The NRMO 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.
Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera
Located between the Moccasin Island Tract
of the River Lakes Conservation Area
and the Brevard Zoo
, the wetlands are a popular site for birders, photographers, and eco-tourists. The entire wetland system is accessible by automobile, making the site popular among those who find the rigors of hiking trails and summer temperatures daunting. Even better, viewing the site from one's automobile serves to screen visitors from birds and wildlife, enhancing the experience.
The perimeter of the wetlands central lake was seeded with native wildflowers in March 2007. This project was made possible through a grant from the Florida Wildflower Foundation with funds generated through the sale of wildflower license plates.
A covered gazebo serves as a visitors information center overlooking the lake. The gazebo is surrounded by a demonstration butterfly garden donated by Rockledge Gardens
Also known as the Viera Wetlands, the Board of County Commissioners designated the site 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 wetlands were included in the East Section of the Great Florida Birding Trail. 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
Approximately 60,000 visitors/year pass through the main entrance to the 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 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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wildflower Resources Links: Posters:
Information - Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera
10001 Wickham Rd • Melbourne, 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 Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands are located approximately two miles west of the traffic circle at the intersection of Wickham Road and Lake Andrew Drive.
Visitors traveling on I-95 should take exit 191 and head west, continuing straight through the traffic circle, for approximately 2.5 miles.
| View 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.
Road Hotline: (321) 255-4488