Brevard County environmental issues are highlighted by the amount of waterline and wetlands, the number of residents and visitors, as well as a threat to air quality from commuters. To assist in managing the area, the Florida Space Coast Clean Cities was formed that includes a nine-county area.
Brevard has four of wildlife refuges, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Canaveral National Seashore, St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge, and the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. In 1990, in order to protect the environmentally sensitive areas, the residents voted to tax themselves up to $55 million for the for the acquisition and maintenance of natural areas. The program was called the Environmentally Endangered Land Program (EEL). It was reaffirmed in 2004.
The first area to be part of the EEL program was the Enchanted Forest in Titusville, which consists of 470 acres. Under the program, it preserves a significant part of the original natural communities found in the region such as xeric oak scrub, mature hardwood forests, wetlands and pine flatwoods. Along with the wealth of plant life, the Enchanted Forest is also home to the eastern indigo snake, Florida scrub lizard, gopher tortoise, white-tailed deer and the bobcat. In April, about 800 people attend the Enchanted Forest’s “Earth Day Family Fun Fest.”
Four major problems were discovered with the water quality in the Indian River Lagoon, in 2013. They included:
- Excess nitrogen and phosphorus from the runoff of fertilizer.
- An estimated 8 to 11% septic tank failure.
- Muck from construction, farming, erosion and, dead plants find their way to the bottom of the lagoon. This prevents the marine flora and fauna from growing and consuming oxygen.
- Invasive species, such as the Asian green mussel, South American charru mussel, and the Australian spotted jellyfish. They all eat clams and fish larvae.
In 2010, 393 contaminated fuel tanks in need of cleanup were found. Within in 0.25 miles, there were 457 potable wells. This posed a potential health threat to those consuming water from them. As has happened before, in the Satellite Beach a new cancer cluster of 175 cases that included 50 people under the age of 40 have been reported.