Six conservation heroes tapped for ‘Charlies’


The Charlie Corbeil Conservation Awards will celebrate the accomplishments of six noted conservation leaders at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9 at Heritage Isles Clubhouse Ballroom in Viera, hosted by Viera Voice and Preserve Brevard.

“We’re talking about some real game changers, and there are a lot of people who have done some amazing work in the environment, including businesses that have gone beyond what the law requires and can lead the way for others to do the same,” said Beth Blackford, awards committee member and board member for the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway Coalition.

1. Mike Daniel – Surfrider Foundation and a founder of the Ocean-Reef-Beach Festival in Satellite Beach.

2. Dr. Duane DeFreese – First director of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

3. Brandon Smith – Naturalist at Riverwalk Family Park and lead instructor in the Florida Master Naturalist Program.

4. Michelle Smurl – Director of Animal Programs and Conservation Programs for the Brevard Zoo.

5. Laurilee Thompson – Founder of the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival.

6. Suzanne Valencia – Former chair of Turtle Coast Sierra Club and current president of Conradina Chapter Florida Native Plant Society.

To purchase tickets for the conservation awards dinner, go to or call 321-242-1235. 

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