Island Designations

One of the major components guiding what 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 designations assigned to specific islands don’t change often, they can be changed if conditions transition, such that a change in designation is warranted.

For the latest up-to-date designation info, check out our “Maps” pages.

For more info on what the different designations mean, please continue reading.



Islands receiving a conservation designation under the IDS are islands with important ecological resources or value deemed unsuitable for recreational activities or use, and as such, are not managed through the Spoil Island Project.  Often islands included in this designation 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 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 or use, and are managed under the project in a manner that promotes sustainable recreation.  The recreational islands are the islands upon which camping and other activities are allowed.  Recreation Islands are marked on the interactive maps with a green tree symbol.  To find out more about which islands are recreational islands, camping on the islands, and sustainable use of the islands, please check out the pages under the “Visitor Info” tab at the top of the site.



While not an island designation under the IDS, a couple of islands in the region have been designated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) as Critical Wildlife Areas (CWA).  These islands designated as CWA’s are protected under the Florida Administrative Code, and these islands are closed to public access.  Signage clearly marking these particular islands is visible when on the water.  For more information about the CWA program, please visit FWC’s CWA page.