The EEL Selection & Management Committee (EEL SMC) plays a very important role in helping the EEL Program conserve land in Brevard County. The Board of County Commissioners selects the eight member volunteer committee based on their scientific knowledge
and experience. Seven members are scientists and one represents ecotourism interests, and all live and work in Brevard County, and have years of experience working with the issues facing Brevard's natural areas. It is the EEL SMC job to choose sites
that the EEL Program will acquire and protect. Only lands that are recommended by the EEL SMC can be bought with EEL funds.
When the EEL SMC makes a decision about whether to acquire a piece of land, they base their choice on scientific criteria they developed. These criteria are outlined in the EEL Land Acquisition Manual (PDF). The EEL SMC selects lands for acquisition one of two ways. Either the committee evaluates lands presented to them by private landowners to see if the land meets the EEL criteria. Or, the committee identifies lands that meet the criteria for acquisition
and staff then contacts the landowners to determine if they are willing sellers.
The EEL Program is currently focused on acquiring land within the Brevard Coastal Scrub Ecosystem project, which targets scrub and related habitats throughout Brevard. A second area for acquisition is within the North Indian River Lagoon Blueways project,
which targets lands in North Brevard County to protect the headwaters of the Indian River Lagoon. The EEL SMC will consider acquisition of land outside these project areas if the land meets the EEL criteria for acquisition.