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Brevard County, Florida
Seal of Brevard County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Brevard County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the U.S. highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Seat Titusville
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,557 sq mi (4,033 km²)
1,018 sq mi (2,637 km²)
539 sq mi (1,396 km²), 34.60%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

476,230
469/sq mi (181/km²)
Founded March 14, 1844
Website www.brevardcounty.us/

Brevard County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida, along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. As of 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the population is 536,521.[1] Influenced by the presence of the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Brevard County is also known as the Space Coast.

The official county seat has been located in Titusville since 1894, although most of the county's administration is performed from Viera. Brevard County has more than one county courthouse and sheriff's office because of its elongated north-south county lines. Hence, government services are not centralized in one location, as they are in many American counties.

Contents

History

Humans have occupied the county for 12,000 years[2] and the Ais inhabited Brevard when the Spanish explorers discovered the area. Juan Ponce de León is said to have arrived in Florida at the shores of the future county in 1513.

The last naval battle of the American Revolutionary War was fought off the shores of Cape Canaveral in 1783, between the USS Alliance and the HMS Sybill.[3]

"Mosquito County" was formed while the state was still a territory, and on some maps was absorbed into an unofficial "Leigh Read" county between 1839 and 1845. This eventually became three new counties one of which was "Saint Lucia County" on March 14, 1844 - it was renamed Brevard County in 1855 after Theodore Washington Brevard, who served as State Comptroller from 1854 to 1860.[4] In 1905 St. Lucie County was created from the southern third of the county.[5]

In the 1800s, the Hernandez-Capron Trail passed through the county.

The first US President to visit this local area was President Grover Cleveland in 1888. His entourage made an excursion by steamboat called "Rockledge" on the Indian River from Titusville to Cocoa.[6]

The oldest business still operating in 2009 is S. F. Travis Hardware which opened in Cocoa in 1885. The oldest black-owned business is Tucker's Cut-Rate Plumbing still operating in Melbourne.[7]

In the early 1900s the Union Cypress Railroad was built from present day Lipscomb Rd and University Blvd west of Deer Park.

On Christmas Day 1951, Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore (founders of the local NAACP and Civil Rights activists) were slain by a bomb, well before the "Civil Rights Era. "Florida's Attorney General has offered a reward and established a hotline to solve the slaying.[8] The Brevard justice center is named after them as a memorial.

In 1964, the Colt 45s started spring training at Cocoa Stadium. The team later became the Houston Astros. The team left the county in 1985. They were succeeded by the Florida Marlins at Viera.

In 1989, county administration was moved to a government complex at Viera, as part of a mid-county development project that included a Baseball Spring Training complex at Space Coast Stadium, and a master-planned community, known as Viera.

In 1998, 120 wildfires burned 70,000 acres (280 km2) in the county, one of the worst years on record.[9]

In 2008, wildfires burned 35 homes.[9]

In 2008, Tropical Storm Fay dropped a record 21 inches (530 mm) of rain northwest of Melbourne. The storm caused widespread flooding in the south county area.

In 2008, the county elected its first black county commissioner, Robin Fisher, who won based on the votes of whites, since there is no "black district."[10]

Law and government

Brevard county commissioners are elected by the public to establish ordinances and policies for the county. The Commission appoints a County Manager, who executes the will of the Commission. The county employed about 2,900 workers in 2009.[11]

A centrally located County Government Center in Viera houses the various county government branches, including Housing and Human Services, Juvenile Justice, Public Safety, Public Works and Solid Waste Management. County and school board meetings are televised, and the public is present for all city and town council meetings.

The various cities, towns and villages of Brevard have varying reliance on services provided by the Brevard County government.

The Brevard County government has annual expenditures approximately $1.16 billion, exclusive of the municipalities.[12] In 2009, real estate taxes for homesteaded property averaged .83% of the value of the property.[13]

The total taxable real estate base was $33.7 billion in 2009.[14] County taxes rose 26.5% in total per capita revenue from 2002-2007, and 49.8% in property tax per capita in the same time frame.[15] Delinquent taxes were $36 million in 2008.[16]

Solid waste management budgeted $33.4 million in fiscal year 2008/9 for county waste, not including municipalities which contract separately.[17]

Brevard County Cumulative Percent Growth since 1997

The ex officio Space Coast League of Cities suggests legislation to its representatives.

The Brevard Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is composed of senior locally elected municipal and county officials. This local multi-jurisdictional agency decides where federal and state road money will be used.[18]

Various elected officials call unofficial "town meetings" to allow the public to express their concerns about issues that the officials should address.[19][20][21]

The Brevard County Housing Authority acquires and leases housing projects; investigates housing conditions; determines where slums and unsafe housing exist and investigates conditions dangerous to the public. It is managed by citizens appointed by the county commission.[22]

Brevard County has two unique election districts. One governs Port Canaveral; the other, the operation of the Sebastian Inlet Recreation Park.

The Canaveral Port Authority is an independent governmental agency created by the Florida Legislature. Five elected commissioners representing the five port regions are the governing body of Port Canaveral and have jurisdiction over all fiscal and regulatory policies and operations of the Port. The Authority sets policy and can levy taxes. They stopped levying an ad valorum tax on district residents, becoming only the second taxing authority in Florida to do so.[23]

The county has hired a federal lobbyist to represent its interests.[24]

Brevard expected to have 100,000-300,000 more people by 2020, an increase of 60%. This offers a challenge to local government to keep infrastructure ahead of growth, while preserving the environment.

Based on the mid-point of the growth estimates, if Brevard has 200,000 new residents by 2020, taxpayers will have to meet a list of new requirements, including: 400 more police officers and 362 more firefighters; 25 US gallons (95 l; 21 imp gal) million more per day of drinking water; 1,334 more teachers; 600 more jail beds. In 2009, the county expected to grow to 763,546 by 2030, a 42% increase.[25]

The county got about $459 per resident in 2008 from the federal government. This ranks the metro among the bottom five metro areas that receive money based on population. This distribution is tied to income inequality.[26]

Elected officials

County Commissioners:
District 1 - Robin Fisher[27]
District 2 - Chuck Nelson[28]
District 3 - Trudie Infantini[27]
District 4 - Mary Bolin
District 5 -Andy Anderson[27]
County Manager - Howard Tipton[29]


The following are considered state officials but are elected and paid by the county:
Sheriff - J.R. "Jack" Parker
Clerk of the Courts - Scott Ellis
Property Appraiser - Jim Ford
Tax Collector - Lisa Cullen [30]
Supervisor of Elections - Lori Scott [31]
State Attorney - Norm Wolfinger
Public Defender - James F. Russo

In April 2007, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement seized documents from the office of the county appraiser in connection with an investigation into illegally re-appraising properties at lower values.[32]

Brevard County lies within Florida's 24th congressional district which seat is held by Suzanne Kosmas and within Florida's 15th congressional district which seat is held by Bill Posey.

Justice system

Courts

Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Justice Center in Viera

The county has centralized most county and circuit courts in Viera which try a variety of cases including felonies, misdemeanors, traffic, and domestic. An elected States Attorney prosecutes cases for the public. Defendants can be represented through the auspices of the office of the elected Public Defender. The 18th Circuit Court includes Seminole as well as Brevard and covers not only the court itself but the prosecutor and the Public Defender.[33]

The County elects a sheriff, immediately responsible to the courts but also to the state for the enforcement of state laws.

Police chiefs, appointed by their cities or towns, perform the same function locally. There is no overlap in jurisdictions.

Some volunteers work alongside paid professionals. Included are Citizens Offering Police Support (C.O.P.S.). C.O.P.S. volunteers work under the direction of the County Sheriff and play a part in the county's policing operations.[34]

The county jail is a 1976 facility which rapidly became overcrowded. When voters consistently turned down expanding the jail, the sheriff solved the problem by the construction of a large but less expensive "hardened tent" to house non-violent offenders.

The county jail retains prisoners who have been sentenced to a year or less. Longer sentences must be served in state prisons, such as the facility in Sharpes for young men.

The Coast Guard, homeported at Port Canaveral, plays a significant role in preventing illegal immigration, and is the major interdictor of drugs in the area.

Brevard has a Drug Court to reduce the prison population resulting from drug issues.[35] Drug Court programs adjudicate cases in which offenders are chronic substance abusers through an extensive supervision and treatment regimen. Drug Courts require offenders to acknowledge their problems with substances and provide him/her with tools and mechanisms to deal with their addictions, in an effort to reduce or eliminate future criminal conduct. The Drug Court program utilizes a team approach to serve the offenders and the team consists of a judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, treatment specialists, supervision officers, law enforcement agencies, corrections officials, and others. In exchange for successfully completing this intensive program, the Court may dismiss the charge, reduce the sentence, or offer a combination of other incentives. The police have estimated that 85% of drug dealers and prostitutes are themselves under the influence of drugs or are users trying to get money to purchase drugs.[36]

Melbourne led the nation in MDMA seizures in 2005.

Brevard Legal Aid provides general, civil and domestic violence legal services to low income persons.[37] Providers consist of five staff attorneys, three paralegals and 300 volunteer attorneys who offer pro bono assistance to referred eligible clients. Victims of domestic violence receive immediate need legal assistance with injunctions for protection through a partnership project with the Women's Center and the domestic violence shelters.

There is a local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).[38] In May 2005, the ACLU accused local police and Sheriff's offices of attempting to intimidate protests by conducting surveillance and filming them. As a result, authorities stopped the practice except for good cause.

The county justice system has faced criticism for its reliance on since-discredited dog handler John Preston as an expert witness in the 1980s.[39] Brevard County paid Preston over $37,000 as a consultant in the first half of 1984.

The State's Attorney's Office sponsors the Victim/Witness Services.[40] This provides advocates to victims of violent crime and their families. The advocate helps the family understand the legal system as they navigate through it. They also seek out financial assistance or counseling they might need. In 2005 they helped 8,448 victims in Brevard County.

Juvenile justice

The Rainwater Center for Girls, a day program for girls ages 12–18 who are referred by the Department of Juvenile Justice, offers education, vocational training, counseling, life skills, cultural arts activities, recreation, and community service focused on the developmental needs of girls.

The Department of Juvenile Justice refers selected youths to the Space Coast Marine Institute (SCMI).[41] The SCMI is a six to eight month moderate security residential facility for juvenile boys ages 14–18 who have committed around 4-12 crimes. The young men arrive at the institute with little or no self-esteem and have experienced minimal positive interaction with adults and peers. The mission of SCMI is to address their by providing a scheduled curriculum of academic, vocational and mental health awareness activities. In addition to a personalized academic education, the daily schedule includes programs that build self-confidence and a greater understanding of the world around us.

Juvenile delinquents are sometimes remanded to the Brevard Sheriff's Ranch in Rockledge, a small ranch with buffalo and other animals requiring care.[42][43]

Reentry Brevard contracts with a contractor, often non-profit, to provide halfway services to youth conditionally released from prison.[44]

Public services

Public safety

The Brevard Emergency Operations Center (EOC) provides Homeland Security for the Space Coast.[45]

The EOC coordinates information regarding the occurrence or threat of any disaster or emergency threatening the safety of the County residents. The EOC uses telephone, television, and the Emergency Services of the County Sheriff, the City Police and Fire Departments to provide coordinated management of all services for cataclysmic events such as Hurricanes, Floods and Terrorism.

The EOC has successfully conducted mass evacuation and relief of hundreds of thousands of residents from hurricanes since 1999 including two in 2004.

Port Canaveral is under the direction of the Port Authority. Emphasis is placed on monitoring the content of containerized cargo on incoming ships, as well as underwater inspection of arriving ships that could be carrying explosive devices.

A Coast Guard Cutter, homeported at USCG Station Port Canaveral, Florida, stops potentially threatening commercial shipping prior to reaching the coast. There are over 40,000 boats registered in the area. A few of these are of continuing concern to CG authorities.[46]

Evacuation routes are insufficient to handle the resulting heavy traffic westbound when an emergency is declared. A major westbound route (US 192) was expanded in 2008 to four lanes to accommodate the south Brevard population.[47]

In 2004, hurricanes destroyed one in every hundred homes in the South County area. Within two blocks of the beach nearly every building sustained some damage. Barefoot Bay, a mobile housing development, was essentially destroyed.[48] Winds tore off the roof of a shelter for special needs people in an elementary school.[49] Emergency Workers were forced to evacuate these people at the peak of the storm.

In September 2005, 1,400 survivors of Hurricane Katrina took refuge in the county.

Experience with hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne in 2004 prompted the formation of the Brevard Long Term Recovery Coalition, consisting of United Way of America officials and other emergency-needs experts.[50] They recorded the experiences Brevard had developed to restore services after the storms struck. In fall 2005, they passed information they had learned along to Gulf Coast planners attempting to recover from Katrina.

The media has estimated that 26,000 people who would need evacuation have not volunteered this information to Emergency Officials. In the past people have tended to postpone evacuation notification until after the causeways and bridges have been closed and no evacuation is possible.

Brevard County posts lifeguards at fourteen protected areas at various beach front parks. The county is 70 miles (110 km) long and most areas cannot be protected. The scope of responsibility for the lifeguards include accident and drowning prevention, public education, citizen assist, search and recovery of lost children, basic life support, and swimmer rescue. There have been 98 reported shark attacks in the county since 1882. The last fatality was in 1934.[51]

Two Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas offer boating safety courses.

North Brevard stands second in the state and the nation with 22,000 lightning strikes annually.[52]

Highway fatalities have decreased nationally, but increased in Florida and locally. Officials are focused on setting and enforcing speed limits and widening the local turnpike, now underway. The flatness of the area prevent runoff during rainstorms and causes cars to hydroplane. The highway department takes deliberate measures to re-engineer roads to avoid hydroplaning.[53]

There are 64 firestations in the county, 28 of which are run by various cities, and 33 by the county.[54][55]

There are 1,200 law enforcement officers working in the county, of which 361 are sheriff's deputies.[56] Of all crime that came to the attention of the sheriff's office in 2007, 80% was drug-related.[57]

Project Lifesaver can tag at-risk adults and children with locator devices. This allows guardians to track wandering people with Alzheimers, dementia, autism, etc.[58]

Public health

The state[59] has three public health locations in the county which give immunization shots, provide health information, and track and report on serious diseases or conditions, like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, encephalitis, and West Nile.[60]

The area was once named "Mosquito County."[61] Mosquitos carry serious diseases, including encephalitis. Brevard County Mosquito Control reduces the mosquito population by many means including adulticiding, larviciding, source reduction, aquatic weed control, waste tire abatement, disease monitoring (of chickens and mosquito-susceptible animals,) environmental monitoring, and biological control of mosquitoes.[62]

Brevard is among the top 100 counties in the US for asbestos-related deaths. Government officials have addressed this issue.

While no one has ever died from it in Brevard County, animal rabies is prevalent, often carried in this area by raccoons.[63] Public announcements and public awareness appear to have prevented fatalities.

In 2005, a woman died from flesh-eating bacteria (Necrotizing fasciitis) that she contracted from the St. Johns River. Two or three cases are typically reported in the county each year.

An ocean condition known as "red tide" occasionally affects people beachside. This occurred in November-December 2007 and November-January 2002.[64]

In 2010, there were 22 dentists out of 298 in the county that accepted Medicaid patients.[65]

In 2010 there were 34,494 children in the county that were eligible for Medicaid.[65].

In one study in 2010, the county was ranked 23 out of 67 Florida counties for health outcomes.[66]

Public recreation

Boardwalk over wetlands area at Chain of Lakes in Titusville

More than 200 parks, 3 campgrounds, and 6 public golf courses in the county are managed by local government agencies. Offering residents and visitors a wide range of leisure opportunities, the parks include athletic complexes, community centers, aquatic centers, nature centers, trails, conservation areas, beach parks, historic sites, and boating and fishing access to lakes, the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Johns River.[67][68]

In 2000, Brevard County voters approved bond referendums that provided funding for construction or improvement of over 50 county parks in North Brevard, Merritt Island, and South Brevard. Citizen Committees and Advisory Boards identified community recreational needs. These projects were submitted by the Recreation Advisory Boards to the Board of County Commissioners to be included in the referendum. While some projects are as simple as improved playground equipment, other projects are of a regional nature requiring extensive community planning, permitting and land acquisition. In November 2006, the Board of County Commissioners provided taxpayers the opportunity to vote on issuing additional bonds. The voters approved the additional bonds and with no tax rate increase resulting, because the millage previously approved generates the revenue to repay both sets of bonds.[69]

In 11 sanctuaries that protect natural ecosystems, the county's Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program offers passive recreation opportunities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, biking and paddling. The Management & Education Center at The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville, is the EEL Program's first regional educational facility. The EEL Program was established in 1990 to protect the natural habitats of Brevard County by acquiring environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, passive recreation, and environmental education. This was made possible by citizens who voted to tax themselves up to $55 million dollars for the acquisition and maintenance of Brevard's natural areas. Residents reaffirmed the EEL Program in 2004 under a second referendum to protect the natural habitats within Brevard County by the acquisition of environmentally sensitive lands through a willing seller program for the purpose of conservation, passive recreation, and environmental education. To maximize the funding, the EEL Program forms partnerships with federal, state and local agencies that are committed to the protection of natural resources and our long-term quality of life. EEL sanctuaries are managed to preserve native habitats and the plants and animals that live there.[70][71]

In conservation areas managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District, recreational opportunities include hiking, bike and equestrian trails, camping, boating and fishing. Although the District's main goal of buying land is to protect water resources, these lands protect plant and wildlife habitat and provide areas for public recreation and environmental education.[72]

The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge[73] and the Canaveral National Seashore[74] are 2 national wildlife refuges in the county that offer recreational pursuits such as hiking, wildlife viewing, paddling, and environmental education.

Libraries

The county centrally controls all 20 libraries in the county.[75] There are 900,000 volumes.[76] One library card is valid at all locations, and materials are loaned between locations through a daily courier service and outside the library system via Inter-Library Loan. Periodical subscriptions stand at about 2,250. The libraries own over 18,000 videos and 21,000 sound recordings. Personal computers for public use are hooked up to broadband in all libraries.

In 1989, the main library moved to a building contributed by Florida Today. It was the first to discard the card catalog.[77]

Social services

Brevard County tries to provide a number of unique services to help the aged, juveniles, the physically and mentally handicapped, and minorities.

Elections

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic Other
2008 54.5% 44.2% 1.3%
2004 57.7% 41.6% 0.8%
2000 52.8% 44.6% 1.8%
1996 45.1% 41.2% 13.6%
1992 43.2% 31.2% 25.6%
1988 70.3% 28.8% 0.9%

Geography

Geographic features

The Brevard-Volusia county-line

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,557 square miles (4,032 km²), of which, 1,018 square miles (2,637 km²) of it is land and 539 square miles (1,395 km²) of it (34.60%) is water, primarily the Atlantic Ocean, the St. John's River and the Indian River Lagoon. The county is larger in area than Samoa and nearly the same size, and population, as Cape Verde.[78] It is one third of the size of Rhode Island.

Located half-way between Jacksonville, Florida and Miami, Brevard County is an extra-long county, extending over 70 miles (110 km) from north to south, but only a handful of miles inland from the seacoast at any point. In marshes in the western part of this county is the source of the St. Johns River.

The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway along the eastern edge of Brevard County is the major waterway route in Brevard County. It includes the Indian River. Additional waterways include Lake Washington, Lake Poinsett, Lake Winder, Sawgrass Lake, St. Johns River, and the Banana River.

Brevard County is the sole county in the Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area (formerly the Melbourne-Titusville-Cocoa, Florida Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area and Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area).

The county is unofficially divided into three section, North County, comprising Titusville, Mims and Port St. John; Central Brevard, which includes Cocoa, Rockledge Merritt Island, and Cocoa Beach; and South County, which includes Melbourne, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and the South Beaches. The South Beaches is a term that measure direction south from the dividing line of Patrick Air Force Base, and includes South Patrick Shores, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic, and Melbourne Beach.

There are 16 municipalities. The largest, by population is Palm Bay, the smallest Melbourne Village.[79]

The county has seven canals[80] for transportation and drainage:

  • Canaveral Barge Canal, Courtenay - transportation
  • Faulk Canal, Cocoa
  • Grand Canal, Tropic
  • Haulover Canal, Mims - transportation
  • Melbourne Tillman Canal, Melbourne West - drainage
  • Old Canal, Wilson
  • C-54 Canal - on the south Brevard County Line - drainage

Climate

The county has a Koppen climate classification of Cf with a year-round distribution of rainfall. This means a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers.[81] There are distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry lasts from December through May. The wet from June through November.

Temperature varies noticeably in this 72 miles (116 km) long, north-to-south, county, particularly in winter. In north county, northern flora can thrive, like deciduous trees. In the south county, sub-tropical plants can grow, such as royal palm trees.

January is the coldest month with an average low of 50.7 °F (10.4 °C); average high 71 °F (22 °C). The warmest months are July and August with average highs of 90 °F (32 °C); average lows 72.2. The driest month is April with 1.6 inches (4.1 cm) rainfall; the wettest September, 6.6 inches (17 cm).[82]

Offshore ocean temperatures have averaged: January - 64 °F (18 °C), February - 62 °F (17 °C), March - 67 °F (19 °C) and April - 72 °F (22 °C).[83]

Florida is a large subtropical state that experiences hurricanes. Although Brevard county is located along Florida's eastern peninsula, it is less frequently impacted by direct hurricane landfalls than portions of the Panhandle or South Florida. There are two predominant reasons for this. First, westward moving tropical systems often reach an atmospheric ridge weakness in the Bermuda High by the time they approach Florida at a latitude as northerly as Brevard County. Combined with frontal systems that exit the United States' East Coast, many of these tropical systems are steered northwest and eventually curve northward offshore Florida's East Central Coast. A second reason is that hurricanes landfalling along the Florida peninsular Gulf Coast often weaken to a tropical storm by the time they move northeast to affect Brevard County (with some exceptions, such as 2004's Charley).

Although Brevardians may refer to past storms as "hurricanes", by the time they strike here, some of them may have subsided to tropical storms or depressions. Because of the threat of storm surge, the beach community on the barrier island is often required to evacuate well in advance of the storm.[84]

Tornados spinning off from even small storms can result in severe damage in small areas.[85]

Five hurricanes have directly affected Brevard since 1950: David (September 3, 1979), Hurricane Erin (August 2, 1995) - made landfall near Sebastian Inlet and caused mostly minor wind damage and more extensive flooding countywide, Charley (August 13, 2004) - Caused damage in Titusville and North Brevard. Frances (September 3, 2004) - Struck neighboring Vero Beach, Indian River County directly and caused widespread wind damage throughout Brevard,[86] Jeanne (September 26, 2004) - Struck Vero, directly, following very nearly the same path as Frances. The latter two storms caused widespread damage in South Brevard, and resulted in $2.8 billion in claim payments.[87] Slightly more than half of one percent (0.6%) of houses were lost.[88]

The following storms did not affect Brevard County with hurricane force winds: Floyd (September 15, 1999),[89] and Irene (October 16, 1999).[90]

Tropical Storm Fay dropped a record rainfall of 27.65 inches (70.2 cm) in 2008.[91]

Environment

Pine flatwoods and sand pine scrub

Brevard works together with the federal and state government to control pollution and preserve wetlands and coastal areas through lands dedicated to conservation and wildlife protection. These lands include Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, the Canaveral National Seashore, the St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge, the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, several conservation areas managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District, Brevard County's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program Sanctuaries,[70] and lands dedicated by the State as conservation areas.

Transportation

Brevard County has transportation available in the usual modes for a coastal county - highways, shipping, and airlines.

Public transportation is provided by Space Coast Area Transit.[92]

Power

Florida Power and Light maintains a oil-fired generating plant at Sharpes, Florida. It generates 800 megawatts, supplying most of the requirements for the county. In 2008 the company announced plans to replace the plant with a more efficient natural gas-powered plant in 2013 with a 1,250 megawatt capacity which can supply 250,000 homes or businesses.[93]

Adjacent counties

Fauna

Love bug season occurs twice annually in May and August-September. Motorists, usually, encounter swarms of these while driving during a four week period.[94][95]

Turkey vultures, a migrating species, are protected by federal law. They migrate north in the summer and return in September.[96]

There were 596 manatees in Brevard in 2009, out of a total of 3,802 in the state. This is a decline from 2007 when there was a total of 859 out of a state total of 2,817.[97]

The county's most common winter bird is the lesser scaup, a diving duck. In 2008, half a million were counted. In 2010, 15,000 were estimated.[98]

Economy

In 2010, the Brookings Institution reported that Brevard ranked in the bottom fifth of the nation's top metro areas, based on unemployment, gross metropolitan product, housing prices and foreclosed properties.[99]

Personal income

As of the census of 2000:

  • Median income for a family - $47,571
  • Median income for males - $36,542
  • Median income for females - $24,632
  • Per capita income - $21,484
  • Median income for a household - $40,099
  • In 2005, the median income for a household had risen to $43,281[100]

The county ranked 17th for per capita income, out of Florida's 67 counties.

The following were below the poverty line in 2000:

  • Families - 6.80%
  • Total population - 9.50%
  • Under age 18 - 13.00%
  • Age 65 or older - 6.50%

Housing

Monthly foreclosures have exceeded 746 from January 2009 through October. Maximum montly home sales were less than 584 during that time frame, creating an accumulating backlog of unsold homes.[101]

Nearly 44,943 new houses were built from 2000 through 2009. This was enough to house 112,000 people. However, only 60,000 people moved into the county, leaving the remaining homes vacant and helping to precipitate bursting the United States housing bubble.[102]

The county's median home price reached a high in August 2005 at $248,700.[103] New home permits fell in 2007 to 1,894, the lowest since 1982.[104] Sales of existing homes fell 19% in 2007 from the prior year to 373 monthly. The median drop in home prices was 50% from 2005 to 2008, from $248, 700 to $125,200. However, when choices for smaller homes was eliminated, prices on individual homes fell 25%; down 33% for individual condos.[105] In 2000, the median sale price of homes in Brevard was $100,000. With the collapse in the housing bubble, homes now are often about the same price, with median homes in 2009 selling for $89,400.[106]

In a separate study, a consulting firm determined that house prices in the county were 46.1% overvalued in 2005 at $212,000 average. The same firm determined that prices were 19.3% undervalued in 2008 at $129,400.[107]

In 2008, a number of mortgage insurers blackmarked Brevard, along with a quarter of the total nations zip codes. This was intended to thwart potential buyers who wish to pay less than 20% down on a home.[108]

In 2009 an economist said that the Brevard housing market will not recover until at least 2011.[109][110] A later analysis in 2009 seemed to agree, saying that the market would fall 41.4% to bottom out by the end of 2010.[111]

In 2008 Brevard expected to have 100,000-300,000 more people by 2020, an increase of 60%.

In 2008, there were 1,550 permits for residential projects valued at $355.45 million. That is the lowest number of filings since 1975.[112]

Annual foreclosures rose from a low of 1,144 in 2005 to 9,228 in 2008.[113]

Communities

Three communities have either decided or are considering placing electric lines most vulnerable to high winds, underground despite the high cost.

Cape Canaveral and Satellite Beach have declared a moratorium on converting commercially zoned areas to residential.

The company developing West Viera gained state permission and county acquiescence to create a self-governing board that could raise taxes and sell bonds to pay for roads, water lines, pumping stations and other infrastructure needed to support the construction of 16,500 houses, apartments and condominiums. The company proved that development could fund itself.

Industry

The Brevard economy has been driven by Trade, Transportation and Utilities (18%), Professional and Business Services (17%), Total government (15%), Education and Health (14%), Manufacturing (12%), Leisure and hospitality (10%), Construction (6%), Financial (4%).

In 2005, Inc. Magazine voted the Space Coast as the best place to do business in Florida and sixth in the country.

In 2004, Brevard County ranked 13th out of 318 largest counties in the US for increase in the number of jobs. The county moved from 70 to 31 out of the top 200 metropolitan areas "Best Performing." This improvement was driven mainly by job growth.

Port Canaveral is the world's busiest cruise port. It is served by seven cruise lines. They have six major cruise terminals. There is 750,000 square feet (70,000 m2) of covered freight storage capacity. It handled 4,000,000 short tons (3,600,000 t) of cargo in 2004. The port has boosted Brevard's economy by $500 million annually.

American City Business Journals rated Brevard 7th for quality of life out of 67.

Two hospitals were among the top five private employers in the county. Together employing 8,850 in 2009.[14]

In 2008, 14,865 workers were employed at the NASA/Kennedy Space Center. The Center directly spent $1.82 billion in the county.[14]

A concern has been the probable re-assignment of thousands of space coast workers when the shuttle is discontinued in 2010. In 2010, 9,000 jobs were expected to be lost from the shuttle and other programs.[114]

Harris Corporation, headquarters in the county, has the most employees in the private sector, 6,700 in 209.[14]

Two locally headquartered builders, Mercedes Homes and Holiday were among the top 30 in the nation. Mercedes had $1 billion in sales in 2004.

The Cocoa Redevelopment Center has worked on programs to improve housing in the city's older areas.

Inc. magazine selected two local small companies as among the fastest growing in the country over the past 3 years - Applied Global Technology (nearly 100% annually) and Stops (nearly 200% annually).

Though the area has a relatively small number of high technology companies, 736, a business journal ranked it eighth in the country as a high tech center in 2009. The area had 23,096 high-tech jobs with a ratio of 124 per 1,000 total jobs.[115]

Military

Military installations in Brevard County include Patrick Air Force Base, near Satellite Beach, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center, and the U.S. Air Force Malabar Test Facility on Minton Road in suburban Palm Bay.

The Navy maintains a Trident turning basin at Port Canaveral for Ballistic Missile Submarines. The Naval Ordnance Test Unit (NOTU) tests weapons on these subs which arrive at the rate of one a month. The 2005 Base closures included realigning NOTU out of state. The community was successful in getting this decision revoked.

CCAFS houses the Air Force Space & Missile Museum that is in the launch control bunker of Launch Pad 26 where many unmanned rockets were launched early in the U.S. space program including the Explorer, one of the first space craft placed in earth orbit.

The Cape Canaveral Navy League council supports the Sea Services by adopting ships and units of the Navy and Coast Guard. It also provides a means for civilians to socialize with the officers and crew of allied Navies when they visit port.

Northrup Grumman develops the military JSTARS electronics surveillance system used in all major US conflicts since 1990.

The USS Brevard (AK-164) was a World War II Alamosa-class naval cargo ship that was decommissioned shortly after the war.

Agriculture

23% of Brevard County is agricultural-usable for citrus, raising cattle or horses. Cattle ranches include the Deseret and Duda Ranches; citrus growers include Victory Groves and Harvey's Indian River Groves.

The county ranked 21 out of 24 Florida counties in the shipment of gift fruit.

In 2009, aquaculture was a $900,000 business in the county.[116] The county produces more than 25% of all blue crabs along Florida's East Coast.[117]

There are 40 4-H related clubs in the county including livestock- and pet-related and after school clubs.[118] As in all Cooperative extension service, a land grant college, the University of Florida, conducted over 60 courses in 2010 in aid of 4-H programs and other agricultural pursuits.[119]

In February 2010, the USDA declared that Brevard, along with of 59 other Florida counties, was a "primary natural disaster area." This happened when the temperature falls below 28 degrees for 4 hours, where crops are being grown.[116]

Tourism

In 2008, tourists spent $2.89 billion in the county. This is distributed in several categories: lodging $839 million, eating and drinking $509 million, Kennedy Space Center $597 million, Retail sales $450 million, entertainment $120 million, and Port Canaveral $109 million.[120] Brevard tourists come mainly from ten states: Florida itself is first, followed by Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Virginia, Wisconsin, Georgia, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. The five primary sources of foreign visitors are: Canada, England, Germany, China and Italy.[121]

1.6 million people visited the Space Center Visitor Complex in 2008.[14]

Brevard competes with other Florida areas for tourists. A number of organizations help promote the area.

The Space Coast Office of Tourism consists of county staff and the Brevard County Tourist Development Council (TDC). They attempt to attract tourists. The TDC serves as an advisory council to the county on the expenditures of revenues received from a tourist tax. This revenue is spent on beach improvements, visitor information centers and website,[122] promotion and advertising, the Brevard Zoo, additional beach improvements and the Space Coast Stadium.

$97.7 million has been spent on beach replenishment in the county between 2000-2010. This was funded 58% by the federal government, 27% by the state and 15% by the county.[123]

In 2008 monthly tourist tax revenue slumped from a high of $1,174,742 in March to a seasonal low in September of $432,145.[124]

In 2004, Brevard experienced its best October and November tourism until then, despite widespread hurricane damage and loss of five beachside hotels. Four of these hotels were restored by 2006.

In 2008, the county had 11,000 hotel rooms available. In July 2007, there was a 66.1% occupancy rate.[125] In 2008, the county had a nearly identical 81%+ occupancy rate in March and April. This fell to a seasonal low of 42.3% in September.[126]

Cocoa Main Street, a member of the Florida and National Main Street Programs, works toward restoring business sites in the historic area known as "Cocoa Village." Cocoa Main Street has received six Florida Main Street Awards given by the Secretary of State. The restored area is a tourist attraction and an economic magnet.[127] Melbourne Main Street is another historic business area and tourist attraction restored through the Main Street Programs.[128]

Brevard has five judged art festivals annually attracting tens of thousands of people to art displays. Most festivals are held in the spring or fall when many tourists can attend. Many other annual festivals are held in parks and public sites throughout the year. The Brevard Cultural Alliance (BCA) maintains an event calendar[129] and a map of sites of historic, cultural, and ecological interest.[130]

For Brevard County businesses, fishing tournaments, such as the Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series tournament in August, bring more than $2.5 million a year in direct spending and more in indirect spending. Tournaments provide a revenue source for the county and local businesses.

The annual Grant Seafood Festival attracts as many as 50,000 people for the two day February event. It is the Southeast's largest and longest running seafood festival.[131]

The Globe Sebastian Inlet Pro surfing contest, on the county line, draws 16,000 visitors the second weekend in January.[citation needed]

An ice skating rink in Rockledge serves the county's residents and visitors with hockey and figure skating events.[132]

Competitiveness

In 2009, Forbes ranked the county 18th our of 100 MSAs and first out of 8 metros in Florida for affordable housing, and short commute times, among others.[133]

In August 2009, Florida Trend rated two Brevard companies, Harris Corporation[134] and Health First Health Plans[135], in their rankings of the best places to work in Florida.

In May 2009, the Palm Bay-Melbourne area was ranked as the #8 tech center in the United States by Bizjournals. It overcame its low number of total high-tech companies and jobs by having a high number of jobs per high tech company (#4) and high tech jobs compared to total private-sector jobs (#2).[136]

The Milken institute ranked Brevard number one, out of 200 largest metropolitan areas, in overall job growth for 2005.

Forbes magazine ranked Melbourne 2nd out of 150 metropolitan areas in the US, for the percentage of the population that are engineers, 6.6%, just ahead of Silicon Valley.

Brevard County's unemployment rate fell to a record low 2.8% in December 2005.

In 2006, Forbes magazine named Harris Corporation, headquartered in Brevard, to its "Platinum 400" List.

The Technological Research and Development Authority, based in the Space Coast, delivers technologies to schools and small businesses throughout the State of Florida. They obtain this information through strategic alliances with NASA, the federal government, the aerospace industry and state partners. They also sponsor a business incubator at the Melbourne Airport.

The National Association of Realtors reported that existing homes prices in Brevard rose 33% annually the third quarter of 2005, the sixth highest metropolitan area in the nation (out of 147). There was a slight decrease in existing home prices the last quarter of 2005.

In January 2005, CNN/Money ranked the homes in "Palm Bay" perhaps referring to all of the Space Coast as "49% overvalued" and within 10% of the most overvalued homes in the United States.

In 2005, the Sunrise Bank of Cocoa Beach became the first bank in the state to have a mobile branch.

The largest hotel in Brevard has 284 rooms and 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) of meeting space.[137]

Labor

Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is the largest employer in the county with 15,000 contractors and civil servants.[138] While there is concern about the new generation of space vehicles requiring 1/3 fewer workers, about that number are eligible for retirement by 2011.

Unions represented at KSC include American Federation of Government Employees, International Association of Machinists and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Brevard County Teachers are represented by the Brevard Federation of Teachers (AFT).

In 2005, the Next Generation Consulting for Leadership Brevard, a leadership development organization for local business and civic groups, and Brevard Tomorrow commissioned a survey of people 21-44. Basically, these people often found the area "boring", mainly because it is family-friendly at the expense of being singles-friendly. While this may have labor repercussions later, currently business is having no problems hiring.

The county had an unemployment rate of 12.7% in January 2010, a 20-year record high.[139]

In early 2005, Forbes ranked the area 27th in job growth out of 150 metropolitan areas in the country. The county ranked 18th in the nation for mid-sized areas in 2006.[140]

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey said the hiring outlook in Brevard for the last quarter of 2005 was the 19th-best in the nation among the 470 communities participating in the survey.

2004 Hurricane recovery has helped the area achieve high employment.

There were 168,500 private sector jobs in the county in 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics counted the following workers in Brevard along with average annual pay ($): Retail 25,900 ($23,361), Manufacturing 21,700 ($65,521), Local government 20,100 ($42,517) and Hospitality 19,600 ($15,857). The largest local employer is Brevard Public schools with 9,500 of whom 5,000 are teachers.[141]

Banking

The Space Coast Credit Union is the largest locally-based financial institution in Brevard and the largest credit union in the state with assets of $1.44 billion.[142][143]

Communication and utilities

The area code for most of the county became "321" in 1999: as in the "3...2...1... Lift Off!" countdown sequence. A small portion of the county along the southern border, including the communities of Micco and Barefoot Bay, share a 772 area code with a neighboring county to the south.

Two power plants in Brevard generate electricity from petroleum delivered by barge. The output from one plant (Florida Power and Light) is used locally, the other by Orlando.

Demographics

As of the census[144] of 2000, there were in the county:

  • People - 476,230 people
  • Households - 198,195
  • Families - 132,394
  • population density - 181/km² (468/sq mi)
  • Housing units - 222,072
  • Average housing density - 84/km² (218/sq mi)

The county's population is larger than that of the state of Wyoming.

The racial makeup of the county was:

There were 198,195 households out of which 26.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.20% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.84.

The population was distributed as follows: 22.00% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 19.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.30 males. In 2007, 30% of the population was over 55.[145]

In 2009, two percent of the people in the county are over 85.[146] In 2009, there were 130,508 people 60 and over in the county.[147]

9.50% of the population and 6.80% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.00% of those under the age of 18 and 6.50% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

In 2005, the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which consists solely of Brevard County, was estimated to stand 91st in population out of 263 in the country.[148]

In 2006, the county stood 10th in population in the state, out of 67.[149] The increase in population from 2000 was 11.8%, less than the Florida average of 12.7%.

According to the 2000 census, the county had about 80,000 veterans. 21% of the population older than 18 is a veteran.[150]An actual count by a local agency in 2010 indicated that 225 of veterans were homeless.[151]

In 2007, a local census by volunteer counted 1,899 homeless residents.[152]

Health

The Brevard Alzheimer's Foundation is unique for being a local organization only. It has three adult daycare service locations and often provides transportation and funding.[153]

The Space Coast Early Intervention Center is a nationally recognized not-for-profit pre-school and therapeutic center that offers care and aids with the development of small children with special needs.[154] Children are treated and educated with the specific goal of mainstreaming children diagnosed with the following into public school: Down syndrome, William's syndrome, Cerebral palsy, Deletion syndrome, PDDs including Rett syndrome, Autism, and Apert syndrome, as well as children with visual, speech and hearing delays.

Health Outreach Prevention & Education (HOPE) is a network of community partners working together to provide care for people without insurance, and for children with special needs. This network includes hospitals.

Brevard introduced (2005-6) a Federally approved experimental Medicaid program which puts volunteering 60+ years olds in an HMO-like organization in order to save money.

The non-profit Circles of Care provides mental health programs to Brevard.[155]

211 Brevard responds to people in crisis and/or needing information about community resources.[156]

Space Coast Center for Independent Living offers over-all services for individuals with all types of disabilities: Peer support, advocacy, skills training, accessibility surveys, support groups, transportation, specialized equipment and sign language interpreter coordination services.[157] Additional program for high school students for career development.

Health First is the largest healthcare provider in the county consisting of three not-for-profit hospitals—Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, and Palm Bay Community Hospital in Palm Bay. Besides hospitalization, services include outpatient centers; the county's only trauma center; home care; specialized programs for cancer, diabetes, heart, stroke, and rehabilitative services; central Brevard's largest medical group; three fitness centers; and Medicare Advantage, commercial POS, and commercial HMO health plans. Health First tries to integrate quality healthcare services with state-of-the-art technology.[158]

Harmony Farms runs "Horses and the Handicapped", a therapeutic riding program located on the Duda Ranch in Viera.[159]

Parrish Medical Center is a 210-bed, not-for-profit public medical center serving the area since 1959. The Center is Brevard's only Spirit of Women network hospital.[citation needed] Parrish Medical Center has been named America's No. 1 Healing Hospital for the third straight year by the Baptist Healing Trust.[160]

Health care services tend to cost more in Brevard than Orlando or the statistical average in Florida. A nursing home private room averaged $79,023 annually, semi-private $74,643, private one-bedroom assisted living $39,000. A home health aide, medicare-certified was $88,660 was substantially higher than the Florida average of $51,480. Adult day care (44 hours) was cheaper at $12,870 annually as was a home health aide "licensed-only" $38,896.[161]

According to 2007 health risk data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Brevard County (Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville MSA) is tied for fourth highest among all Micro- and Metropolitan Statistical Areas in percentage of heavy drinkers.[162]

Cities and towns

Incorporated

Unincorporated

Former place names

There are place names currently used, or used at one time by the USGS. Some are early developments, others are former stations along the main line of the Florida East Coast Railway. Several of these disappeared when Kennedy Space Center took over their area.

Education

Higher education is provided by Brevard Community College (BCC), Florida Institute of Technology, the University of Central Florida, Barry University, Columbia College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Keiser University, and Webster University.

Elementary and secondary education is provided by the Brevard Public Schools and private education.

Sports

Minor league baseball

Brevard County is the home of the Brevard County Manatees, the Class-A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

In 2009, the Space Coast Surge, a member of the Florida Winter Baseball League has the Cocoa Stadium as their home stadium.[163]

Major league baseball

The Washington Nationals hold their spring training at Space Coast Stadium in Viera.They play about 14 games against other professional teams locally in March as part of the "Grapefruit" League.[164]

Professional Basketball

The Brevard Blue Ducks, members of the USBL, played their home schedule at the Clemente Center at Florida Tech. They have changed their home city more times than any other USBL team. They have been in Brevard since 2002. In 2007 the Clemente Center opted not to extend the team a lease of its facilities, prompting a cancellation of the season.[citation needed]

Minor League Football

Brevard County is home to the Brevard Warriors, a minor league football team whose first season was 2008-2009 and in that first year climbed the Minor League Football ranks to #2 in the country, and won it's Southeast Football League Championship 45-10 over the Central Florida Thoroughbreds while finishing the season 14-1.[citation needed]

The Brevard Rams and Space Coast Predators are scheduled to play as members of the Florida Football Alliance in 2010.[165]

Amateur sports

Aside from school-sponsored sports, there are youth leagues for basketball,[166] football, soccer, lacrosse, gymnastics,[167] and baseball.[168]

Media

Newspapers

Florida Today is the major daily newspaper serving Melbourne, Brevard County and the Space Coast region of Florida. It is owned by the media conglomerate Gannett. The monthly newspaper, El Playero, serves the Spanish-speaking population of the Space Coast. The weekly Home Town News is a free newspaper, supported by advertising, that has versions in other Florida counties. It presents local news.

The Brevard Technical Journal is the industry monthly newspaper for business management, engineering, purchasing, manufacturing, and staff. It features news & features about the business and the science of technology in Brevard County - Florida's Space & Technology Coast.

Radio

See Template:Melbourne Radio.

Television

Independent stations include:

  • Channel 9 BPS-TV
  • Channel 43 WOTF-TV Univision Spanish Language
  • Channel 68 WBCC Brevard Community College Education

Films

The following films were filmed (in parts) in Brevard County.[169]

TV series included:

Arts and culture

The Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts, seating 2000, features locally produced and former Broadway shows, ballet, and symphony. Several different performances are scheduled each week.

The Brevard Symphony Orchestra and the Space Coast Ballet offer shows performed by professionals. Both have encountered obstacles to production: fundraising, recruiting skilled professionals and rehearsing them. For the Ballet, integrating a large number of qualified amateurs into their company for performances. There are two other professional symphony orchestras, plus a community orchestra and band in Melbourne.[170]

The Brevard Zoo is a 56 acres (23 ha) facility.[171]

Ballet

The Space Coast Ballet incorporates professional principal dancers and instructors together with many roles for local senior talent as well as roles for students. They annually stage the "The Nutcracker."

Classical music

The Brevard Symphony Orchestra has been bringing the classics, performed by professionals, to the Space Coast for over fifty years.

The Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra (BSYO) was founded in 1984 to provide a musical experience for youth. They are the only non-profit organization in Brevard devoted solely to the orchestral training of young musicians.[citation needed]

The Space Coast Symphony Orchestra consists of professional musicians and qualified youth.

Traditional Music

The City of Melbourne Pipes and Drums is a teaching band.

Museums

The Space Coast has a number of museums from the rocket exhibitions at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex, and the Air Force Space & Missile Museum, to local museums and others of unique character such as the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum, and the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame Museum.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers an educational look at the accomplishments of America's space program. A visitor can have a close look at the launch pads, first built for NASA's Apollo missions and presently used by the Space Shuttle fleet. The Observation Gantry near Launch Complex 39 offers a view of the Space Shuttle launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the crawler-way over which the rockets are taken to the pad. The Saturn V Complex displays the largest vehicle ever flown.

The Astronaut Hall of Fame is the only facility in the nation dedicated to telling the stories of American astronauts and features the world's largest collection of astronauts' personal effects.[citation needed]

The U.S. Spacewalk Walk of Fame commemorates Kennedy Space Center's history with a museum, monuments and programs.

The Brevard Museum of History & Natural Science features the remains of the "Windover Man", the oldest human remains found on the North American continent and a re-creation of the Windover Dig, a 'wet' archaeological site. A visitor may see how Native Americans lived and Florida pioneers survived.

Honor America runs the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum. This houses a replica of the Liberty Bell, historical documents, and patriotic memorabilia. Items are permanent reminders of our nation's history, as well as a memorial to military veterans.

The Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park and Cultural Center features a museum with artifacts and time line of the civil rights movement and the story of the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, civil rights leaders who were killed when their home was bombed.

Other

During the December holiday season, each of four yacht club parades during the evening in the Indian River/Banana River with holiday lighting on each boat.

Notes and references

  1. ^ "County population, population change and estimated components of population change: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008" (CSV). US Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2008-04-12.csv. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  2. ^ Vera Zimmerman. THE FIRST SETTLERS, 10,000 BC to 1820 retrieved August 11, 2007
  3. ^ Sonnenberg, Maria (January 22, 2007). Group pays homage to the past. Florida Today, page 3B. 
  4. ^ "Brevard County Maps". Exploring Florida History. University of Florida. http://fcit.usf.edu/FLORIDA/maps/county/brevard/brevard.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  5. ^ St. Lucie County Courthouse Retrieved July 3, 2007
  6. ^ Ebook on President Grover Cleveland's visit
  7. ^ Price, Wayne (22 March 2009). "70 years & counting". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today.. pp. 1E. 
  8. ^ Crist to Review 1951 Bombing of Harry Moore Home
  9. ^ a b Waymer, Jim (11 March 2010). "Casualties of cold enhance fire fear". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100311/NEWS01/3110311/Casualties-of-cold-enhance-fire-fear. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2] retrieved January 28, 2009
  12. ^ brevard.fl.us
  13. ^ "Property Taxes on Owner-Occupied Housing, by County* Ranked by Taxes as Percentage of Home Value 2008". taxfoundation.org. 2010-03-16. http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/proptaxcounty__bypercentofhomevalue-2005-2008-20090924.pdf. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Brevard County School Budget 2009:General information". http://www.brevardcounty.us/budgetoffice/budget/2009_2010/pdf/general%20information.pdf. 
  15. ^ Joslin, J. (April 22, 2007). Revenue, population both grow. Florida Today. 
  16. ^ McCarthy, John (14 May 2009). "Tardy taxes rech record level". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. A1. 
  17. ^ "Ad:Full cost of Solid Waste Services Fiscal Year 2008/2009". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 11 March 2010. pp. 2B. 
  18. ^ Brevard MPO Home Page
  19. ^ cityofcocoabeach.com
  20. ^ County Commission election draws near
  21. ^ indialantic.com
  22. ^ About
  23. ^ portcanaveral.org
  24. ^ Florida Today
  25. ^ "Editorial:Protecting liquid gold". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 15 April 2009. pp. 10A. 
  26. ^ Cervenka, Susanne (9 March 2010). "County near the bottom in federal funds received". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100309/NEWS01/3090322/1006/County+near+the+bottom+in+federal+funds+received. 
  27. ^ a b c Board of County Commissioners Contact Page
  28. ^ County Government Officials
  29. ^ Board of County Commissioners County Manager Page
  30. ^ Brevard Tax Collector Page
  31. ^ Brevard County Elections Page
  32. ^ Torres, John A. (April 20, 2007). FDLE seizes appraiser's files. Florida Today. 
  33. ^ States Attorney 18th Circuit Court accessed January 19, 2008
  34. ^ tarleton.edu
  35. ^ Seventeenth Judicial Circuit
  36. ^ Dodson, Laura (April 6-12, 2007). Two Brevard communities reclaimed from criminals. The Florida Catholic. 
  37. ^ BCLA
  38. ^ Brevard Chapter, ACLU of Florida
  39. ^ Florida Today, June 21, 2009, Dog handler led to bad evidence: Calls grow for reinvestigating cases from 1980s, BY JOHN A. TORRES and JEFF SCHWEERS
  40. ^ Victim/Witness Services
  41. ^ Space Coast Marine Institute: Who are We?
  42. ^ Mission Statement
  43. ^ Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches
  44. ^ djj.state.fl.us
  45. ^ Brevard County Emergency Operation Center
  46. ^ Moore, Kimberly C. (November 25, 2007). Coast Guard calls for GPS, ID rules to keep track of boaters. Florida Today. 
  47. ^ Design & Construction Projects - This page Under Construction. Information may change.
  48. ^ Hurricane Jeanne left few homes unscathed in huge Florida mobile home park
  49. ^ Southern reaches bore brunt of winds
  50. ^ BREVARD LONG TERM RECOVERY COALITION
  51. ^ Torres, John A. (25 November 2009). "Shark bites foot of tourist, 11". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1B. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20091125/BREAKINGNEWS/91125003. 
  52. ^ Florida Today retrieved June 26, 2008
  53. ^ FLORIDA TODAY REPORT EXAMINES DANGERS OF INTERSTATE 95 -- LEGISLATORS DEMAND BARRIERS; OFFICIALS LOBBY FOR MORE TROOPERS
  54. ^ "Fire stations". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today Fact Book. 28 March 2009. pp. 26. 
  55. ^ "Fire Rescue Fire Stations". Brevard county. 2009-12-27. http://www.brevardcounty.us/fire_rescue/fr_ops_fire_stations.cfm. 
  56. ^ Neale, Rick (3 April 2009). "Police chase grants, but there's a catch". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. 
  57. ^ Nowlin, Klyne (April 2008). "Sheriff Faces Tough Challenges". Patrick AFB, Florida: Intercom (Military Officers Association of America). pp. 11. 
  58. ^ Project Lifesaver
  59. ^ These are often misidentified as "County" medical
  60. ^ Locations and Maps - Brevard County Health Department
  61. ^ Map of Brevard County
  62. ^ countygovt.brevard.fl.us
  63. ^ brevardcounty.us
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  67. ^ County Parks & Recreation
  68. ^ Directory of City Parks
  69. ^ Parks Referendum Projects
  70. ^ a b About the EEL Program
  71. ^ EEL Program on Flickr
  72. ^ SJRWMD Recreation Guide
  73. ^ Merritt Island Nat'l Wildlife Refuge
  74. ^ Canaveral Nat'l Seashore
  75. ^ Test, Linda (February 24, 2007). The Fact Book: Libraries near you. Florida Today. 
  76. ^ About Brevard County Libraries
  77. ^ "Cocoa". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 17 January 2010. pp. 2B. http://www.brevardcounty.com/Play/Recreation/cocoa-library-to-celebrate-20th-anniversary. 
  78. ^ List of Countries by Land Mass - Ranked by Area retrieved May 22, 2007
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  81. ^ Randy Lascody (202-03). "The Onset of the Wet and Dry Seasons in East Central Florida- A Subtropical Wet-Dry Climate?". National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office Melbourne, FL. NOAA. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/?n=wetdryseason. 
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  84. ^ Hurricanes
  85. ^ Questions on Thunderstorms and Severe Weather
  86. ^ TPC NHC ERIN 1995 PRELIMINARY REPORT
  87. ^ "Weather, politics shook things up". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 31 December 2009. pp. 1A. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20091231/NEWS01/912310317/1086/Stories+of+the+decade++Weather++politics+shook+things+up. 
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  95. ^ Waymer, Jim (3 May 2009). "Lovebugs like it (your car) hot". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. 
  96. ^ Florida Today retrieved September 23, 2009
  97. ^ Waymer, Jim (12 December 2009). "Manatees dying at a record pace". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20091212/NEWS01/912120314/Manatees-dying-at-a-record-pace. 
  98. ^ Winsten, Keith (20 February 2010). "Brevard Naturally column:Cold weather brings real snowbirds around". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 4D. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100220/LIFE/2200303/Brevard-Naturally--Cold-weather-brings-real-snowbirds-around. 
  99. ^ Peterson, Patrick (17 March 2010). "Slow Fla. recovery forecast". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 6C. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100317/BUSINESS/3170326/Slow-Fla.-recovery-forecast. 
  100. ^ Brevard County, Florida
  101. ^ Best, Keilani (20 December 2009). "Despite challenges, year provided hope and entertainment". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1E. 
  102. ^ McCarthy, John (14 February 2010). "Landlords feel heat in market". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100214/NEWS01/2140317/Landlords-feel-heat-in-market. 
  103. ^ Florida Today,March 22, 2007, page 7A
  104. ^ Florida Today, January 20, 2008, "New home permits in Brevard hit lowest level in 25 years. Staff authored
  105. ^ [6]
  106. ^ John McCarthy (2009-11-08). "$100K homes dominate the market". Florida Today. Florida Today. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20091108/BUSINESS/91108001&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL. 
  107. ^ Straub, Anne (31 May 2009). "Home prices undervalued". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1F. 
  108. ^ Staff and wire reports (March 21, 2008). Insurers strike homebuyers. Florida Today. 
  109. ^ Orlando economist Hank Fishkind. See next footnote
  110. ^ [7] retrieved January 10, 2009
  111. ^ [8] retrieved January 23, 2009
  112. ^ [9] retrieved February 4, 2009
  113. ^ "Foreclosure filings keep coming". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 30 March 2009. pp. 8C. 
  114. ^ Neale, Rick (February 26, 2010). From bad to worse [url=http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100226/NEWS0204/2260321/1227/news0204/23+000+now+expected+to+lose+jobs+after+shuttle+retirement. Florida Today. 
  115. ^ Peterson, Patrick (15 May 2009). "Florida Tech, KSC are technology assets". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 11A. 
  116. ^ a b Krol, Jenet (19 February 2010). "USDA declares Brevard County primary disaster area". Fort Pierce, Florida: Hometown News:The Beaches. pp. A4. http://www.myhometownnews.net/index.php?id=66890. 
  117. ^ Neal, Rick (24 February 2010). "County pays to preserve waterfront". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1B. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100224/NEWS01/2240330/1006/County+pays+to+preserve+Merritt+Island+waterfront. 
  118. ^ nbbd.com
  119. ^ "Brevard County Extension Classes 2010". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 2010. http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu. 
  120. ^ "Tourist dollar dreams". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 19 April 2009. pp. 1E. 
  121. ^ "More tourists may not mean more buying". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 19 April 2009. pp. 3E. 
  122. ^ [10] Florida's Space Coast
  123. ^ Waymer, Jim (7 March 2010). "The plan for sand". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. http://www.floridatoday.com/print/article/20100307/news01/3070320/Long-denied-renourishment-because-of-worm-beach-finally-may-get-bulked-up. 
  124. ^ "Tourism tax wanes". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 30 March 2009. pp. 8C. 
  125. ^ Bakancia, Donna (April 27, 2008). Brevard hotels strive to attract guests as summer nears and new facilities open. Florida Today. 
  126. ^ "Room occupancy could pick up". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 30 March 2009. pp. 8C. 
  127. ^ [11] Cocoa Main Street
  128. ^ [12] Melbourne Main Street
  129. ^ [13] BCA Cultural Events Calendar
  130. ^ [14] BCA Arts Map
  131. ^ [15] Grant Seafood Festival
  132. ^ Dowling, Lyn (January 14, 2008). IcePlex gets new owners. Florida Today. 
  133. ^ Price, Wayne T. (8 November 2009). "Forbes:Brevard's got bang for buck". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20091208/BUSINESS/912080318/Forbes-magazine-says-Brevard-one-of-America-s-best-places. 
  134. ^ [16] "Best Large Companies - 2009". Florida Trend.
  135. ^ [17] "Best Midsized Companies - 2009". Florida Trend.
  136. ^ [18] G. Scott Thomas (May 11, 2009). "San Jose leads as America's top tech center". bizjournals.
  137. ^ Price, Wayne T. (28 February 2010). "As Orlando slumps, so does Brevard". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 3E. 
  138. ^ Halvorson, Todd (May 12, 2007). KSC chief says more tech work needed. Florida Today. 
  139. ^ Price, Wayne T. (11 March 2010). "Jobless at 20-year high". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 6C. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100311/BUSINESS/3110309/Jobless-at-20-year-high. 
  140. ^ Price, Wayne T. (May 1, 2007). Brevard's ranking slips, but it's still a boomtown. Florida Today. 
  141. ^ McCarthy, John (17 January 2010). "Laboring over jobs". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1E. http://m.floridatoday.com/BETTER/news.jsp?key=289844. 
  142. ^ Space Coast Credit Union to Strengthen Its Online Banking with Corillian Consumer Banking
  143. ^ Sonnenberg, Maria (April 8, 2007). Union Label. Florida Today. 
  144. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  145. ^ Kim, Eun Kyung (December 17, 2007). Law's impact increases with age. Florida Today. 
  146. ^ Jenks, Susan (5 January 2010). "Devices help elderly remain in their homes". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today): pp. 4D. http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20101050306. 
  147. ^ Camodeca, Sara (4 February 2010). "Community kitchen by the numbers". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1B. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100204/NEWS01/2040324/1086/Kitchen+raising++dough+. 
  148. ^ See List of United States metropolitan areas.
  149. ^ Florida Today, March 22, 2007, page 1A
  150. ^ [19] retrieved March 6, 2009
  151. ^ Moody, R. Norman (15 February 2010). "Steppingstone for vets". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100215/NEWS01/2150309/1086/Melbourne+housing+facility+puts+homeless+on+path+to+independence. 
  152. ^ Neale, Rick (11 January 2010). "Grant money clears way for homeless count". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today): pp. 8A. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100111/NEWS01/1110309/1006/rss01. 
  153. ^ www.brevardalzheimers.org
  154. ^ SCEIC
  155. ^ Circles of Care: Physical Locations
  156. ^ 2-1-1 Helpline
  157. ^ Space Coast Center for Independent Living (SCCIL)
  158. ^ Health First
  159. ^ HARMONY FARMS, INC.
  160. ^ Parrish Medical Center
  161. ^ "Health care services". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 1 May 2009. pp. 10C. 
  162. ^ SMART: BRFSS City and County Health Risk Data Heavy drinkers are adult men having more than two drinks per day and adult women having more than one drink per day
  163. ^ Space Coast Surge
  164. ^ Grapefruit League,Florida Today, February 28, 2007
  165. ^ "Semi-pro football Space Coast Predators". Florida Today. Gannett. 14. http://www.floridatoday.com/content/blogs/fitness/2009/09/semi-pro-football-space-coast-predators.shtml. 
  166. ^ White, George (6 January 2010). "Youth basketball gets into full swing". South Beaches Breeze (Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today): pp. 3. 
  167. ^ White, George (13 January 2010). "Brevard gymnasts shine in Orlando competition". South Beaches Breeze (Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today): pp. 7. 
  168. ^ South Beaches Breeze (Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today): pp. various. 30 December 2009. 
  169. ^ Florida Today
  170. ^ Conductor forms county's third symphony retrieved July 12, 2009
  171. ^ Brevard Zoo Information

See also

External links

Government links and constitutional offices
Special districts
Education
Judicial branch
Local references

Coordinates: 28°18′N 80°42′W / 28.30°N 80.70°W / 28.30; -80.70


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Brevard County, Florida
Seal of Brevard County, Florida
Map
File:Map of Florida highlighting Brevard County.png
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the USA highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded March 14, 1844
Seat Titusville
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 34.60%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

476230
Website: countygovt.brevard.fl.us

Brevard County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida, along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. As of 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the population is 534,359[1]. Because of the presence of the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Brevard County is also known as the Space Coast.

The official county seat is Titusville; however nearly all county administration is performed from Viera6. There has been no official change to the county seat since 1894. Since Brevard County extends so far from north to south, it has more than one county courthouse and sheriff's office. The government services are not centralized in one location, as they are in many American counties.

It is possible to observe a Cape Canaveral rocket launch or NASA Space Shuttle launch, from anywhere in the county, as well as experience related structural shuddering throughout most of the county.

Contents

History

Humans have occupied the county for 12,000 years[1] and the Ais inhabited Brevard when the Spanish explorers discovered the area. Juan Ponce de León is said to have arrived in Florida at the shores of the future county in 1513.

The last naval battle of the American Revolutionary War was fought off the shores of Cape Canaveral in 1783, between the USS Alliance and the HMS Sybill.[2]

"Mosquito County" was formed while the state was still a territory, and on some maps was absorbed into an unofficial "Leigh Read" county between 1839 and 1845. This eventually became three new counties one of which was "Saint Lucia County" on March 14, 1844 - it was renamed Brevard County in 1855 after George Washington Brevard, who served as Florida State Comptroller from 1854 to 1860.[3] In 1905 St. Lucie County was created from the southern third of the county.[4]

In the 1800s, the Hernandez-Capron Trail passed through the county.

In the early 1900s the Union Cypress Railroad was built from present day Lipscomb Rd and University Blvd west to Deer Park.

On Christmas Day 1951, Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore (founders of the local NAACP and Civil Rights activists) were slain by a bomb, well before the "Civil Rights Era. "Florida's Attorney General has offered a reward and established a hotline to solve the slaying.[5] The Brevard justice center is named after them as a memorial.

In 1989, county administration was moved to a government complex at Viera, as part of a mid-county development project that included a Baseball Spring Training complex at Space Coast Stadium, and a master-planned community, known as Viera.

Law and Government

Elected county commissioners establish ordinances and policies for the county. The Commission appoints a County Manager, who carries out the will of the Commission.

A centrally located County Government Center in Viera houses the various county government branches. Departments include Housing and Human Services, Juvenile Justice, Public Safety, Public Works and Solid Waste Management.

Transparency in government is mandatory in Florida through the "Florida Sunshine" law. All meetings are public meetings. Politicians who discuss final action without the public present are liable to be indicted.[6] This has been in effect since 1967.[7]

In Brevard, county and school board meetings are televised. The public is present for all city and town council meetings.

Cities, towns and villages have varying reliance on services provided by the county government.

Real estate taxes for resident homeowners are less than 2% of the real value of the property.[8]

Brevard County government spends over $1.16 billion annually, exclusive of the municipalities.[9]

County taxes rose 26.5% in total per capita revenue from 2002-2007, and 49.8% in property tax per capita in the same time frame.[10]

Image:Brevard County Cumulative Percent Growth from 1997.png

The ex officio Space Coast League of Cities suggests legislation to its representatives.

The Brevard Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is run by senior locally elected municipal and county officials. This multi-jurisdictional agency decides where federal and state road money will be used. Local decision making is vital in solving local transportation problems.[11]

Various elected officials often hold voluntary meetings called "town meetings" to allow the public to express their concerns about issues that the officials should address.[12][13][14]

The Brevard County Housing Authority acquires and leases housing projects; investigates housing conditions; determines where slums and unsafe housing exist and investigates conditions dangerous to the public. It is managed by citizens appointed by the county commission.[15]

Brevard County has two unique election districts. One governs the Cape Canaveral Port; the other, the operation of the Sebastian Inlet Recreation Park.

The Canaveral Port Authority is an independent governmental agency created by the Florida Legislature. Five elected commissioners representing the five port regions are the governing body of Port Canaveral and have jurisdiction over all fiscal and regulatory policies and operations of the Port. The Authority sets policy and can levy taxes. They stopped levying an ad valorum tax on district residents, becoming only the second taxing authority in Florida to do so.[16]

The county has hired a federal lobbyist to represent its interests.[17]

Elected officials

County Commissioners:
District 1 - Truman Scarborough[18]
District 2 - Chuck Nelson[19]
District 3 - Helen Voltz
District 4 - Mary Bolin
District 5 - Jackie Colon
County Manager (appointed) - Peggy Busacca

The following are considered state officials but are elected and paid by the county:
Sheriff - J.R. "Jack" Parker
Clerk of the Courts - Scott Ellis
Property Appraiser - Jim Ford
Tax Collector - Rod Northcutt
Supervisor of Elections - Fred Galley
State Attorney - Norm Wolfinger
Public Defender - James F. Russo

In April, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement seized documents from the office of the county appraiser in connection with an investigation into illegally re-appraising properties at lower values.[20]

Justice

The county has centralized most county and circuit courts in Viera which try a variety of cases including felonies, misdemeanors, traffic, and domestic. An elected prosecutor tries cases for the public. Defendants can be represented through the auspices of the office of the elected Public Defender.

The County elects a sheriff, immediately responsible to the courts but also to the state for the enforcement of state laws.

Police chiefs, appointed by their cities or towns, perform the same function locally. There is no overlap in jurisdictions.

Many volunteers work alongside our paid professionals. Included are Citizens Offering Police Support (C.O.P.S.). C.O.P.S. volunteers work under the direction of the County Sheriff and play a part in our county's policing operations.[21]

The county jail is a modern facility which rapidly became overcrowded. When voters consistently turned down expanding the jail, the sheriff solved the problem by the construction of a large though inexpensive "hardened tent" to house non-violent offenders.

The county jail retains prisoners who have been sentenced to a year or less. Longer sentences must be served in state prisons, such as the facility in Sharpes for young men.

The Coast Guard, homeported at Port Canaveral, plays a major role in preventing illegal immigration, and is the major interdictor of drugs in the area.

Brevard has a Drug Court to reduce the prison population resulting from drug issues.[22] Drug Court programs adjudicate cases in which offenders are chronic substance abusers through an extensive supervision and treatment regimen. Drug Courts require offenders to acknowledge their problems with substances and provide him/her with tools and mechanisms to deal with their addictions, in an effort to reduce or eliminate future criminal conduct. The Drug Court program utilizes a team approach to serve the offenders and the team consists of a judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, treatment specialists, supervision officers, law enforcement agencies, corrections officials, and others. In exchange for successfully completing this intensive program, the Court may dismiss the charge, reduce the sentence, or offer a combination of other incentives. The police have estimated that 85% of drug dealers and prostitutes are themselves under the influence of drugs or are users trying to get money to purchase drugs.[23]

Melbourne led the nation in MDMA seizures in 2005.

Brevard Legal Aid provides general, civil and domestic violence legal services to low income persons.[24] Providers consist of five staff attorneys, three paralegals and 300 volunteer attorneys who offer pro bono assistance to referred eligible clients. Victims of domestic violence receive immediate need legal assistance with injunctions for protection through a partnership project with the Women’s Center and the domestic violence shelters.

There is a local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).[25] In May 2005, the ACLU accused local police and Sheriff's offices of attempting to intimidate protests by conducting surveillance and filming them. As a result, authorities stopped the practice except for good cause.

The State's Attorney's Office sponsors the Victim/Witness Services.[26] This provides advocates to victims of violent crime and their families. The advocate helps the family understand the legal system as they navigate through it. They also seek out financial assistance or counseling they might need. In 2005 they helped 8,448 victims in Brevard County.

Juvenile Justice

The Rainwater Center for Girls, a day program for girls ages 12-18 who are referred by the Department of Juvenile Justice, offers education, vocational training, counseling, life skills, cultural arts activities, recreation, and community service focused on the developmental needs of girls.

The Department of Juvenile Justice refers selected youths to the Space Coast Marine Institute (SCMI).[27] The SCMI is a six to eight month moderate security residential facility for juvenile boys ages 14-18 who have committed around 4-12 crimes. The young men arrive at the institute with little or no self-esteem and have experienced minimal positive interaction with adults and peers. The mission of SCMI is to address their by providing a scheduled curriculum of academic, vocational and mental health awareness activities. In addition to a personalized academic education, the daily schedule includes programs that build self-confidence and a greater understanding of the world around us.

Juvenile delinquents are sometimes remanded to the Brevard Sheriff's Ranch in Rockledge, a small ranch with buffalo and other animals requiring care.[28][29]

Reentry Brevard contracts with a contractor, often non-profit, to provide halfway services to youth conditionally released from prison.[30]

Public Safety

The Brevard Emergency Operations Center (EOC) provides Homeland Security for the Space Coast.[31]

The EOC coordinates information regarding the occurrence or threat of any disaster or emergency threatening the safety of the County residents. The EOC uses telephone, television, and the Emergency Services of the County Sheriff, the City Police and Fire Departments to provide coordinated management of all services for cataclysmic events such as Hurricanes, Floods and Terrorism.

The EOC has successfully conducted mass evacuation and relief of hundreds of thousands of residents from hurricanes since 1999 including two in 2004.

Cape Canaveral Port is under the direction of the Port Authority. Emphasis is placed on monitoring the content of containerized cargo on incoming ships, as well as underwater inspection of arriving ships that could be carrying explosive devices.

A Coast Guard Cutter, homeported at USCG Station Port Canaveral, Florida, stops potentially threatening commercial shipping prior to reaching the coast.

Evacuation routes are insufficient to handle the resulting heavy traffic westbound when an emergency is declared. The Metropolitan Planning Council directed that a major westbound route (US 192) be expanded to four lanes to accommodate the south Brevard population. This is more than half complete.[32]

In 2004, hurricanes destroyed one in every hundred homes in the South County area. Within two blocks of the beach nearly every building sustained some damage. Barefoot Bay, a mobile housing development, was essentially destroyed.[33] Winds tore off the roof of a shelter for special needs people in an elementary school.[34] Emergency Workers were forced to evacuate these people at the peak of the storm.

In September 2005, the county hosted an estimated 1,400 refugees from Hurricane Katrina.

Experience with hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne in 2004 prompted the formation of the Brevard Long Term Recovery Coalition, consisting of United Way of America officials and other emergency-needs experts.[35] They recorded the experiences Brevard had developed to restore services after the storms struck. In fall 2005, they passed information they had learned along to Gulf Coast planners attempting to recover from Katrina.

The media has estimated that 26,000 people who would need evacuation have not volunteered this information to Emergency Officials. In the past people have tended to postpone evacuation notification until after the causeways and bridges have been closed and no evacuation is possible.

Brevard County posts lifeguards at fourteen protected areas at various beach front parks. The county is 70 miles long and most areas cannot be protected. The scope of responsibility for the lifeguards include accident and drowning prevention, public education, citizen assist, search and recovery of lost children, basic life support, and swimmer rescue.[36]

Two Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas offer boating safety courses.

Highway fatalities have decreased nationally, but increased in Florida and locally. Officials are focused on setting and enforcing speed limits and widening the local turnpike, now underway. The flatness of the area prevent runoff during rainstorms and causes cars to hydroplane. The highway department takes deliberate measures to re-engineer roads to avoid hydroplaning.[37]

Project Lifesaver can tag at-risk adults and children with locator devices. This allows guardians to track wandering people with Alzheimers, dementia, autism, etc.[38]

Public Health

The state[39] has three public health locations in the county which give immunization shots, provide health information, and track and report on serious diseases or conditions, like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, encephalitis, and West Nile.[40]

The area was once named "Mosquito County."[41] Mosquitos carry serious diseases, including encephalitis. Brevard County Mosquito Control reduces the mosquito population by many means including adulticiding, larviciding, source reduction, aquatic weed control, waste tire abatement, disease monitoring (of chickens and mosquito-susceptible animals,) environmental monitoring, and biological control of mosquitoes.[42]

Brevard is among the top 100 counties in the US for asbestos-related deaths. Government officials have addressed this issue.

While no one has ever died in Brevard, animal rabies is prevalent, often carried in this area by racoons.[43] Public announcements and public awareness appear to have prevented fatalities.

In 2005, a woman died from flesh-eating bacteria (Necrotizing fasciitis) that she contracted from the St. Johns River. Two or three cases of flesh-eating bacteria are typically reported in the county each year. Officials caution against exposing open sores to this river.

Libraries

The county centrally controls all 20 libraries in the county.[44] There are 900,000 volumes.[45] One library card is valid at all locations, and materials are loaned between locations through a daily courier service and outside our libraries via Inter-Library Loan. Periodical subscriptions stand at about 2,250. The libraries own over 18,000 videos and 21,000 sound recordings. Personal computers for public use are hooked up on broadband in all libraries.

Social Services

Main article: Brevard County Social Services

Brevard County tries to provide a number of unique services to help the aged, juveniles, the physically and mentally handicapped, and minorities.

Politics

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic Other
2004 57.7% 41.6% 0.8%
2000 52.8% 44.6% 1.8%
1996 45.1% 41.2% 13.6%
1992 43.2% 31.2% 25.6%
1988 70.3% 28.8% 0.9%

Geography

Geographic Features

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,032 km² (1,557 sq mi). 2,637 km² (1,018 sq mi) of it is land and 1,395 km² (539 sq mi) of it (34.60%) is water, primarily the Atlantic Ocean, the St. John's River and the Indian River Lagoon. The county is larger in area than Samoa and nearly the same size, and population, as Cape Verde.[46] It is one third again as large as Rhode Island.

Located half-way between Jacksonville and Miami, Brevard County is an extra-long county, extending over 70 miles from north to south, but only a handful of miles inland from the seacoast at any point. In marshes in the western part of this county is the source of the St. Johns River.

The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway along the eastern edge of Brevard County is the major waterway route in Brevard County.

Brevard County is the sole county in the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Climate

Climate surprisingly varies in this very long (72 mile) county, particularly in winter. In north county, northern flora can thrive, like deciduous trees. In the south county, sub-tropical plants can grow, such as royal palm trees.

Brevard has subtropical climate, with a distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry lasts from December through May. The wet from June through November.

January is the coldest month with an average low of 50.7 degrees Fahrenheit; average high 71 F. The warmest months are July and August with average highs of 90 F; average lows 72.2. The driest month is April with 1.6" rainfall; the wettest September, 6.6".[47]

Florida is a large subtropical state that experiences hurricanes. Although Brevard county is located along Florida's eastern peninsula, it is less frequently impacted by direct hurricane landfalls than portions of the Panhandle or South Florida. There are two predominant reasons for this. First, westward moving tropical systems often reach an atmospheric ridge weakness in the Bermuda High by the time they approach Florida at a latitude as northerly as Brevard County. Combined with frontal systems that exit the United States' East Coast, many of these tropical systems are steered northwest and eventually curve northward offshore Florida's East Central Coast. A second reason is that hurricanes landfalling along the Florida peninsular Gulf Coast often weaken to a tropical storm by the time they move northeast to affect Brevard County (with some exceptions, such as 2004's Charley).

Although Brevardians may refer to past storms as "hurricanes," by the time they strike here, some of them may have subsided to tropical storms or depressions. Because of the threat of storm surge, the beach community on the barrier island is often required to evacuate well in advance of the storm.[48]

Tornados spinning off from even small storms can result in severe damage in small areas.[49]

Five hurricanes have directly affected Brevard since 1950: David (September 3, 1979), Hurricane Erin (August 2, 1995) - made landfall near Sebastian Inlet and caused mostly minor wind damage and more extensive flooding countywide, Charley (August 13, 2004) - Caused damage in Titusville and North Brevard. Frances (September 3, 2004) - Struck neighboring Vero Beach, Indian River County directly and caused widespread wind damage throughout Brevard,[50] Jeanne (September 26, 2004) - Struck Vero, directly, following very nearly the same path as Frances. The latter two storms caused widespread damage in South Brevard. Slightly more than half of one percent (0.6%) of houses were lost.[51]

The following storms did not affect Brevard County with hurricane force winds: Floyd (September 15, 1999),[52] and Irene (October 16, 1999).[53]

Environment

Main article: Brevard County Environment

Brevard County contains the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. the Canaveral National Seashore, the St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge, and the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Brevard works together with the federal and state government to help preserve these wetlands, coastal areas and controlling pollution.

Transportation

Main article: Brevard County Transportation

Brevard County has transportation available in the usual modes for a coastal county - highways, shipping, and airlines.

Adjacent counties

Fauna

Love bug season occurs in May and September. Motorists, usually, encounter swarms of these while driving during a four week period.[54]

Economy

Personal Income

As of the census of 2000:

  • Median income for a family - $47,571
  • Median income for males - $36,542
  • Median income for females - $24,632
  • Per capita income - $21,484
  • Median income for a household - $40,099
  • In 2005, the median income for a household had risen to $43,281[55]

The following were below the poverty line in 2000:

  • Families - 6.80%
  • Total population - 9.50%
  • Under age 18 - 13.00%
  • Age 65 or older - 6.50%

Housing

The county's median home price reached a high in 2005 and is down over 18% to $202,500.[56]

Brevard expects to have 100,000-300,000 more people by 2020, an increase of 60%. This offers a challenge to local government to keep infrastructure ahead of growth, while preserving the environment.

Based on only the mid-point of the growth estimates, if Brevard has 200,000 new residents by 2020, taxpayers will have to meet a list of new requirements, including: 400 more police officers and 362 more firefighters; 25 million more gallons per day of drinking water; 1,334 more teachers; 600 more jail beds.

Rockledge is hoping to revitalize Barton Boulevard.

Three communities have either decided or are considering placing electric lines most vulnerable to high winds, underground despite the high cost.

Cape Canaveral and Satellite Beach have declared a moratorium on converting commercially zoned areas to residential.

The company developing West Viera is seeking state permission and county acquiescence to create a self-governing board that could raise taxes or sell bonds to pay for roads, water lines, pumping stations and other infrastructure needed to support the construction of 16,500 houses, apartments and condominiums. The company is attempting to prove that development can fund itself.

Industry

The Brevard economy is driven by Trade, Transportation and Utilities (18%), Professional and Business Services (17%), Total government (15%), Education and Health (14%), Manufacturing (12%), Leisure and hospitality (10%), Construction (6%), Financial (4%).

In 2005, Inc. Magazine voted the Space Coast as the best place to do business in Florida and sixth in the country.

In 2004, Brevard County ranked 13th out of 318 largest counties in the US for increase in the number of jobs.

Port Canaveral is the world's busiest cruise port. It is served by seven cruise lines. They have six major cruise terminals. There is 750,000 SF of covered freight storage capacity. It handled 4 million tons of cargo in 2004. The port boosts Brevard's economy by $500 million annually.

The county ranks 17th for per capita income, out of Florida's 67 counties.

American City Business Journals rated Brevard 7th for quality of life out of 67.

For 2004, Brevard County moved from 70 to 31 out of the top 200 metropolitan areas "Best Performing." This improvement was driven mainly by job growth.

Two hospitals are among the top five private employers in the county.

A long term concern is the probable re-assignment of thousands of space coast workers when the shuttle is discontinued in 2010.

Two locally headquartered builders, Mercedes and Holiday are among the top 30 in the nation. Mercedes had $1 billion in sales in 2004.

The Cocoa Redevelopment Center works on programs to improve housing in the city's older areas.

Another organization, Main Street Cocoa, works toward restoring business sites in the historic area, known as "Cocoa Village." The restored area has become a tourist attraction and an economic magnet.

Inc. magazine has selected two local small companies as among the fastest growing in the country over the past 3 years - Applied Global Technology (nearly 100% annually) and Stops (nearly 200% annually).

Military

Military installations in Brevard County include Patrick Air Force Base, near Satellite Beach, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center, and the U.S. Air Force Malabar Test Facility on Minton Road in suburban Palm Bay.

The Navy maintains a Trident turning basin at Port Canaveral for Ballistic Missile Submarines. The Naval Ordnance Test Unit (NOTU) tests weapons on these subs which arrive at the rate of one a month. The 2005 Base closures included realigning NOTU out of state. However, the community was successful in getting this decision revoked. Much credit goes to the Space Coast Defense Alliance, a branch of the Economic Development Council.

CCAFS houses the Air Force Space & Missile Museum that is in the launch control bunker of Launch Pad 26 where many unmanned rockets were launched early in the U.S. space program including the Explorer, one of the first space craft placed in earth orbit.

The Cape Canaveral Navy League council supports the Sea Services by adopting ships and units of the Navy and Coast Guard. It also provides a means for civilians to socialize with the officers and crew of allied Navies when they visit port.

Northrup Grumman develops the military JSTARS electronics surveillance system used in all major US conflicts since 1990.

The USS Brevard was a World War II Alamosa-class naval cargo ship that was decommissioned shortly after the war.

Agriculture

23% of Brevard County is agricultural-usable for citrus, raising cattle or horses. Cattle ranches include the Deseret and Duda Ranches; citrus growers include Victory Groves and Harvey's Indian River Groves.

The county ranked 21 out of 24 Florida counties in the shipment of gift fruit.

The volunteer |4H clubs focus on youth development, sometimes using animals as a focus. There are 40 4-H related clubs in the county including livestock- and pet-related and after school clubs.[57]

Tourism

Tourism brings $1 billion annually to Brevard.

Brevard competes with other Florida areas for tourists and a number of organizations help promote the area.

The Tourism Development Office consists of indirectly elected officials. It is funded by a small tax on tourist accommodations. The money is spent on beach improvements, visitor information centers, promotion and advertising, the Brevard Zoo, additional beach improvements and the Space Coast Stadium.

The mission of Keep Brevard Beautiful (KBB) is to motivate and educate business, school, group and individual partnerships to reduce litter, recycle, landscape, and beautify for the environmental and economic benefit of Brevard County. Among other tasks, KBB schedules and oversees volunteer cleanups four times a year along roads, parks and beaches.

Brevard has five judged art festivals annually attracting tens of thousands of people to art displays. Most festivals are held in the spring or fall when many tourists can attend.

Due to extensive publicity and hard work by tourism agencies, Brevard experienced the best October and November 2004 than ever, despite widespread hurricane damage and loss of five beachside hotels. Four of these hotels were restored by 2006.

For Brevard County businesses, fishing tournaments, such as the Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series tournament in August, bring more than $2.5 million a year in direct spending and much more in indirect spending. Tournaments provide a steady revenue source for the county and local businesses.

In September 2005, FEMA diverted one cruise line from Canaveral (under contract) to shelter Hurricane Katrina evacuees. However, this had a negative influence on local tourism.

The Globe Sebastian Inlet Pro surfing contest, on the county line, draws 16,000 visitors the second weekend in January.

Competitiveness

The Milken institute ranked Brevard number one, out of 200 largest metropolitan areas, in overall job growth for 2005.

Forbes magazine ranked Melbourne 2nd out of 150 metropolitan areas in the US, for the percentage of the population that are engineers, 6.6%, just ahead of Silicon Valley.

Brevard Count's unemployment rate fell to a record low 2.8% in December 2005.

In 2006, Forbes magazine named Harris Corporation, headquartered in Brevard, to its "Platinum 400" List.

The Technological Research and Development Authority, based in the Space Coast, delivers technologies to schools and small businesses throughout the State of Florida. They obtain this information through strategic alliances with NASA, the federal government, the aerospace industry and state partners. They also sponsor a business incubator at the Melbourne Airport.

The National Association of Realtors reported that existing homes prices in Brevard rose 33% annually the third quarter of 2005, the sixth highest metropolitan area in the nation (out of 147). There was a slight decrease in existing home prices the last quarter of 2005.

In October, 2005, Brevard realized that the average owner of a house could not afford that house at current prices! The same month, the sale price of existing homes dropped by 8%.

In January 2005, CNN/Money ranked the homes in "Palm Bay"[58] as "49% overvalued" and within 10% of the most overvalued homes in the United States.

In 2005, the Sunrise Bank of Cocoa Beach became the first bank in the state to have a mobile branch.

The City of Palm Bay made the finals for "All American City" for three years 2003-2005.

Labor

Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is the largest employer in the county with 15,000 contractors and civil servants.[59] While there is concern about the new generation of space vehicles requiring 1/3 fewer workers, about that number are eligible for retirement by 2011.

Unions represented at KSC include American Federation of Government Workers, International Association of Machinists and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Brevard County Teachers are represented by the Brevard Federation of Teachers (AFT).

In 2005, the Next Generation Consulting for Leadership Brevard, a leadership development organization for local business and civic groups, and Brevard Tomorrow commissioned a survey of people 21-44. Basically, these people often found the area "boring," mainly because it is family-friendly at the expense of being singles-friendly. While this may have labor repercussions later, currently business is having no problems hiring.

The county had an unemployment rate of 3.5% in August 2005, near a record low.

In early 2005, Forbes ranked the area 27th in job growth out of 150 metropolitan areas in the country. The county ranked 18th in the nation for mid-sized areas in 2006.[60]

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey said the hiring outlook in Brevard for the last quarter of 2005 was the 19th-best in the nation among the 470 communities participating in the survey.

2004 Hurricane recovery has helped the area achieve high employment.

Banking

The Space Coast Credit Union is the largest locally-based financial institution in Brevard and the largest credit union in the state with assets of $1.44 billion.[61][62]

Communication and Utilities

The area code for the entire county was made "321" in 1999: as in the "3...2...1... Lift Off!" countdown sequence.

Two power plants in Brevard generate electricity from petroleum delivered by barge. The output from one plant (Florida Power and Light) is used locally, the other by Orlando.

Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were in the county:

  • People - 476,230 people
  • Households - 198,195
  • Families - 132,394
  • population density - 181/km² (468/sq mi)
  • Housing units - 222,072
  • Average housing density - 84/km² (218/sq mi)

The total population is larger than America's smallest state, Wyoming.

The racial makeup of the county was:

There were 198,195 households out of which 26.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.20% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.00% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 19.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.30 males.

9.50% of the population and 6.80% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.00% of those under the age of 18 and 6.50% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

In 2005, the census bureau estimated that the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, which consists solely of Brevard County, stood 91st in population out of 263.[63]

In 2006, the county stood 10th in population in the state, out of 67.[64] The increase in population from 2000 was 11.8%, less than the Florida average of 12.7%.

Religion

A pastor spearheaded the construction of three high rise buildings with 500 units housing the needy elderly.[65]

A county-wide ministry conducts retreats for young prisoners.[66]

Church festivals are sponsored by various religious groups including Jewish and Greek Orthodox.[67][68] Thousands attend.

A Roman Catholic church was recognized as one of the best in the country.[69] The same parish was awarded the national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, and Blue Ribbon No Child Left Behind School of Excellence and it principal recognized as distinguished.[70]"[71][72] The same parish partners with a predominately black Baptist church to build a new Habitat for Humanity house about every 18 months. The same parish has built two schools in rural Haiti.

Various religious groups have demonstrated near the local abortion clinic forcing it to move twice since its founding in 1977.

150 members of local Mormon churches volunteered to help after the damage done by Hurricane Katrina. Volunteers brought their own food and water. 3,000 Mormons from outside the county came to help out after Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004.

Health

The Space Coast Early Intervention Center is a nationally recognized not-for-profit pre-school and therapeutic center that offers care and aids with the development of small children with special needs.[73] Children are treated and educated with the specific goal of mainstreaming children diagnosed with the following into public school: Down syndrome, William's syndrome, Rett syndrome, Cerebral palsy, Autism, P-4 Deletion syndrome, PDD and Apert syndrome as well as children with visual, speech and hearing delays.

Health Outreach Prevention & Education (HOPE) is a network of community partners working together to provide care for people without insurance, and for children with special needs. This network includes hospitals.

Brevard introduced (2005-6) a Federally approved experimental Medicade program which puts volunteering 60+ years olds in an HMO-like organization in order to save money.

The non-profit Circles of Care provides mental health programs to Brevard.[74]

211 Brevard responds to people in crisis and/or needing information about community resources.[75]

Space Coast Center for Independent Living offers over-all services for individuals with all types of disabilities: Peer support, advocacy, skills training, accessibility surveys, support groups, transportation, specialized equipment and sign language interpreter coordination services.[76] Additional program for high school students for career development.

Health First is the largest healthcare provider in the county consisting of three not-for-profit hospitals—Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, and Palm Bay Community Hospital in Palm Bay. Besides hospitalization, services include outpatient centers; the county’s only trauma center; home care; specialized programs for cancer, diabetes, heart, stroke, and rehabilitative services; central Brevard's largest medical group; three fitness centers; and Medicare Advantage, commercial POS, and commercial HMO health plans. Health First tries to integrate quality healthcare services with state-of-the-art technology.[77]

Harmony Farms runs “Horses for the Handicapped," a therapeutic riding program located on the Duda Ranch in Viera.[78]

Cities and Towns



Incorporated

Unincorporated

Former place names

Main article: Former place names in Brevard County, Florida

There are place names currently used, or used at one time by the USGS. Some are early developments, others are former stations along the main line of the Florida East Coast Railway. Several of these disappeared when Kennedy Space Center took over their area.

Education

The Space Coast contains a higher percentage of college graduates than any of the other 66 Florida counties.

Undergraduate and Graduate

College education in Brevard County is provided by the Brevard Community College and Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

The Brevard Community College (BCC) is a two-year college, which has multiple campuses. 13,600 students attend BCC with sites in Melbourne, Palm Bay, Titusville and Cocoa. A modern planetarium and observatory is located on the Cocoa campus.

The Palm Bay branch of BCC offers technical and vocational training for Associate Degrees and Certificates for entering the workforce, improving professional skills, and developing new competence.

Other courses include a two year nursing degree and certification by the "Police Academy" which is a basic requirement for employment in law enforcement in Brevard County.

Florida Tech (Florida Institute of Technology) is a university which offers Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees, specializing in the sciences. 4,400 students are enrolled on site, of which half are at the graduate level. About 26% are from abroad. It is located in Melbourne.

The University of Central Florida has a branch on the Community College Cocoa Campus. Additionally it operates the Florida Solar Energy Center.[79]

Other colleges include Barry University,[80][81] Columbia College,[82] Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Metropolitan University-Melbourne, Keiser College and Webster College.

Elementary and Secondary

Main article: Brevard Public Schools

For 2005, the students had higher SAT scores than any other Florida School District.

The superintendent of schools was selected as best in state by his peers in 2005.

For 2005, the District has a higher percentage (9%) of National Board Certified Teachers than any of the other largest ten districts in the state.

In 2005, Brevard is first in Florida in the number of "A"-rated schools in the 10 largest districts.

AARP ranked the school district No. 8 on the 2005 list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. It was the only public-school system and the highest-ranked Florida employer on the national list.

In 2005, Brevard led the state in science in fifth and 11th grade assessments.

In 2006, Brevard students took almost a third of all prizes at the state science fair, including the most first-place awards.[83] This occurred in 2007, as well.

A team consisting of Brevard high school students stood second in the world in the robotics world championship in 2007.[84]

In 2006, the District had 5 of the top 10 Elementary Schools in the state, according to the Florida Dept. of Ed.

Brevard is in the top ten in the state in each of the 22 areas of assessment on the standard statewide exams given students each year.

In 2005 & 2006, Newsweek ranked Cocoa Beach High School among the top 100 US high schools (out of 21,000) in part due to its International Baccalaureate program.

10th graders led the state in the writing exam in 2006.

The state has ranked 15 of the elementary schools as tops in the state including a Title I South Lake, a former "D"-ranked school!

Brevard leads the state in the number of high school students dual enrolled in secondary and college courses.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is provided by the Brevard Community College, and the University of Central Florida.

Life long learning is offered by the Community College at four branches throughout the county as well as evening courses at high schools.

The County School Board sponsors BPS-TV. Those interested can study for the General Education Development exam, learn a foreign language, or learn about the arts. From midnight to 6 a.m., the station's Classic Arts Showcase offers ballet, jazz and classical music programming.

Sports teams

Minor league baseball

Brevard County is the home of the Brevard County Manatees.

Major league baseball

The Washington Nationals hold their spring training at Space Coast Stadium in Viera.They play about 14 games against other professional teams locally in March as part of the "Grapefruit" League.[85]

Professional Basketball

The Brevard Blue Ducks are a USBL team playing their home schedule at the Clemente Center at Florida Tech. They have changed their home city more times than any other USBL team. They have been in Brevard County for five years.

Media

Newspapers

Florida Today is the major daily newspaper serving Melbourne, Brevard County and the Space Coast region of Florida. It is owned by the media conglomerate Gannett. The monthly newspaper, El Playero, serves the Spanish-speaking population of the Space Coast. The weekly Home Town News is a free newspaper, supported by advertising, that has versions in other Florida counties. It presents local news.

The Brevard Technical Journal is the industry monthly newspaper for business management, engineering, purchasing, manufacturing, and staff. It features news & features about the business and the science of technology in Brevard County - Florida's Space & Technology Coast.

Radio

See Template:Melbourne Radio.

Television

Independent stations include:

  • Channel 9 BPS-TV
  • Channel 43 WOTF-TV Univision Spanish Language
  • Channel 68 WBCC Brevard Community College Education

Arts and Culture

The King Center, seating 2000, features locally produced and former Broadway shows, ballet, and symphony. Several different performances are scheduled each week.

The Brevard Symphony Orchestra and the Space Coast Ballet offer shows performed by professionals. Both have encountered obstacles to production: fundraising, recruiting skilled professionals and rehearsing them. For the Ballet, integrating a large number of qualified amateurs into their company for performances.

The Brevard Zoo is a 56 acre facility.[86]

Ballet

The Space Coast Ballet incorporates professional principal dancers and instructors together with many roles for local senior talent as well as roles for students. They annually stage the "Nutcracker."

Classical Music

The Brevard Symphony Orchestra has been bringing the classics, performed by professionals, to the Space Coast for over fifty years.

The Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra provides an opportunity for musically qualified students to be coached by professionals from the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and perform with other qualified novices.

Museums

The Space Coast has a number of museums from the rocket exhibitions at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex, and the Air Force Space & Missile Museum, to local museums and others of unique character such as the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum, and the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame Museum.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers an educational look at the accomplishments of America's space program. A visitor can have a close look at the launch pads, first built for NASA's Apollo missions and presently used by the Space Shuttle fleet. The Observation Gantry near Launch Complex 39 offers a view of the Space Shuttle launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the crawler-way over which the rockets are taken to the pad. The Saturn V Complex displays the largest vehicle ever flown.

The Astronaut Hall of Fame is the only facility in the nation dedicated to telling the stories of American astronauts and features the world's largest collection of astronauts' personal effects.

The U.S. Spacewalk Walk of Fame commemorates Kennedy Space Center's history with a museum, monuments and programs.

The Brevard Museum of History & Natural Science features the remains of the "Windover Man", the oldest human remains found on the North American continent and a re-creation of the Windover Dig, a 'wet' archaeological site. A visitor may see how Native Americans lived and Florida pioneers survived.

Honor America runs the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum. This houses a replica of the Liberty Bell, historical documents, and patriotic memorabilia. Items are permanent reminders of our nation's history, as well as a memorial to military veterans.

Notes and References

  1. ^ Vera Zimmerman. THE FIRST SETTLERS, 10,000 BC to 1820 retrieved August 11, 2007
  2. ^ Sonnenberg, Maria (January 22, 2007). Group pays homage to the past. Florida Today, page 3B. 
  3. ^ But see List of Florida county name etymologies#B for a different opinion
  4. ^ St. Lucie County Courthouse Retrieved July 3, 2007
  5. ^ Crist to Review 1951 Bombing of Harry Moore Home
  6. ^ FAQ's on Florida's Open Government Laws
  7. ^ Courts key to strength of Florida's Sunshine law. Masthead, The, Summer 2002 by Kaney, Jon, Fluker, Krys.
  8. ^ brevardpropertyappraiser.com
  9. ^ brevard.fl.us
  10. ^ Joslin, J. (April 22, 2007). Revenue, population both grow. Florida Today. 
  11. ^ Brevard MPO Home Page
  12. ^ cityofcocoabeach.com
  13. ^ County Commission election draws near
  14. ^ indialantic.com
  15. ^ http://brfamha.org/about.htm
  16. ^ portcanaveral.org
  17. ^ Florida Today
  18. ^ The League of Women Voters of the Space Coast
  19. ^ http://brevardelections.org/county.htm
  20. ^ Torres, John A. (April 20, 2007). FDLE seizes appraiser's files. Florida Today. 
  21. ^ tarleton.edu
  22. ^ Seventeenth Judicial Circuit
  23. ^ Dodson, Laura (April 6-12, 2007). Two Brevard communities reclaimed from criminals. The Florida Catholic. 
  24. ^ BCLA
  25. ^ Brevard Chapter, ACLU of Florida
  26. ^ brevardcounty.us
  27. ^ Space Coast Marine Institute: Who are We?
  28. ^ Mission Statement
  29. ^ Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches
  30. ^ djj.state.fl.us
  31. ^ Brevard County Emergency Operation Center
  32. ^ Design & Construction Projects - This page Under Construction. Information may change.
  33. ^ Hurricane Jeanne left few homes unscathed in huge Florida mobile home park
  34. ^ Southern reaches bore brunt of winds
  35. ^ BREVARD LONG TERM RECOVERY COALITION
  36. ^ countygovt.brevard.fl.us
  37. ^ FLORIDA TODAY REPORT EXAMINES DANGERS OF INTERSTATE 95 -- LEGISLATORS DEMAND BARRIERS; OFFICIALS LOBBY FOR MORE TROOPERS
  38. ^ Project Lifesaver
  39. ^ These are often misidentified as "County" medical
  40. ^ Locations and Maps - Brevard County Health Department
  41. ^ Map of Brevard County
  42. ^ countygovt.brevard.fl.us
  43. ^ brevardcounty.us
  44. ^ Test, Linda (February 24, 2007). The Fact Book: Libraries near you. Florida Today. 
  45. ^ About Brevard County Libraries
  46. ^ List of Countries by Land Mass - Ranked by Area retrieved May 22, 2007
  47. ^ Space Coast Visitor's Guide,Florida Today,2007 Winter/Sprint Edition
  48. ^ Hurricanes
  49. ^ http://www.wxdude.com/Severe.html
  50. ^ http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995erin.html
  51. ^ bebr.ufl.edu
  52. ^ Hurricane Floyd Preliminary Summary
  53. ^ Hurricane Irene Preliminary Summary 10-16-99
  54. ^ Biology of the "Love-Bug", Plecia Nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae) accessed September 21, 2007
  55. ^ Brevard County, Florida
  56. ^ Florida Today,March 22, 2007, page 7A
  57. ^ nbbd.com
  58. ^ perhaps referring to all of the Space Coast
  59. ^ Halvorson, Todd (May 12, 2007). KSC chief says more tech work needed. Florida Today. 
  60. ^ Price, Wayne T. (May 1, 2007). Brevard's ranking slips, but it's still a boomtown. Florida Today. 
  61. ^ Space Coast Credit Union to Strengthen Its Online Banking with Corillian Consumer Banking
  62. ^ Sonnenberg, Maria (April 8, 2007). Union Label. Florida Today. 
  63. ^ See List of United States metropolitan areas.
  64. ^ Florida Today, March 22, 2007, page 1A
  65. ^ Trinity Towers, Inc. retrieved August 10, 2007
  66. ^ About Us
  67. ^ FEDERATION SERVICES
  68. ^ Central Florida festival schedule
  69. ^ Paul Wilkes. Excellent Catholic Parishes: The Guide to Best Places and Practices. ISBN 978-0809139927.
  70. ^ ed.gov
  71. ^ St. Raphael school wins national award
  72. ^ Paige Announces 64 National Distinguished Elementary and Middle School Principals
  73. ^ SCEIC
  74. ^ Circles of Care: Physical Locations
  75. ^ 2-1-1 Helpline
  76. ^ Space Coast Center for Independent Living (SCCIL)
  77. ^ Health First
  78. ^ HARMONY FARMS, INC.
  79. ^ fsec.ucf.edu
  80. ^ barry.edu
  81. ^ Brevard County Schools
  82. ^ Columbia College–Patrick Air Force Base
  83. ^ Downs, Megan (April 13, 2007). Brevard's the county to beat at science fair. Florida Today. 
  84. ^ Downs, Megan (April 19, 2007). Students place 2nd in robotics. Florida Today. 
  85. ^ Grapefruit League,Florida Today, February 28,2007
  86. ^ Brevard Zoo Information

See also

External links

Government links and constitutional offices
Special districts
Education
Judicial branch
Local references

Coordinates: 28°18′N 80°42′W / 28.30, -80.70


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Simple English

Brevard County, Florida
Map

Location in the state of Florida

Florida's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded March 14, 1844
Seat Titusville
Largest City Titusville
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,557 sq mi (4,033 km²)
1,018 sq mi (2,637 km²)
539 sq mi (1,396 km²), 34.60%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

476,230
469/sq mi (181/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.brevardcounty.us

Brevard County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida, and was formed on March 14, 1844. As of 2000, the population is 476,230. Brevard County's seat is Titusville.

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