The Spoil Island Project is headed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves Office (IRLAP) with help from partner agencies and organizations. The Project is aimed at providing recreational opportunities on the many spoil islands throughout Florida’s Treasure and Space Coast regions, while at the same time, working to preserve or enhance ecological function.
What is a Spoil Island?
A spoil island is a man-made island, often created as a byproduct of channel dredging. In an effort to promote boating and commerce throughout Florida over the years, countless channels have been dredged through the state’s shallow inshore and coastal waters to provide enough depth for vessels to travel. The material dredged up during the process is called “spoil,” and while it’s usually transported to upland storage sites nowadays, in the past it was the practice to simply deposit the spoil in piles along the edge of the channels as the dredging operation progressed along. When these piles got big enough, they’d break the water’s surface and become spoil islands.
What Spoil Islands does the Project cover?
At present, the Project only covers the recreation islands managed by IRLAP, but with many managing entities having similar or parallel goals, the project and site may be expanded in the future to house recreational information for other islands within the region not managed by IRLAP.
To view interactive maps of islands currently covered in the project, visit our Spoil Island Maps page.
For more information on recreation islands vs. conservation islands, visit the Island Designations page.