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Sweeping along 156 miles of Florida’s eastern coast, the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) is home to a wealth of habitats and spectacular biodiversity. Its seagrass beds, mangroves, oyster reefs, salt marshes, tidal flats, scrubland, beaches and dunes nurture more than 3,500 species of plants, animals and other organisms.
The IRL’s rich biodiversity is largely due to its unique geographic location at the transition between cool, temperate and warm, subtropical climate zones. Designated as an “estuary of national significance” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the IRL also provides enormous human benefits, supporting thousands of jobs and generating hundreds of millions of dollars in income and revenue annually.
With a dynamic and growing taxonomic species database, ecological and life history information, and extensive documentation of the IRL’s many habitats, the Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory portal is intended to be a multi-purpose tool to enhance scientific knowledge of the IRL ecosystem; support sound policy-making by decisionmakers and natural resources managers; and advance public awareness of the need for steadfast stewardship of the lagoon’s health.
As you explore the portal and its resources, please reach out with comments, questions and concerns to irlwebmaster@si.edu
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