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Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves - Sustainable Public Use Quick Topics

The Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves System is a popular destination for many recreational fishermen, boaters, kayakers, birders and a host of other user groups. The IRLAP System also supports several commercial uses including commercial fishing (fin fish and shellfish), fishing guides and several ecotourism operations. The aquatic preserves within the IRLAP System were designated for the primary purpose of preserving the biological resources in the area and maintaining these resources in an essentially natural condition for the benefit of future generations.

The main public use within the IRLAP System is water-dependent recreation activities: boating, commercial and recreational fishing, camping, sunbathing, nature-watching, swimming, clamming, and oyster harvesting.

Projected commercial uses within the IRLAP System include: 1) expanded harvesting of resources by commercial fishing and shellfish harvesting; 2) increased or expanded commercial tourism such as fishing guides or ecotourism potentially resulting in crowding and conflicts at access points or disturbance to wildlife; and 3) increases in nontraditional uses such as vendors, crew rowing sculls, kite sailing and parasailing businesses. Proactive assessment and management of these activities is essential to ensure that they do not damage the sustainability of IRLAP System natural resources or impinge on the activities of traditional stakeholder groups.

By examining existing public use and natural resource patterns and trends, IRLAP staff can proactively identify potential conflicts and work with stakeholders to prioritize strategies to sustain a healthy ecosystem for the benefit of Florida residents and visitors.

These strategies include:

  • Display information about the Aquatic Preserve Program at high-use public boat ramps.
  • Conduct multiple community-based clean-up events annually.
  • Create and implement a spoil island user survey.
  • Identify potential Critical Wildlife Areas (CWAs).
  • Create and distribute quick-reference lists with points of contact for law enforcement.
  • Install appropriate facilities on high use recreational spoil islands.
Volunteers installing an educational kiosk

Volunteers repairing a picnic table on a spoil island

Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves

If you want to help preserve the Indian River Lagoon, consider joining Friends of the Spoil Islands at http://friendsofspoilislands.org.

 

Last updated: November 03, 2016

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