in Boca Raton. Together, we removed invasive species such as Scaevola taccada in areas of the parks that may be suitable habitat for the federally endangered Jacquemontia reclinata (beach clustervine). Six J. reclinata plants were added to the park and several were observed naturally occurring at South Beach Park.

September 22nd, 2020 - Restoration Event at Oceanfront Park (Hands-on)

IRC worked with the City of Boynton Beach and the Surfrider Foundation to restore native biodiversity in the dunes of Oceanfront Park. The Palm Beach County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation sponsored this event.

August 12th, 2020 - Restoration Event at Red Reef Park (Hands-on)

This month IRC began restoration work at Red Reef Park in Boca Raton. After removing patches of invasive Beach naupaka (Scaevola taccada), we added more than 75 plants including Horizontal coco-plum (Chrysobalanus icaco), Yellow neclacepod (Sophora tomentosa var. truncata), Baycedar (Suriana maritima), and Sea-lavender (Tournefortia gnaphalodes).

August 6th, 2020 - Restoration Event with Under Blue Waters (Hands-on)

IRC worked with Under Blue Waters at a planting event in Delray Beach. Led by IRC’s Cara Abbott, campers learned about coastal conservation first hand! They helped plant Sea-lavender and Baycedar plants before spending the rest of their day out on the water. Bob Cawood of Outdoor Youth Adventures helped us coordinate this event and Coastal Growers Inc. donated the plants and helped with the installation and watering of the plants.


July 17th, 2020 - Restoration Event at Atlantic Dunes Park (Hands-on)

IRC continued restoration work at Atlantic Dunes Park. With the support of Coastal Growers Inc., Neglected Native Nursery and a few volunteers, we continued cutting back invasive plants within the park and planted 24 plants of 12 species.

July 13th, 2020 - First Biodiversity Starter Kit Delivery (Hands-on)

IRC delivered the first batch of purchased biodiversity starter plant kits! We distributed 35 plants from 9 species to 5 sites, which will attract up to 26 species of butterflies or more, including 15 larval host plants and 18 nectar plants. These were assembled from our partner native plant nurseries: Amelia’s Smarty Plants, Indian Trail Native Nursery, Meadow Beauty Nursery, Silent Native Nursery, and George Gann’s private stock.

June 1st, 2020 - Private Dune Planting Event (Hands-on)

IRC completed a significant planting on a private dune in Ocean Ridge owned by Kimberlee Pompeo, the Vice Chair of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs District X for the Barrier Islands. A total of 21 species were added to her dune, 14 of them being new to the site. You can easily see which species were added and already present by visiting the "Pompeo Private Dune Parcel" conservation area in the Floristic Inventory of South Florida (FISF) available here.

May 26th, 2020 - Weekly Conservation Conversation – Restoring the Gold Coast (Lecture)

IRC’s George Gann and Cara Abbott led a Weekly Conservation Conversation webinar on our Restoring the Gold Coast program, giving updates on successes to date and goals through the remainder of the program. Link to webinar recording.

May 19th, 2020 - Weekly Conservation Conversation - Biodiversity Starter Plant Kits (Lecture)

IRC’s George Gann led a Weekly Conservation Conversation webinar on our Biodiversity Starter Kits as part of our RGC program. Check out more information about our Biodiversity Starter Plant Kits here. Link to webinar recording.

February 29th, 2020 - Volunteer Event at Gulfstream Park with Sea Turtle Adventures (Hands-on)

IRC had the privilege of working with Sea Turtle Adventure's iCare Nature Club and students from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic School at Gulfstream Park! Participants got to enjoy a beautiful morning on the beach while helping us restore native coastal biodiversity and doing a beach clean up. Specifically, volunteers helped us plant False-sisal (Agave decipiens), Beach ragweed (Ambrosia hispida), Inkberry (Scaevola plumieri), Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), Bay-cedar (Suriana maritima), and Sea-lavender (Tournefortia gnaphalodes). Link to photos.

February 8th, 2020 - 21st Annual Everglades Day Festival (Outreach)

IRC's Cara Abbott and Samantha Gabriel held an exhibitor booth at the 21st Annual Everglades Day Festival in Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. They shared with visitors about our Restoring the Gold Coast Program, Pine Rockland Initiative Program, and Natives for Your Neighborhood.

February 4th, 2020 – Talk at Delray Beach Non-Profit Luncheon (Lecture)

IRC's George Gann spoke at Delray Beach Chamber's Nonprofit Luncheon on The Institute for Regional Conservation: Conservation in a Changing World. George talked about IRC's history, current projects like Restoring the Gold Coast and urged attendees to personally get involved with restoring biodiversity.

January 28th, 2020 – Field Trip to Delray Municipal Beach (Hands-on)

IRC took students from Atlantic Community High School on a coastal restoration field trip to Delray Beach! Students learned about restoring coastal biodiversity first hand by helping IRC add 25 Saw palmetto, 2 Myrsine, 2 Florida privet and 1 Spanish stopper into the dunes. Students also worked hard to remove asparagus fern and picked up trash off of the beach. This event was co-sponsored by New York Life Foundation. Link to photos.

January 18th, 2020 – Volunteer Event at Atlantic Dunes Park (Hands-on)

We worked with volunteers planting native species including: 26 Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), 3 Flaveria linearis (narrowleaf yellowtop), 2 Tournefortia gnaphalodes (sea-lavender), 1 Dodonaea viscosa var. viscosa (varnishleaf) and 1 Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea); removing invasive species like Scaevola taccada (beach naupaka), Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian-pepper), Asystasia gangetica (Chinese-violet), and Sansevieria hyacinthoides (Bowstring-hemp); and picking up 16.73 kg of trash and microplastics and 11.81 kg of recyclables off of the beach. This event was sponsored by Erin Deady Law. Link to photos.

January 16th, 2020 - Talk at the Delray Beach Green Implementation Board (Lecture)

George Gann presented at the Delray Beach Green Implementation Board on Restoring the Gold Coast: Biodiversity, Healthy Dunes and Community Engagement in Southern Palm Beach County. The talk was followed by a great discussion period from the Board Members, City staff and the public.

January 14th, 2020 – Talk at Milagro Center (Lecture)

IRC's Education & Outreach Coordinator, Cara Abbott, presented at The Milagro Center in Delray Beach as part of our Restoring the Gold Coast Program. Cara spoke with 10 middle/high school students about coastal conservation efforts happening in their area and discussed ways they could each get involved with the program.

2019

December 10th, 2019 – Humana Senior Group Delray Beach (Lecture)

IRC's Education and Outreach Coordinator, Cara Abbott, spoke with seniors at the Humana Neighborhood Center in Delray Beach about the history of Florida's coastal habitat and the work being done through IRC's Restoring the Gold Coast Program.

November 16th, 2019 – Workshop at Ocean Ridge Town Hall (Workshop)

IRC held a workshop on Restoring the Gold Coast in Ocean Ridge at the Ocean Ridge Town Hall. Residents who attended the workshop listened to a presentation from IRC's Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, participated in an open forum, and helped plant several native species along the town of Ocean Ridge's easement south of Oceanfront Park. Link to photos.

November 12th, 2019 – Field Trip to South Delray Municipal Beach (Hands-On)

IRC had the pleasure of taking Earth Science students from Atlantic Community High School on a coastal restoration field trip in Delray Beach! Students learned about restoring coastal biodiversity first hand by helping IRC add native plants to the coastal strand, removing invasive species and picking up trash. Link to photos.

November 7th, 2019 – Lecture at Atlantic Community High (Lecture)

IRC’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, Cara Abbott, spoke to 150 Earth Science students at Atlantic Community High School about the history and management of coastal habitat, the importance of biodiversity, and how to become an advocate for Florida's coastline.

October 20th, 2019 – ML61 Legacy Project in Delray Beach (Hands-On)

IRC had the pleasure of working with ML61 in Delray Beach. For part of their legacy project, they raised funds to plant a variety of coastal plants including Saw palmettos, Spanish stoppers and blood leaf. They also picked up trash along the beach and in the dunes. Link to photos.

October 19th, 2019 – Restoring the Gold Coast Kick-Off Event in Delray Beach (Hands-On)

With about 40 volunteers, we planted over a dozen different native species within the dunes including the state listed sea lavender and silver palm at our Restoring the Gold Coast Kick-Off Event. Volunteers also removed Sprenger's asparagus-fern, Wild balsam apple, and St. Augustine grass which are invasive species. Other participants picked up 9.02 kgs of trash and 7.07 kgs of recycling off of the beach and dunes. Link to photos.

October 14th, 2019 – Ocean Ridge Garden Club Monthly Meeting (Lecture)

IRC's Education and Outreach Coordinator, Cara Abbott, was a guest speaker at the Ocean Ridge Garden Club's monthly meeting. Cara spoke with club members about IRC's Restoring the Gold Coast program and how members could get involved in Ocean Ridge.

October 3rd, 2019 – Lecture at Science National Honor Society at Atlantic Community High (Lecture)

IRC's Education and Outreach Coordinator, Cara Abbott, was the guest speaker for Atlantic Community High School's Science National Honor Society’s October Meeting. Students learned about the Restoring the Gold Coast program and how they can get involved with restoring native coastal habitat in Delray Beach! Link to photos.

September 24th, 2019 – Field Trip to South Inlet Park (Hands-On)

IRC led Dr. Rachel Wellman's AICE Environmental Management class from Boca Community High on a field trip to South In Park. These Boca Community High School students got hands-on experience restoring coastal biodiversity by planting a fun variety of natives in the maritime hammock. They also picked up trash off the beach and brainstormed solutions to current issues coastal habitats face. Link to photos.

September 21st, 2019 – The International Coastal Clean-Up at Atlantic Dunes Park (Hands-On)

IRC worked with nearly 100 volunteers at the International Coastal Clean-Up event at Atlantic Dunes Park, despite the wind and rain. Participants helped us increase coastal biodiversity by planting native Saw palmetto and Spanish stopper and removing invasive Bowstring hemp (Snake plant), Brazilian pepper, and Beach naupaka. These volunteers also helped remove 64.98 kg of trash (which was mostly comprised of microplastics) and 27.75 kg of recyclables off the beach. Link to photos.

September 17th, 2019 – Lecture at Boca Community High (Lecture)

IRC’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, Cara Abbott, talked with the students of Dr. Rachel Wellman's AICE Environmental Management class at Boca Raton High School about the history and management of coastal habitat, the importance of biodiversity, and how to become an advocate for Florida's coastline. Link to photos.