Help environmental center buy boat trailer for River Scout


The Environmental Studies Center’s floating classroom — a 33-foot-long boat dubbed “The River Scout” — is an iconic fixture in the southern Indian River Lagoon. 

Martin County students in fifth and sixth grades use the Scout to explore the wonders of the natural world. They cruise to Bird Island and witness the effects of erosion. They motor to Boy Scout Island to identify native plants and study lagoon organisms. They also measure and record the lagoon’s water clarity and salinity. 

For their “12 Days of Christmas” wish, the center’s staff is seeking funding for a boat trailer to house the River Scout during poor weather, and also for additional maintenance on the craft, said Executive Coordinator Valerie Gaynor.

Martin County students on "the River Scout"

“We would be thrilled if anyone could assist us with this venture to help with the maintenance and safety of the River Scout,” Gaynor said. “We are dedicated to the health and environmental awareness of our community and hope to develop students’ love of their natural world.”

The River Scout’s emblematic mural depicting a colorful coral reef on its hull often prompts familiar boaters on the lagoon to honk and say hello, Gaynor said. 

The Environmental Studies Center is operated by the Martin County School District and hosts students in kindergarten through seventh grade. It also serves summer camps and high school Marine and Environmental Science classes. 

Nicala Tyo and her daughters Lilah and Olivia visit with Scute the sea turtle at the Environmental Studies Center.

How to help

  • Who: Environmental Studies Center
  • Wish: Funding to buy a new boat trailer for “River Scout” from a local vendor
  • Cost: $8,000 
  • How to donate: Contact Valerie Gaynor at 772-219-1887, extension 59101

About this series

​Treasure Coast nonprofits that research, protect, restore and advocate for clean water, especially the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, need more than holiday cheer to continue their mission. Find out what they need — and how you can help them — to continue their work, as TCPalm.com highlights a different organization each day from Dec. 25 to Jan. 5, the traditional 12 Days of Christmas. Read the previous stories:





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