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About four years ago, at the direction of regional
planners and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, coastal municipalities undertook studies to examine the long-term consequences of storm flooding and sea level rise. Even the more optimistic projections are unsettling. Many view sea-level rise as the threat from the Atlantic Ocean. However, flood maps and experts agree it is the related rising waters in the Banana River and Indian River Lagoon that pose the most threat.
Whether you are looking to connect with nature and wildlife — or seek solace while camping under the stars — the Indian River Lagoon’s spoil islands offer a picture perfect setting for all that is related to nature. The man-made sanctuaries that dot the inland waterways from Mims to Sebastian Inlet are havens for tranquility — and provide a peaceful place for both recreation and wildlife conservation.
Vacation Island Paradise, a tiny horseshoe-sliver of land with several names. Also known as Grant Farm Island, or VIP Island, this unique enclave of 65 homes is geographically just a five-minute boat ride from the South Brevard mainland, but mentally miles from the routine hassles of life. A 50-acre part natural, part spoil island created from dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway, VIP Island is one of the few inhabited islands in Florida accessible only by boat.
All types of birds, alligators, snakes and wild boars can be found in the large wildlife sanctuary that is a good portion of NASA’s field center on Merritt Island. Only about 9% of the 144,000 acres that comprise the John F. Kennedy Space Center has been developed. NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building, at 525 feet tall, is visible from quite a distance.
Melbourne couple devotes years and passion in creating their Garden of Eden. For nearly 35 years, Bruce and Gina Ragan have enjoyed careers that engage their extreme creativity. Bruce, an iconic East Coast surfboard builder, and Gina, a talented landscape painter and photographer, the Melbourne couple share a passion for everything nature, healthy eating and self-sustainability.