Laurilee Thompson — Titusville, Florida

Laurilee Thompson
For four generations, my family has made a living in Brevard County in the seafood and tourism industries. Our fishing pier, seafood markets and seafood restaurants relied on a healthy Indian River Lagoon (IRL) for success. In fact, prior to development of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on the barrier island and a massive increase in human population on the mainland, the IRL supported hundreds of families like ours through the commercial and recreational fishing industries and tourism activities.

Today, commercial fishing activity has nearly ceased and recreational fishing guides have fled the area for other locations where they can find fish for their clients. Founded nearly forty years ago with a menu based on local seafood products, we now serve nothing from the IRL at my restaurant.

YouTube #SpeakForWater Series: Laurilee Thompson
(Community Voice Project)
Produced By: Balance For Earth - Aug 11, 2016

CLICK to view Laurilee Thompson on preserving the Indian River Lagoon.
Click to view this YouTube video.

The Titusville Causeway is Critical
to Horseshoe Crab Survival
in the Indian River Lagoon

Laurilee Thompson
April, 2021

Horseshoe crabs are nature’s great survivors. They’ve been around for 450 million years. What a shame it would be to see them wiped out during my lifetime. The Titusville Causeway represents the best chance for the continued existence for horseshoe crabs in the Northern Indian River Lagoon. There is an extraordinary opportunity for education here while preserving a very special place for horseshoe crabs, shorebirds and people. We must find a better way to preserve and maintain Florida’s estuarine shorelines. Addressing the erosion issues with the Titusville Causeway in a manner that preserves its natural environment would be an excellent place to start.

Life along the Indian River Lagoon in Titusville during the 1950's, 60's & 70's

by Laurilee Thompson
Banquet Presentation: 4th Biennial Mosquito Lagoon Conference - February 15-17, 2005


The Northern Indian River Lagoon National Estuary, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Canaveral National Seashore comprise the largest undeveloped coastal zone remaining on Florida’s East Coast. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is quickly transforming into Cape Canaveral Spaceport, a state-run launch facility serving the commercial space industry.

The commercial space industry can coexist with our unique natural areas, but change is happening quickly and nature is not well represented in the decision-making process.

It is imperative that Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection review and manage permitting of the development of Kennedy Space Center as a system, not as a set of individual unrelated projects. It is the cumulative effects of overall development and the potential for massive new freshwater input that will hasten the decline of the Northern Indian River Lagoon within KSC.

Indian River Lagoon Citizens must form a unified consensus in order to speak with a strong voice that financially motivated politicians, government agencies, and space industry executives can hear. For more information visit

Here is Laurilee’s letter to DEP regarding Space X’s request to discharge freshwater into an IRL tributary.

Dixie Crossroads Seafood Restaurant