Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserve’s Island Designation System
One of the major components guiding which islands are included in the Spoil Island Project is the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserve’s (IRLAP) Island Designation System (IDS). The IDS designates IRLAP managed islands as either Conservation or Recreation, with the recreation islands being managed under the Spoil Island Project. While island designations don’t change often, they can be changed if a situation arises the requires a change, such as wildlife transitioning from one island to another.
For the latest up-to-date designation info, check out our Maps page.
Islands designated as “Conservation” are those with important ecological resources and should not to be used for recreational activities. Islands included in this category contain important native habitats that serve as nesting or foraging grounds for listed species. Conservation Islands are marked on the interactive maps with a red “!” symbol, and blue signage is installed on these islands and visible when on the water. Note: Not all conservation islands have these signs installed yet.
Islands receiving a recreation designation are the islands managed under the Spoil Island Project. These islands are better suited for supporting recreational activities and are managed in a manner that promotes sustainable recreation. Recreation Islands are marked on the interactive maps with a green tree symbol and most contain designated camping and picnic sites with tables, fire rings, and grills. For more information about camping and sustainable use of the islands, please check out the pages under the Visitor Information Page.
Two islands in the region (BC-49 and MC-2) have been designated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) as Critical Wildlife Areas (CWA). These CWAs are protected under the Florida Administrative Code and are closed to public access. Signage clearly marking these particular islands is visible when on the water and law enforcement will issue citations to any trespassers venturing past the signs. For more information about the CWA program, please visit FWC’s CWA page.
Financial support for BC49 Critical Wildlife Area in-water markers was provided by the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Inc. through the Conserve Wildlife Tag grant program.