Page Banner

Indian River-Vero Beach to Fort Pierce Aquatic Preserve

Scroll for More Quick Links

Spoil Island SL3 before large scale enhancement

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.

Spoil Island SL3 35 months after enhancement 

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 is a proud partner of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and was selected as a 2017 & 2018 Leave No Trace hot spot. To learn more about Leave No Trace in the Indian River Lagoon, contact Kaitlyn Britton, 772-429-2995.

Volunteering at Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves

The Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves provides 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 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
St. Lucie
3300 Lewis Street 
Fort Pierce, FL 34981
Managed Location Contact: 
Matthew Anderson
Total Acreage: 
Receives State Funding: 
State Owned: 
Public Access: 

The spoil islands of the aquatic preserve are popular destinations for picnicking and camping.

Archaeological Resources: 

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.

Habitat-Wildlife Type: 
Aquatic Preserves
Last Modified:
April 12, 2024 - 4:07pm

Some content on this site is saved in an alternative format. The following icons link to free Reader/Viewer software:
PDF: | Word: | Excel: