The NRM Mission...
To protect the quality of life and promote a sustainable future by managing and conserving the natural resources of Brevard County.
For your safety
while visiting the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands
- 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.
- Before exiting any vehicle, set the brake and turn off the ignition.
- Do not drive on the turf. Stay on designated roadways.
Located between the Moccasin Island Tract
of the River Lakes Conservation Area
and the Brevard Zoo
, the Viera Wetlands are a popular site for birders, photographers, and eco-tourists. Both the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera and nearby Dan Click Ponds are accessible by automobile, making the sites popular among those who find the rigors of hiking trails and summer temperatures daunting. Even better, viewing from the comfort and safety of an automobile screens visitors from the view of birds and wildlife, enhancing the experience.
The Natural Resources Management Office provides land management for several sites belonging to Brevard County, most notably the Ritch Grissom Wetlands, a property of Brevard County Utility Services
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 170,000 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.
Pictured (right) is a an autumn sunrise over the wetlands as seen from near the SW corner of the site.
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.
Information - Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera
3658 Charlie Corbeil Way • Viera, FL 32940
General Information Hotline:
(321) 637-5521 Road Hotline: (321) 255-4488 Hours of Operation
April through September
6:00 AM - 8:00 PM Daily
February, March, October
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM Daily
November through January
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM Daily
| 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.
To reach the Dan Click Ponds, turn north on Power Line Road before reaching Charlie Corbeil Way; then take the first left, followed by an immediate right through an unmarked entrance gate.
View Viera Wetlands in a larger map
At various times, site conditions may require that the wetland's berms be closed to vehicles. The berms are normally open to foot traffic and non-motorized vehicles, except in the case of a serious safety concern.
Visitors may wish to call road condition hotline to check on berm conditions before their trip.
About Field Trips, Workshops, and Tours
Authorization for schools, organizations, or individuals to conduct field trips, workshops, or tours is subject to prior approval, and contingent upon the availability of Wetland Ranger volunteers in order to address the County’s site security and public safety concerns. A signed Special Use Authorization required, issued by the site’s Environmental Land Manager.
Link: Request Special Use Authorization
About 5K Events
5K running/walking events are permitted at the Viera Wetlands only during the months of April through September, limited to no more than four (4) such events annually and never closer in frequency than once per four (4) weeks. Late September is reserved for the Caracara 5K, which benefits habitat management at the wetlands.
A Special Event Permit is required, which must include approval by the site’s Environmental Land Manager, who will verify that Wetland Ranger volunteers are available on the requested date in order to address the County’s site security and public safety concerns.
2015 race dates are as follows:
|4/25 || East Coast Christian Center |
|6/13 || Honey Bee Run |
|7/11 - 8/29 || Available |
|9/26 || Caracara 5K |
Link: Special Event Permit Application
Link: E-mail Environmental Land Manager
Click the following link for a map of the berm roads: Viera Wetlands USNG Map
Road Hotline: (321) 255-4488
Because the site is neither a park nor a nature preserve, but was constructed as part of the adjacent water reclamation facility, the Viera Wetlands face unique staff and funding challenges. The Viera Wetlands Volunteer Program was created to address these challenges. Habitat management, wildlife monitoring, site security, safety concerns, and fundraising are but a few of the many areas in which volunteer contributions are vital. Volunteers with the Viera Wetlands Volunteer Program annually contribute more than 2700 hours of service, which represents a value of almost $60,000!
Volunteer activities at the Viera Wetlands fall into three classes
- Occasional-service volunteers participate in work events of limited scope and duration, such as annual festivals, trail-blazing, and trash cleanups. No volunteer application is necessary for these events, and we will provide on-site training and all necessary equipment on the day of the event. School groups and organizations searching for volunteer opportunities also fall into this category.
- Regular-service volunteers participate in ongoing activities, such as gardening projects, stocking brochures, outdoor land management activities, and monitoring wildlife, just to name a few. Our regular-service volunteers receive fundamental training basic to all volunteer activities, plus a County-issued photo ID badge, subject to security checks.
- Wetland Rangers undergo additional in-depth training and rigorous background checks. Wetland Rangers are issued both an ID badge and a distinctive vest. They serve as ambassadors for the wetlands and address key site safety and security issues, including closing the wetlands, conducting after-hour tours, and leading field trips for visiting school groups. Wetland Rangers also take the lead in coordinating special work teams and events.
A volunteer meeting is held on the second Tuesday of each month to discuss Viera Wetlands Volunteer Program issues. Meetings are held in the Natural Resources Management Department offices at the Viera Government Complex, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building A, Room 219. Attendees gather beginning at 5:00 PM; meetings commence promptly at 5:30 PM and generally conclude by 7:00 PM.
Registered volunteers are provided with online accounts to report their service, and to keep track of their volunteer training certifications. A link is provided below. Also provided below is an e-mail link to request a volunteer application package, and a link to request general information on volunteer opportunities.
For New Volunteers
For Registered Volunteers
Wildflowers at Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera
In November 2006, Brevard County Natural Resource Management Office was awarded an educational grant by the Florida Wildflower Foundation, Inc., for $11,004.00 to provide information and a demonstration planting focusing on the use of wildflowers along the banks of lakes, retention ponds, canals, and similar freshwater settings. The funds were derived through the sale of Florida state wildflower license plates, featuring the state wildflower, the coreopsis
The wetlands were selected as the site for this project due to its unique setting and popularity as a birding and eco-tourism destination. The entire wetlands central lake perimeter, approximately one mile of shoreline, has been seeded with Florida wildflower species.
The Visitor's Center (right), made available by the wildflower grant, a covered gazebo surrounded by a butterfly garden and demonstration rain barrel irrigation system. Brochures and other information on wetland wildflowers, butterfly gardening, and troublesome non-native plants are available in the Visitor's Center. For information on full-resolution versions of these materials, email email@example.com
Wildflower Resources Links: Posters: