MRC Director Focuses on Lagoon

By Jim Waymer, Florida Today

Leesa Souto’s doctoral research focused on how human behaviors — especially those involving fertilizer — harm nature and the best ways to prevent that.

Now she’ll do the same for the Marine Resources Council, Brevard County’s second-largest environmental nonprofit group, behind the Brevard Zoo.

On Jan. 1, Souto took over at MRC from Jim Egan, who’d served more than 10 years in that role.

Leesa Souto is the new head of the Marine Resources Council.

Leesa Souto is the new head of the Marine Resources Council.

As executive director, Souto now oversees MRC’s mission to improve water quality and habitats in the Indian River Lagoon and surrounding coastal waters.

A Melbourne resident who’s lived in Brevard since 1994, Souto has worked in state and local government as well as in the nonprofit sector. She was director of public education at UCF’s Stormwater Management Academy from 2004 to 2012 and was an environmental specialist at Brevard’s Natural Resources Management Office from 1994 to 2001.

Souto recently spoke with FLORIDA TODAY at MRC’s Lagoon House.

Question: What’s your vision for the MRC? Any major goals over the next couple of years?

Souto: I intend to bring a fresh perspective to the organization. I’m really seeking support from the community in redeveloping this space. I want to get some new exhibits in the Lagoon House and reopen it for the community to come in and learn about our cultural heritage.

Read the full article from Florida Today here.

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