Indian River Lagoon


The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) is comprised of three bodies of water: the Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River and Indian River. The lagoon travels 156 miles along the east coast of Florida from Ponce de Leon Inlet to the Jupiter Inlet. It is the most biologically-diverse estuary in the northern hemisphere and is home to more than 3,000 species of plants and animals. It serves as a spawning and nursery ground for many different species of oceanic and lagoon fish and shellfish and has one of the most diverse bird populations.

Nearly 1/3 of the nation's manatee population lives here or migrates here seasonally, and over 1,000 bottlenose dolphins live in the Indian River Lagoon. Its ocean beaches also provide one of the densest sea turtle nesting areas. The 2016 Economic Valuation is as follows:

  • Total annual economic output received from IRL in 2014 was $7.6 billion

  • $934 million in annualized real estate value-added for properties located on or near IRL

  • $9.9 billion economic contributions from estuarine-related resources in Volusia County north of Ponce de Leon Inlet

  • Recreation and visitor-related activity related to IRL was $1.57 billion

  • By 2025, the IRL regions expect to receive 11 million visitors annually

The following organizations have declared their support for the IRL National Estuary Program (IRL NEP):

  • Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority

  • Brevard County Tourist Development Council

  • Indian River County Chamber of Commerce

  • St. Lucie County Tourist Development Council

  • Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing

Recognition of the importance of the IRL:

  • Ecological

  • Economic value to our region: nearly 1 million people live and work in the IRL. It accounts for $300 million in fisheries revenue, $2.1 billion in the citrus industry, and $300 million in boat and marine sales annually

  • Visitors spend an estimated 3.2 million personal days in recreation on the lagoon

  • Protect and restore: water quality, climate change, wildlife, habitats

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