A video highlights the team’s effort to save Turtle Mound, a Native American shell mound within the Canaveral National Seashore in New Smyrna Beach.
The mound, which stands 35 feet tall, provides archeological evidence about the way of life on the east coast dating back to the year 800. It’s a historical gem in danger of disappearing because wind and boat wakes are eroding the shoreline where the mound stands.
Walters, a biology professor who has long worked in the Indian River Lagoon to help save oyster beds, secured support from the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, the National Park Service, UCF, the Coastal Conservation Association, Field and Stream magazine, Anderson Rentals and Costa Sunglasses to help save the historical treasure.
The video shows how the team recently spent two days installing oyster bed mats and native vegetation around Turtle Mound, which should diminish or stop any further erosion of the site. The oyster beds, which Walters and her team have been installing in the lagoon for the past two years, also will help increase the number of oysters there.
Oysters keep the lagoon water clean, and the larvae also are food for fish and other marine life. The lagoon is the most diverse estuary in the nation, and local residents and tourists use it for recreation.
The magazine’s “Hero For a Day” campaign highlights conservation efforts across the country to raise awareness about the need to keep native habitats healthy.