Annual Meeting & Silent Auction Fundraiser

The Merritt Island Wildlife Association Annual Meeting & Silent Auction Fundraiser is held every year in the month of October. The event brings together the MIWA Board, our members and Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge FWS staff for an enjoyable evening in support of our beautiful refuge.

This yearly event has been hosted at the Debus Center, located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center since 2006. Delaware North, which operates the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has been a long standing supporter of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and MIWA.

The event usually entails an opening reception, silent auction, dinner, MIWA and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge updates and a keynote speaker. Some of the past speakers have included: Mike Legare, the Sea World Research Institute, Ray E. Ashton Jr., Dr. Blair Witherington, Kevin Karlson, Evan Hirsche, Richard Crossley, Dr. Marc Minno, Charlie Venuto and Dr. Bob Bonde.

MIWA members are encouraged to attend. All proceeds from the dinner and the silent auction go to supporting the MINWR.

….……….……….…   Please join us for the 2016 …….……….……….
Merritt Island Wildlife Association
Annual Meeting & Silent Auction Fundraiser

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Duane De Freese
IRL Council Executive Director

  • Where       The Debus Center, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
  • When         Friday, October 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm
  • Cost           $30 per Person (includes dinner)

Corporate Tables, Cash Bar and Silent Auction Available

Please RSVP by Friday Oct.21, 2016 via invitation or call 321-861-2377

Text Box:Dr. De Freese currently serves as the Executive Director of the newly formed IRL Council, a special district of the State of Florida, and host of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program. Duane also serves as Governor-appointed Board member of CareerSource Florida Inc. and as the Vice-Chair of the Florida Ocean Alliance.

Previously positions include Senior Science & Sustainability consultant to HydroPro-Tech LLC. Courtesy professor status at Florida Institute of Technology and University of Central Florida. Senior Vice President for Science and Business Development for AquaFiber Technologies Corporation. AquaFiber's patented processes and technologies harvest naturally occurring algae and remove nutrients (such as phosphorus and nitrogen) and other compounds which accumulate in surface waters and lead to eutrophication and pollution. The dual-nutrient reduction technology was tested and proven at a commercial scale on Lake Jesup, Florida.

Through an active public speaking schedule and community leadership, Dr. De Freese is changing public perception about the value of ocean and coastal research and conservation. His numerous public presentations and workshops have a central message – “our oceans and coasts are an engine that drives the economy and quality of life of Florida and the nation.”

In the past 5-years, De Freese has focused his public presentations on coastal adaptations to climate change and sea level rise, technologies to address eutrophication of surface waters, and integration of ecology and economics to enhance public awareness of the U.S./Florida ocean and coastal economy -all challenges and opportunities for the 21st century.

Management Program Certificate, Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College, Florida, U.S.A., 2002
Ph.D. in Marine Biology, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida, U.S.A., 1988
M.S. in Marine Biology, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida, U.S.A., 1982
B.S. in Zoology, University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island, U.S.A., 1976

Institution(s) / Organization(s):
University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL


2015 Silent Auction

This 2015 Merritt Island Wildlife Association Annual Meeting & Silent Auction Fundraiser will be on Friday, October 25, 2015 at the Debus Center located on the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center.

Joining us this year as our keynote speaker is Florida nature photographer John Moran, the Co-Director of the Springs Eternal Project. He will be presenting the program, “Our Water, Our Future”.

To learn more about John and the Springs Eternal Project, please visit

Reservations for the event can be made by filling out the RSVP FORM or by contacting the MIWA office at 321-861-2377.

We look forward to seeing you there!

•    •    •

“If Florida had a Photographer Laureate, John Moran should hold that title.”

~ Gary Mormino, Florida Studies Program, University of South Florida ~

•    •    •

Traveling the Sunshine State with his cameras, John Moran seeks his vision of natural Florida as it must have appeared to Ponce de León and other early strangers in paradise. Moran’s work celebrates the magic of a unique landscape born of water and blessed with beauty beyond measure.

His portfolio of landscape and wildlife photography ranges from the Gulf to the Atlantic with an emphasis on Florida waters: the rivers, lakes, coasts, swamps and springs, and the creatures that inhabit them.         
Moran was Florida’s official state nature photographer in 2007.

A University of Florida graduate, Moran’s photography has appeared in numerous books and magazines including National Geographic, Life, Time, Smithsonian, and The New York Times Magazine and on the cover of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida.

Moran has been named Photographer of the Year for the Southeastern U.S. by the National Press Photographers Association. His photograph of alligators at dusk at Paynes Prairie State Park was selected as the top-placing American photograph in the United Nations Earth Summit photo contest.

Following a 23-year career as a photographer, writer and editor for The Gainesville Sun, Moran left the world of daily journalism in 2003 to concentrate full time on photographing the best of vanishing natural Florida.  

Moran’s Journal of Light: The Visual Diary of a Florida Nature Photographer was published in 2004. His 30-year love affair with the springs of Florida is chronicled in a traveling museum exhibition titled Springs Eternal: Florida’s Fragile Fountains of Youth, which opened in 2013 at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.