The Islands Are Only Accessible by Boat.
While many visitors use small shallow-draft personal powerboats, many other types of vessels (kayaks, canoes, sailboats, SUP’s, etc.) can be used, and almost all types are available for rent by various outfitters throughout the region. Everyone is strongly encouraged to check weather and conditions as they relate to the type of vessel and skill before setting out, and make sure your vessel is in a safe operational condition and you have all the necessary safety equipment and supplies for a safe and enjoyable trip on the water. It’s also always a good idea to notify someone of your plans or file a float plan with a responsible friend or family member and follow up with them when you’re safely off the water.
Friends of the Spoil Islands (FOSI) is working on an initiative to provide for increased accessibility to several recreation Spoil Islands throughout the region. FOSI has completed the first phase of the initiative with funding from the Indian River Lagoon Council, and help from local agencies and organizations. Spoil Island SL3 in St. Lucie County now has matting and amenities (tables, pedestal grills, and fire rings) aimed at helping those with limited mobility to enjoy the islands. The upcoming phases of the initiative look to improve further on those amenities, provide beach wheelchairs, tackle the transition from boat to island, and expand to include additional islands and counties within the region.
At present, FOSI has a beach wheelchair available for use on the islands. For more information on the wheelchair and its availability, please contact FOSI.
The interactive maps on this site do contain some of the more prevalent boat ramps, however, for an in-depth resource with information on all the public boat ramps/paddling craft launches, including addresses, hours, fees, phone numbers, ramp types, and parking info, check out FWC’s Florida Public Boat Ramp Finder. For those who are planning on recreating overnight or camping, and are launching from a public ramp, it is always recommended that you contact whoever manages the ramp you’re using to check that it’s okay to leave a vehicle overnight.
Seagrasses & Mangroves
Both seagrasses and mangroves are incredibly important habitats and resources for the health and productivity of countless inshore, coastal, and offshore fisheries, as well as the overall health of the lagoon. These valuable resources are present on and around almost every island in the region and it’s imperative that we do our part when using the islands to ensure these resources are protected. When boating to, from, or nearby the islands, keep an eye on the depth and make sure the hull and prop aren’t impacting seagrasses. When on the islands, refrain from using mangroves or other native trees to tie off, instead try to place anchors in areas of bare sand either onshore or in the water. By implementing these simple practices, you can help do your part to ensure the resources and animals of the lagoon are there for everyone to enjoy.