"From the time of the Ais Indians, the Indian River Lagoon has been and remains an important
feature that continues to shape the lives of those that reside near it, recreate within it,
and earn a livelihood from it."
Indian River and St. Lucie counties
Indian River-Vero Beach to Ft. Pierce Aquatic
Preserve is 12 miles long and encompasses 11,000
Irene Arpayoglou, Manager
Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves
3300 Lewis Street
Fort Pierce, FL 34981
River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves on Facebook!
Community water quality and shoreline concerns have been addressed through a
series of management initiatives including larval oyster recruitment,
survivorship, and reef formation studies.
The coordination of a volunteer-based spoil island enhancement program
designed to improve resource quality for recreation, education, and native
wildlife has been considered by the community and preserve management as a
A partnership with St. Johns River Water Management District has benefited
seagrass species diversity and density monitoring efforts between Fort Pierce
and St. Lucie Inlets.
A Coastal Zone Management grant award has provided for the identification and
production of engineer drawings for five potential Indian River Lagoon
seagrass restoration projects.
The Florida Coastal Office's support of restoration works of a St. Lucie County spoil island has
contributed to the creation of nearly 10 acres of mangrove and seagrass
Spoil Island Enhancement
Spoil islands, once state-owned submerged lands, were created in the
mid-1900s with the
creation of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Since then, these islands have become
popular recreational areas, educational outlets, and home to many native species of plants
and animals. The colonization and survivorship of native vegetation, which is necessary to
support native wildlife, has been heavily influenced by the high density of invasive, exotic
species like Brazilian pepper and Australian pine. Dedicated volunteers assist
Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves staff each month between October and April with enhancement
activities such as trail blazing, campsite creation, shoreline stabilization efforts, exotic
species removal, creation of educational kiosks, and biological monitoring. A volunteer
appreciation day picnic is held each May. Funding for island enhancement is provided by the
Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves Field Office and Florida Inland Navigation District.
Indian River Lagoon Management Plan Update
The Indian River Lagoon
Aquatic Preserves Management Plan is being updated. This management plan covers Banana River
Aquatic Preserve, Indian River-Malabar to Vero Beach
Aquatic Preserve, Indian River-Vero Beach to Ft. 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. Next, the plan will be presented to
Acquisition and Restoration Council.