Indian River (Florida)

Coordinates: 27°50′N 80°27′W / 27.83°N 80.45°W / 27.83; -80.45
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Indian River
Indian River at Melbourne
NASA map showing Indian River on left
CountryUnited States
Physical characteristics
 • locationPonce de Leon inlet
 • elevation0 ft (0 m)
 • location
St. Lucie Inlet
 • coordinates
27°50′N 80°27′W / 27.83°N 80.45°W / 27.83; -80.45
 • elevation
0 ft (0 m)
Length121 mi (195 km)

The Indian River is a 121-mile (195 km) long[1] brackish lagoon in Florida.[2] It 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.[3] 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.[4]

Tributaries and estuaries[edit]

Tributaries of the Indian River include the Merritt Island Barge Canal (man-made), the C-54 Canal (man-made), Crane Creek, the Eau Gallie River, Horse Creek, Mullet Creek, St. Sebastian River, St. Lucie River, Sykes Creek, and Turkey Creek. An estuary of Indian River is Palm Bay. The St. Johns-Indian River Barge Canal was proposed in the 1960s to provide a water link to the St. Johns River, but was cancelled in the early 1970s.


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey 7½ minute topographic maps
  2. ^ Long, Doug (13 March 2010). "Column:Help!". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. p. 4D.
  3. ^ "Description of the Indian River Lagoon - Appendix B" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
  4. ^ Waymer, Jim (2 July 2010). "Man on mission to sweeten smell of Indian River Lagoon". Florida Today. Gannet. Archived from the original on 7 April 2015.

External links[edit]