Banana River

The Banana River is a 31-mile-long (50 km)[1] lagoon that lies between Cape Canaveral and Merritt Island in Brevard County, Florida in the United States. It is part of the Indian River Lagoon system, and connects at its south end to the Indian River; it is the only part of the lagoon system not in the Intracoastal Waterway. It also has an outlet to the Atlantic Ocean via a lock into Port Canaveral. The lagoon includes salt marshes, mangrove swamps, seagrass beds, drift algae, oyster bars, tidal flats, and spoil islands, providing habitats for many marine species.These are brackish waters mixed of salt and fresh water; waist deep with a soft bottom sand/grass. Commercial and recreational activities in the lagoon generate more than US$ 800 million annually for the local economy.

Historically, the Banana River was a continuous waterway that completely separated Merritt Island from Cape Canaveral (which was considered part of the mainland until the construction of the Haulover Canal). In 1964, the Crawlerway was built at Kennedy Space Center, connecting Merritt Island to Cape Canaveral and dividing the Banana River into northern and southern lagoons.

Banana River
Merritt Island, Florida (southern tip)
Merritt Island from Banana River
LocationMerritt Island, Florida
Coordinates28°18′22″N 80°38′51″W / 28.30611°N 80.64750°WCoordinates: 28°18′22″N 80°38′51″W / 28.30611°N 80.64750°W
Part ofIndian River Lagoon
Max. length50 km (31 mi)

Natural history

The lagoon contains dolphins, manatee, and stingrays.[2]

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey 7½ minute topographic maps
  2. ^ "Gliding along the bottom". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. 22 February 2011. pp. 2B.

Further reading

Angel City, Florida

Angel City is a populated place on the Horti Point peninsula of Merritt Island, in Brevard County, Florida, United States. Angel City had a post office between 1927 and 1931. It is believed that the community was named for an early settler, John Angel. Hattie Worley, wife of Oscar Worley, the bridge tender, named Angel City after the first homesteader, Captain Angel from Rhode Island.

Canaveral Barge Canal

The Canaveral Barge Canal provides an east-to-west link between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Lagoon across northern Merritt Island, Florida, in two segments separated by the Banana River. It is located 15 miles south of Titusville, Florida. The canal is 12 feet deep and has entrances to other water systems including Syke's Creek and various marinas. The canal links Port Canaveral along the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway running down the center of the Indian River Lagoon. The canal was constructed to allow the transport of crude oil by barge to the two power plants south of Titusville, Florida.

Cape Canaveral

Cape Canaveral, from the Spanish Cabo Cañaveral, is a cape in Brevard County, Florida, United States, near the center of the state's Atlantic coast. Known as Cape Kennedy from 1963 to 1973, it lies east of Merritt Island, separated from it by the Banana River. It was discovered by the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León in 1513.

It is part of a region known as the Space Coast, and is the site of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Since many U.S. spacecraft have been launched from both the station and the Kennedy Space Center on adjacent Merritt Island, the two are sometimes conflated with each other. In homage to its spacefaring heritage, the Florida Public Service Commission allocated area code 321 (as in a launch countdown) to the Cape Canaveral area.Other features of the cape include the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and Port Canaveral, one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. The city of Cape Canaveral lies just south of the Port Canaveral District. Mosquito Lagoon, the Indian River, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore are also features of this area.

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Cocoa Beach is a city in Brevard County, Florida. The population was 11,231 at the 2010 United States Census. It is part of the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Eastern Range

The Eastern Range (ER) is an American rocket range that supports missile and rocket launches from the two major launch heads located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida. The range has also supported Ariane launches from the Guiana Space Centre as well as launches from the Wallops Flight Facility and other lead ranges. The range also uses instrumentation operated by NASA at Wallops and KSC.The range can support launches between 37° and 114° azimuth. The headquarters of the range is now the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base.

Flight 19

Flight 19 was the designation of a group of five Grumman TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that disappeared over the Bermuda Triangle on December 5, 1945, after losing contact during a United States Navy overwater navigation training flight from Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale, Florida. All 14 airmen on the flight were lost, as were all 13 crew members of a Martin PBM Mariner flying boat that subsequently launched from Naval Air Station Banana River to search for Flight 19. The PBM aircraft was known to accumulate flammable gasoline vapors in its bilges, and professional investigators have assumed that the PBM most likely exploded in mid-air while searching for the flight. Navy investigators could not determine the exact cause of the loss of Flight 19.

Florida State Road 404

State Road 404 (SR 404), the Pineda Causeway, is an east–west divided highway currently running from Interstate 95 (I-95) to SR A1A at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, US. It was opened as a toll road in 1971 and classified as a state road two years later. The tolls were removed in 1990. It was named after Pineda, a former village east of Suntree on U.S. Route 1 (US 1). With interchanges at US 1 (SR 5), South Tropical Trail (County Road 3, CR 3), and South Patrick Drive (SR 513), the Pineda Causeway is (along with SR A1A) the primary access for Patrick Air Force Base and the southern end of Merritt Island. From US 1 to the eastern terminus, it is part of the Indian River Lagoon Scenic Highway system.

Florida State Road 520

State Road 520 (SR 520) is a 34.5-mile (55.5 km) east–west state highway in central Florida, United States, connecting with SR 50 in the Orlando area with SR A1A in Cocoa Beach.

Indian River (Florida)

The Indian River is a 121-mile (195 km) long brackish lagoon in Florida, and is part of the Indian River Lagoon system, which in turn forms part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

It was originally named Rio de Ais after the Ais Indian tribe, who lived along the east coast of Florida, but was later given its current name. The Indian River extends southward from the Ponce de Leon inlet in New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County southward and across the Haulover Canal and along the western shore of Merritt Island. The Banana River flows into the Indian River on the island's south side. The Indian River continues southward to St. Lucie Inlet. At certain seasons of the year, bridges have tended to impede the flow of gracilaria (a red algae), resulting in an odor of hydrogen sulfide in the area.

Indian River Lagoon

The Indian River Lagoon is a grouping of three lagoons: the Mosquito Lagoon, the Banana River, and the Indian River, on the Atlantic Coast of Florida; one of the most biodiverse estuaries in the Northern Hemisphere and is home to more than 4,300 species of plants and animals.The Lagoon contains five state parks, four federal wildlife refuges and a national seashore.The Lagoon varies in width from .5 to 5 miles (0.80 to 8.05 km) and averages 4 feet (1.2 m) in depth.

List of rivers of Florida

This is a list of streams and rivers in the U.S. state of Florida. The term river of grass has been used to describe the vast complex of waterways that make up the Everglades but the state has many ordinary rivers as well.

Lotus, Florida

Lotus is a former village in Brevard County, Florida, United States. It is the location of Honeymoon Hill, the highest point on Merritt Island. Only one road runs through the area, CR 3, accessible to the south by Pineda Causeway.

Lotus is a wealthy residential area in Brevard County, with homes overlooking both the Indian River and Banana River Lagoons. Lotus along with Tropic, south of the Pineda Causeway lost their identity as individual villages during the beginning of the Space Age in the 1960s as the entire area fell under single family residential zoning only as part of the larger Merritt Island.

Mathers Bridge

Mathers Bridge is a 700-foot-long (210 m) low-level swing bridge located on the southern tip of Merritt Island, Florida, crossing the Banana River at the end of County Road 3.

Merritt Island Causeway

The Merritt Island Causeway, mostly in Merritt Island, connects Cocoa, Merritt Island, Florida, and Cocoa Beach, Florida. The causeway transits the Willard Peebles bridge over the Banana River Lagoon. In the 1960s, SR A1A was routed over the eastern causeway from present day SR 520 and SR A1A, to the present day intersection of SR 520 and SR 3 on Merritt Island. The eastern section is known as the Cocoa Beach Causeway.

Original Melbourne Village Hall

The Original Melbourne Village Hall is a historic building currently located on Hall Road in Melbourne Village, Florida, United States. This building was built circa 1941 during World War II to serve as a military barracks at the Naval Air Station Banana River. After World War II, the U.S. government declared the building surplus and subsequently sold it to the American Homesteading Foundation located at Melbourne Village.In May 1948, the building was moved to its current location and used as a community center. Upon becoming incorporated, the Town of Melbourne Village used the building from 1957 until 1963 as office space until a new town hall was constructed. In 2003, Melbourne Village completed restorations of the building and renamed it Hester Wagner Community House in December of that year.

Patrick Air Force Base

Patrick Air Force Base (IATA: COF, ICAO: KCOF, FAA LID: COF) is a United States Air Force installation located between Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach, in Brevard County, Florida, in the United States. It was named in honor of Major General Mason Patrick, USAAC. An Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) base, it is home to the 45th Space Wing (45 SW). In addition to its "host wing" responsibilities at Patrick AFB, the 45 SW controls and operates Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) and the Eastern Range. It was originally opened and operated from 1940 to 1947 as Naval Air Station Banana River, a U.S. Navy airfield. It was then deactivated as a naval installation in 1947 and placed in caretaker status until it was transferred to the Air Force in late 1948.

Additional tenant activities at Patrick AFB include the 920th Rescue Wing, the Air Force Technical Applications Center and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). Total employment is 10,400. There are 13,099 military, dependents, civilian employees and contractors on base.The base is a census-designated place (CDP) and had a resident population of 1,222 at the 2010 census.The base also administers the Malabar Annex, located in Palm Bay.

Plátano River

The Plátano River (Banana River) is a river in Honduras which runs through the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve.

Satellite Beach, Florida

Satellite Beach is a coastal city situated in Brevard County, Florida. The population was 10,109 at the 2010 United States Census, and it is located with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Indian River to the west.

Satellite Beach is part of the Palm Bay–Melbourne–Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Álvaro Mexía

Alvaro Mexia was a 17th-century Spanish explorer and cartographer of the east coast of Florida. Mexia was stationed in St Augustine and was given a diplomatic mission to the native populations living south of St. Augustine and in the Cape Canaveral area. This mission resulted in a "Period of Friendship" between the Spanish and the Ais native population.

When Pedro de Ibarra became the Spanish Governor of Florida, he knew the Spanish needed to improve relations with the natives, so he sent Mexia on a diplomatic mission in 1605 to gain knowledge of the lands and populations south of St. Augustine, as well as to assist that year's treasure fleet on its way back to Spain.

Mexia wrote about his experiences in the area of the native Ais in a document known as a Derrotero, a self-proclaimed "truthful account" and description of his journey in the land of Ais. Mexia also created a map in color. His journey completed in 1605, his Derrotero and map were sent to the King of Spain in a letter from Pedro de Ibarra.

His letters and map show native towns and place names south of St. Augustine. These include:

Surruque In New Smyrna Beach. Mexia and his party arrived at Surruque on June 6, 1605 and remained in the area for eight days while he waited for orders to proceed to the Ais Indian Nation.

Nocoroco town - mouth of Tomoka River,in Volusia County.

After leaving Nocoroco Mexia writes about passing by a Buhio A West Indian (Arawak) word for a native hut. It came to be applied to anything from the family dwelling to the large communal lodge which according to Bishop Calderon, would accommodate 2000 to 3000 people.

Caparca site - New Smyrna (Volusia County)

Potopotoya - Haulover Canal, place where native Americans crossed land with their canoes


Lagoon of Sababoche - southern extent of the present-day Banana River

Town of Savochequeya - present-day Newfound Harbor in Merritt Island, Florida

Lagoon of Ulumay—the Banana River Lagoon north of the Lagoon of Sababoche

Through "Callejon" to Pentoaya (Indian Harbor Beach on the barrier island and Eau Gallie on the mainland), A Distance of .5 leagues (1.5 mi)

Traverse of the Grand Bay of Ais 5 leagues (15 mi)

Two small islands in the Indian River Lagoon (one of which was Grant Farm Island)

Then to small fresh water river, now called the Sebastian River 1 league (3.0 mi)

Then to the great Indian town of the Ais 1.5 leagues away (or about 4.5 to 5 miles), now called the Kroegel Homestead but also called Barker's Bluff (8IR84) prior to the mound being sold for road-fill in the early 1900s.Alvaro returned to St Augustine and made his report to Ibarra on July 11, 1605 more than a month after

his departure. The mission was considered a success as on September 2, 1605 the elusive Capitan Grande (Ais Chief) finally arrived in St. Augustine accompanied by his mandador, the chiefs of Surruque and Urbia, and twenty Indians. Agreements were made that the Ais Indians would return shipwrecked sailors to the Spanish for a ransom.

Coastal waters of Florida
See also


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