The Banana River is a lagoon system which lies between Port Canaveral and Merritt Island in Brevard County, Florida. The Banana River Lagoon is a small part of the Indian River Lagoon system. Banana river has only one outlet to the Atlantic ocean through Port Canaveral. To the west of the Port it connect with the Indian river via the Barge canal. The Banana River lagoon system has a diverse habitat ranging from mangrove swamps, marine grasses, drift algae, oyster bars, spoil islands and salt marshes. These habitats provide homes for many marine species.
Banana River Aquatic Preserve is sandwiched between Merritt Island on the west and a beach barrier island on the east. It is part of the Indian River Lagoon system and extends from SR 528 (the Bennett Causeway) nearly down to the southern end of Merritt Island and includes Newfound Harbor and Sykes Creek. It is a relatively shallow body of water with little water exchange from the sea or freshwater inflow which classifies it as a lagoon. The lagoon contains several spoil islands which are also part of the preserve. Most of the natural shoreline is fringed by mangroves, but much of the shoreline near and adjacent to the preserve is heavily developed.
Interesting Banana River Facts
The surface water area of the Banana River Aquatic Preserve is approximately 46.4 square miles or 29,899 acres.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s most marshes were impounded or ditched for mosquito control purposes. Impounded salt marshes restrict tidal movement making them very susceptible to human impacts. Pollutants that go into this waterbody often remain there for extended periods of time.
There are 55 spoil islands located throughout the lagoon these islands are remnants of dredging the Intercoastal Waterway in the 50’s.
The Banana River Lagoon is a wintering home to many species of migratory waterfowl. It also host a diverse amount of resident birds such as roseate spoonbill, little blue heron, reddish egret, white ibis, American oystercatcher, bald eagle, least turn, skimmers, pelicans, cormorants, belted kingfishers and green heron.
The Banana River has an incredible amount of sportfish not limited to the following: redfish, sea trout, snook, tarpon, ladyfish, jack crevalle, catfish, black drum, pompano, spanish mackeral, bluefish, mangrove snapper, flounder and juvenile grouper.
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