MEET THE TEAM

Dr. Todd Osborne, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biogeochemistry
Whitney Lab, University of Florida

Dr. Todd Z. Osborne PhD, Assistant Professor in the Wetland Biogeochemistry Laboratory, is a partner on this project and understands the ecology of the area. Dr. Todd states, "In the ecosystem no single part is more important than the other. It's a very interconnected system, so we see oysters and clams, filter feeders, as a very integral part of the ecosystem balancing algae and other organisms. Our goal is to try to reintroduce one of the members of that functioning ecosystem that's been missing."

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Frank J. Gidus II
Director of Habitat and Environmental Restoration
CCA Florida

Frank Gidus II, Director of Habitat and Environmental Restoration, discussed the idea with Capt Blair Wiggins and plays an important part in getting this project going. Frank explains, "This project is very unique in that we are bringing together a government agency with FWC, a university in University of Florida, a non-profit with CCA Florida, and private businesses all coming together to help habitat restoration. This project is crucial for the restoration of the Indian River Lagoon system."

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Gary Jennings
Director, Keep Florida Fishing
American Sportfishing Association

Gary Jennings, Director of Keep Florida Fishing is focused on keeping Florida's fishing waterways pristine and healthy. Gary states, "ASA does a lot of government affairs and advocacy work and created the Keep Florida Fishing initiative for projects just like this one. 3 million people fish in the state of Florida each year generating over 9 billion dollars in economic activity creating over $50 million in conservation funding. When Capt Blair Wiggins brought this project to our attention, ASA is on board to help."

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Capt Blair Wiggins
Television Host 
Addictive Fishing Television

Capt Blair Wiggins, Host of Addictive Fishing Television, grew up on the barrier islands of Cocoa Beach, Florida with his Executive Producer, Kevin McCabe. The pair would fish the local waters of the Banana River and Indian River on a daily basis.  Capt Blair became a fishing guide on Florida's Space Coast and has watched his hometown fishery's water qualities deteriorate right before his eyes. In the 1990's Blair watched as causeways were built, stopping the natural flow of water in the Indian River, and commercial fisherman decimated the clam population. Capt Blair believes these 2 factors have contributed to the water quality issues we have today.