Spoil Island SL3 underwent large-scale enhancement in 2010. All invasive plants were removed, the island was replanted with native vegetation, and the campsites were refurbished. The spoil island is well on its way to a healthy natural ecosystem.
Located in Indian River and St. Lucie counties, Indian River-Vero Beach to Fort Pierce Aquatic Preserve is 12 miles long and encompasses 9,500 acres. The aquatic preserve extends from the southern Vero Beach corporate limit south to the north U.S. Highway A1A bridge in Fort Pierce and includes Big Starvation Cove, Wildcat Cove and Fort Pierce Cut. The aquatic preserve is bordered by the cities of Vero Beach and Fort Pierce. The aquatic preserve is accessible from the east by U.S. Highway A1A and from the west by U.S. Highway 1. Numerous parks and boat ramps provide direct public access to the aquatic preserve.
The Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves are a proud partner of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and were selected as a 2017 & 2018 Leave No Trace Hot Spot. To learn more about Leave No Trace in the Indian River Lagoon, contact Emily Dark at Emily.Dark@dep.state.fl.us or 772-429-2995
Volunteering at Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves
The Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves provide a variety of volunteer opportunities from projects in ecosystem science, restoration and spoil island activities. Volunteers help with activities such as wildlife monitoring, annual seagrass monitoring or microplastic sampling. The Shoreline Restoration Project enables volunteers to get involved in shoreline stabilization through native plantings. On spoil islands, volunteers take a hand in improving visitor access through activities such as invasive plant removal or installing picnic tables, fire rings or human waste bag dispensers. For more information, please contact our office at IRLAP@dep.state.fl.us or call 772-429-2995.
For other opportunities to help preserve the Indian River Lagoon and surrounding aquatic preserves, consider joining the Friends of the Spoil Islands.
Indian River Lagoon Management Plan Update
The Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves Management Plan has been updated. This management plan covers Banana River Aquatic Preserve, Indian River-Malabar to Vero Beach Aquatic Preserve, Indian River-Vero Beach to Fort Pierce Aquatic Preserve and Jensen Beach to Jupiter Inlet Aquatic Preserve. A draft plan was produced and made available to the public for review and comment. Four public meetings were held to present the plan to the public and receive feedback. Those comments and those of the advisory committee were reviewed and the plan has been amended accordingly. The plan was approved by Board of Trustees on December 13, 2017.
The spoil islands of the aquatic preserve are popular destinations for picnicking and camping.
The Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources Master Site File indicates there are scores of historical sites adjacent to the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves (IRLAP) System. Archaeological sites date from 10,000 B.C. to 1700 A.D. and include Spanish Fleet Survivors and Salvors Camp, Jungle Trail and Mount Elizabeth. Historical sites include architectural, military, social, transportation, commerce and conservation sites. Many of the aboriginal shell mounds along the IRLAP System were destroyed for roadfill for U.S. highways 1 and A1A, and other highways and train beds.
March 20, 2018 - 2:15pm
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.