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Indian River Lagoon Research Institute (IRLRI)

Long Doggers’ Lagoon Merchandise to Benefit Florida Tech Program

Portion of Apparel Sales Supports University’s Living Docks Initiative            

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Long Doggers restaurants has launched a new partnership with Florida Tech that will benefit the university’s Indian River Lagoon outreach efforts through sales of lagoon-branded apparel.

The Brevard-based restaurant chain, with locations in Indialantic, Melbourne, Satellite Beach, Palm Bay, Viera and Cocoa Beach, was launched in 1997 by Florida Tech students John “LJ” Burr and Al Steiginga.

Apparel, including t-shirts, hats, tank-tops and fishing shirts, has been branded with a specially designed “Local Lagoon” logo. For each item sold at any of the six Long Doggers locations, $2 were donated to Florida Tech’s Living Docks program. 

Sales have already raised more than $2,250 for the university.

“As a Florida Tech alumnus, resident and owner of Long Doggers, I couldn’t be prouder to lend a helping hand to the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute and bring attention to their hard work, which benefits us all,” said Burr, owner/operator of Long Doggers Eateries, Meg O’Malley’s and Hemingway’s Tavern. “The Long Doggers’ families are committed to all the ‘LOCAL’ aspects of Brevard County, and partnering on the Oyster Restoration Program was a perfect way to contribute our company’s resources.”

Florida Tech’s Living Docks program involves community outreach to create and install oyster mats on dock pilings throughout the lagoon. The mats promote the growth of oysters and other filter-feeding organisms which in turn help improve water quality.

As part of the partnership, Long Doggers has also installed informational signs at each location that describe the Living Docks program.

Kelli Hunsucker, an assistant professor of oceanography at Florida Tech, operates that program with Robert Weaver, an associate professor of ocean engineering who directs the university’s Indian River Lagoon Research Institute.

“We are very excited about our partnership with Long Doggers. It will bring awareness to lagoon restoration and our Living Dock program,” Hunsucker said. “We have had good success in the Brevard County area with oyster recruitment to the mats, and the funding we receive will allow us to expand our efforts to have even more of an impact on the lagoon.”

The university will hold a public oyster mat workshop starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, at Long Doggers in Satellite Beach, 1201 S. Patrick Drive. The Florida Tech Science Bus will be there, as well, to highlight some of the lagoon-focused student outreach the university conducts in the community.

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