IRLNEP Strategic Priorities


LOOKING AT THE FULL SCOPE OF THE IRL, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program (IRLNEP) works to ensure the IRL is the healthy heart of connection between six counties, 38 cities, 1.6 million people, an economy valued at $7.6 billion annually, and more than 40% of Florida’s East coast.

One Lagoon Logo IRLNEPThis Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program publication was developed under Assistant Agreement No. 00D36215 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.



10 Strategic Program Priorities for FY 2020-2021:

1. Complete the EPA and local cost-share projects identified in this business plan. The suite of funded projects address
priority actions identified in the IRL Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan - Looking Ahead to 2030
that was adopted by the IRL Council Board of Directors and certified by the U.S. EPA in 2019.

2. Realign the IRLNEP request for proposal process to better support CCMP implementation.

3. Activate and manage a strategic IRLNEP communications campaign that expands the IRLNEP social media
presence and enhances participation, leadership and investment among diverse stakeholder groups throughout the
Indian River Lagoon watershed to achieve our program mission: One Lagoon – One Community – One Voice.

4. Identify critical knowledge gaps, innovation opportunities and research needs to improve science-based decision-
making within the IRLNEP Management Conference and among our local community, state and federal partners.

5. Evaluate monitoring activities throughout the Lagoon to identify network gaps and opportunities and improve data
sharing, reporting and analysis.

6. Develop general guidelines for habitat restoration activities to assist local partners in planning, permitting and
completing projects.

7. Assist IRLNEP partners and local communities in securing grant funding for IRL-focused restoration projects,
paying particular attention to small rural communities, poor communities and under-represented communities.

8. Work to secure Congressional support for reauthorization of Section 320 of the Clean Water Act for the years
2022-2026 with an annual appropriation level of $50,000,000 and a competitive grants program as authorized by

9. Work to secure expanded local cost-share funding from the Florida Governor and Legislature during the 2021
Florida legislative session.

10. Continue to work with economic development partners to help position Florida as a world leader in clean
technology and clean water innovations and solutions; assist in developing technological advances to solve local
water problems; create high-skill, high-wage jobs and transfer successful technologies to the global market.




1. Attain and maintain water and sediment of sufficient quality to support a healthy
estuarine ecosystem.

2. Attain and maintain a functioning, healthy ecosystem which supports endangered
and threatened species, fisheries, commerce and recreation.

3. Achieve heightened public awareness and coordinated inter-agency management
of the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem.

4. Identify and develop long-term funding sources for prioritized projects and programs
to preserve, protect, restore and enhance the Indian River Lagoon..