Viera Wetlands (Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands)

Viera Wetlands

Berm Access

The wetland berm roads are closed to vehicles at this time for reasons that include maintenance, repairs, water testing, and safety concerns.

The berms are open to pedestrian traffic and non-motorized vehicles, except in the case of a serious safety concern.

Located between the Moccasin Island Tract of the River Lakes Conservation Area and the Brevard Zoo, the Viera Wetlands are popular among birders, photographers, and eco-tourists. The constructed treatment wetland system belongs to Brevard County Utility Services, and consists of the larger Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera and nearby Storage Ponds.

The Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands are open 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The main Hotline will have current access information recorded: (321) 255-4488

Flock of birds flying over wetlands.

Driving Directions

The Viera Wetlands are located approximately two miles west of a traffic circle at the Wickham Road and Lake Andrew Drive intersection.

Visitors traveling on I-95 should take exit 191 and head west, continuing straight  through the traffic circle, for approximately 2.5 miles.

To reach the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands, continue on Charlie Corbeil Way to the main entrance, bypassing the restricted access gates to the treatment facility.

Alligator with mouth open.

For Your Safety

  • Never leave children unattended.
  • Do not feed or approach alligators or other wildlife.
  • Stay well back from the shoreline: No swimming or wading.
  • Hunting and fishing are not allowed.
  • Pets must remain attended and on leashes at all times.
  • Do not drive on the turf. Stay on designated roadways.
Sandhill Crane with babies.

Special Events

Any event that might require overflow parking outside of designated areas, or may impact routine public access, could require a Special Event Permit. Requests for such events are subject to prior review by the site's Environmental Coordinator on a case-by-case basis, and approval for such is further subject to the availability of County staff on the requested date(s) in order to address the County’s site security and public-safety concerns.

History

Viera Voice News Video

Come take a tour with Florida Master Naturalist Charlie Corbeil as he captures beautiful wildlife at the Viera Wetlands.

The Board of County Commissioners designated the South Central Regional Water Reclamation Facility's constructed treatment wetlands as the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera in December, 2007, in memory of Ritch Grissom, a longtime employee of Brevard County who worked at the adjacent treatment facility.

In 2008, the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands were included in the East Section of the Great Florida Birding Trail.

In 2014, the access road leading to the entrance of the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands was named in honor of the late Charlie Corbeil, long-time volunteer at the site.

Approximately 210,000 visitors/year pass through the main entrance to the constructed treatment wetland system, many drawn by the site's breathtaking views and stunning abundance of wildlife.

The treatment wetlands are an integral component of Brevard County's water reuse system. Providing increased water quality and savings over traditional water treatment methods, the constructed wetland system polishes reclaimed water for irrigation or overflow into the adjacent Four-mile Canal.

The treatment wetlands consist of 200 acres divided into four cells of approximately 35 acres each, plus a central lake. The cells were designed to maintain differing depths of water, reflecting diverse wetland conditions.

A special mitigation littoral zone along the lake's shoreline is carefully monitored to assess wetland health and wildlife utilization. While functioning as a healthy, productive, and effective polishing system for water reuse, the wetlands further provide for a biologically diverse ecosystem — affording visitors a wonderful, close-up opportunity to view Brevard County's native wildlife and vegetation.

Viera Wetlands Wildflowers

In November 2006, Brevard County Natural Resource Management Department was awarded an $11,004.00 educational grant by the Florida Wildflower Foundation, Inc. to demonstrate the use of wildflowers along the banks of lakes, ponds, and similar freshwater settings. The funds were provided through the sale of Florida Wildflower License Plates, featuring the state wildflower, the coreopsis.

The wetlands were selected as the site for this project due to their unique setting and popularity as a birding and eco-tourism destination. The entire wetlands central lake perimeter, approximately one mile of shoreline, was seeded with Florida wildflower species.

A covered gazebo surrounded by a butterfly garden and demonstration rain barrel system were funded through the grant, and overlook the central lake.

Florida Specialty License Plate -  State Wildflower