- Brevard County, Florida
Infobox U.S. County
county = Brevard County
state = Florida
March 14, 1844
seat = Titusville | area_total_sq_mi =1557
area percentage = 34.60%
census yr = 2000
pop = 476230
density_km2 = 181
web = countygovt.brevard.fl.us
Brevard County is a county located in the
U.S. stateof Florida, along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. As of 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the population is 534,359. [ [http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/tables/CO-EST2006-01-12.xls Census Bureau statistics on Excel] ] Influenced by the presence of the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Brevard County is also known as the Space Coast.
county seathas been located 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.
It is possible to observe a Cape Canaveral
rocket launchor NASA Space Shuttle launch from anywhere in the county, as well as experience related structural shuddering throughout most of the county.
Humans have occupied the county for 12,000 years [Vera Zimmerman. [http://www.rootsweb.com/~flbreva2/History/10K-1820.html THE FIRST SETTLERS, 10,000 BC to 1820] retrieved August 11, 2007] and the Ais inhabited Brevard when the Spanish explorers discovered the area.
Juan Ponce de Leónis said to have arrived in Floridaat the shores of the future county in 1513.
The last naval battle of the
American Revolutionary Warwas fought off the shores of Cape Canaveralin 1783, between the USS Alliance and the HMS Sybill. [cite book | author = Sonnenberg, Maria |title = Group pays homage to the past | publisher = Florida Today, page 3B | date = January 22, 2007]
"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 Florida State Comptroller from 1854 to 1860. [cite web
title=Brevard County Maps
work=Exploring Florida History
University of Florida
accessdate=2008-02-05] In 1905 St. Lucie County was created from the southern third of the county. [ [http://www.jud10.org/Courthouses/StLucie/st_lucie.htm St. Lucie County Courthouse] Retrieved
July 3, 2007]
In the 1800s, the Hernandez-Capron Trail passed through the county. And 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. [ [http://myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/D0111AB6846E236585256F710050D2A2 Crist to Review 1951 Bombing of Harry Moore Home] ] 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.
In 2008, Tropical Storm Fay dropped a record convert|21|in of rain northwest of Melbourne. The storm caused widespread flooding in the south county area.
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.
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. [ [http://countygovt.brevard.fl.us/budgetoffice/budget/pdf/BUDGET-SUMMARIES/SUMMARY-BY-CATEGORY.pdf brevard.fl.us] Dead link|date=November 2007] Real estate taxes for resident homeowners are less than 2% of the real value of the property. [ [http://brevardpropertyappraiser.com/images/pdf/2006millage.pdf brevardpropertyappraiser.com] ] The total taxable real estate base was expected to be $37.9 billion in 2008. [cite book | author = Dean, James |title = Tax base may fall by $3B | publisher = Florida Today | date = April 26, 2008] 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. [cite book | author = Joslin, J. |title = Revenue, population both grow | publisher = Florida Today | date = April 22, 2007]
ex officioSpace 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. [ [http://www.brevardmpo.com Brevard MPO Home Page] ]
Various elected officials call unofficial "town meetings" to allow the public to express their concerns about issues that the officials should address. [ [http://www.cityofcocoabeach.com/news/Current_Newsletter/2003/MAY%2003%20CURRENT.pdf cityofcocoabeach.com] ] [ [http://www.nbbd.com/Beacon/archives/040818/index.html County Commission election draws near] ] [ [http://www.indialantic.com/contents/news_let/2007/Rec02_07.htm indialantic.com] Dead link|date=November 2007]
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. [ [http://brfamha.org/about.htm About ] ]
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. [ [http://www.portcanaveral.org/portinfo/portauthority.htm portcanaveral.org] Dead link|date=November 2007]
The county has hired a federal lobbyist to represent its interests. [ [http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070320/NEWS01/703200331/1010/news0302 Florida Today] Dead link|date=November 2007]
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 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.
District 1 - Truman Scarborough [ [http://www.geocities.com/lwv-spacecoast/InTheCounty.html The League of Women Voters of the Space Coast] ]
District 2 - Chuck Nelson [ [http://brevardelections.org/county.htm County Government Officials ] ]
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 2007, the
Florida Department of Law Enforcementseized documents from the office of the county appraiser in connection with an investigation into illegally re-appraising properties at lower values. [cite book | author = Torres, John A. |title = FDLE seizes appraiser's files | publisher = Florida Today | date = April 20, 2007]
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. [ [http://sa18.state.fl.us States Attorney 18th Circuit Court] accessed January 19, 2008]
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. [ [http://www.tarleton.edu/~english/tw/acrobat/3103/allen_report.PDF tarleton.edu] ]
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 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. [ [http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/drug_court/drgcrt_18.shtml Seventeenth Judicial Circuit] ] 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. [cite book | author = Dodson, Laura |title = Two Brevard communities reclaimed from criminals | publisher = The Florida Catholic | date = April 6-12, 2007]
Melbourne led the nation in MDMA seizures in 2005.
Legal Aidprovides general, civil and domestic violence legal services to low income persons. [ [http://brevardcountylegalaid.org/index.html BCLA] ] 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). [ [http://www.legalfreedom.com/brevardaclu/ Brevard Chapter, ACLU of Florida] ] 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. [ [http://sa18.state.fl.us/vicsvcs/vicwit.htm Victim/Witness Services] ] 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.
The [http://crosswindsyouthservices.org/home/pages/RainwaterCenterforGirls.cfm 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). [ [http://www.spacecoastmarineinstitute.org/homepage.html Space Coast Marine Institute: Who are We?] ] 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. [ [http://www.youthranches.org/mission.htm Mission Statement] ] [ [http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm/bay/search.summary/orgid/3703.htm Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches] ]
Reentry Brevard contracts with a contractor, often non-profit, to provide halfway services to youth conditionally released from prison. [ [http://www.djj.state.fl.us/QA/programreports/conrelease2006/eckbrevard.pdf djj.state.fl.us] ]
Brevard Emergency Operations Center(EOC) provides Homeland Security for the Space Coast. [ [http://embrevard.com/ Brevard County Emergency Operation Center] ]
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. There are over 40,000 boats registered in the area. A few of these are of continuing concern to CG authorities. [cite book | author = Moore, Kimberly C. |title = Coast Guard calls for GPS, ID rules to keep track of boaters | publisher = Florida Today | date = November 25, 2007]
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. [ [http://www.brevardmpo.com/projects/des_cst.htm Design & Construction Projects - This page Under Construction. Information may change.] ]
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. [ [http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20040927-0035-jeanne-barefootbay.html Hurricane Jeanne left few homes unscathed in huge Florida mobile home park] ] Winds tore off the roof of a shelter for special needs people in an elementary school. [ [http://www.palmbeachpost.com/storm/content/news/epaper/2004/09/27/a21a_melbourne_0927.html Southern reaches bore brunt of winds] ] 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
Experience with hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne in 2004 prompted the formation of the Brevard Long Term Recovery Coalition, consisting of
United Way of Americaofficials and other emergency-needs experts. [ [http://www.taxexemptworld.com/organization.asp?tn=507795 BREVARD LONG TERM RECOVERY COALITION] ] 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 Coastplanners 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 convert|70|mi|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. [ [http://countygovt.brevard.fl.us/fire_rescue/lifeguard_home.cfm countygovt.brevard.fl.us] Dead link|date=November 2007]
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. [ [http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080626/NEWS01/806260333/1006/news01&referrer=NEWSFRONTCAROUSEL Florida Today] retrieved June 26, 2008]
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. [ [http://www.gannett.com/go/newswatch/2001/february/nw0216-1.htm FLORIDA TODAY REPORT EXAMINES DANGERS OF INTERSTATE 95 -- LEGISLATORS DEMAND BARRIERS; OFFICIALS LOBBY FOR MORE TROOPERS] ]
Project Lifesaver can tag at-risk adults and children with locator devices. This allows guardians to track wandering people with Alzheimers, dementia, autism, etc. [ [http://www.mbpd.org/Project%20Lifesaver.htm Project Lifesaver] ]
The state [These are often misidentified as "County" medical] 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. [ [http://www.doh.state.fl.us/chdBrevard/directory/maps.htm Locations and Maps - Brevard County Health Department] ]
The area was once named "Mosquito County." [ [http://www.floridanetlink.com/brevard.php Map of Brevard County] ]
Mosquitoscarry 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. [ [http://countygovt.brevard.fl.us/mosquito/ countygovt.brevard.fl.us] Dead link|date=November 2007]
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. [ [http://www.brevardcounty.us/newsdocs/0703HDrabies.pdf brevardcounty.us] ] 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.
An ocean condition known as "
red tide" occasionally affects people beachside. This occurred in November-December 2007 and November-January 2002. [cite book | author = Waymer, Jim |title = Red tide-related ailments may return with onshore winds | publisher = Florida Today | date = December 6, 2007]
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. [ [http://www.brevardparks.com/index.php County Parks & Recreation] ] [ [http://brevardparks.com/parks_other/index.php Directory of City Parks] ]
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. [ [http://www.brevardparks.com/referendum/index.html Parks Referendum Projects] ]
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. [ [http://www.eelbrevard.com/eel/index.htm About the EEL Program] ]
In conservation areas managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), 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. [ [http://www.sjrwmd.com/recreationguide/index.html SJRWMD Recreation Guide] ]
The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge [ [http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/ Merritt Island Nat'l Wildlife Refuge] ] and the Canaveral National Seashore [ [http://www.nps.gov/cana Canaveral Nat'l Seashore] ] are 2 national wildlife refuges in the county that offer recreational pursuits such as hiking, wildlife viewing, paddling, and environmental education.
The county centrally controls all 20 libraries in the county. [cite book | author = Test, Linda |title = The Fact Book: Libraries near you | publisher = Florida Today | date = February 24, 2007] There are 900,000 volumes. [ [http://www.brev.org/about_bcl/administration/about_bcl.htm About Brevard County Libraries] ] 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.
Brevard County tries to provide a number of unique services to help the aged, juveniles, the physically and mentally handicapped, and minorities.
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 Riverand the Indian River Lagoon. The county is larger in area than Samoa and nearly the same size, and population, as Cape Verde. [ [http://www.mongabay.com/igapo/world_statistics_by_area.htm List of Countries by Land Mass - Ranked by Area] retrieved May 22, 2007] It is one third again as large as Rhode Island.
Located half-way between
Jacksonville, Floridaand Miami, Brevard County is an extra-long county, extending over convert|70|mi|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.
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterwayalong the eastern edge of Brevard County is the major waterwayroute 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 Metropolitan Statistical Area.
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 convert|50.7|°F|°C; average high convert|71|°F|°C|abbr=on. The warmest months are July and August with average highs of convert|90|°F|°C|abbr=on; average lows 72.2. The driest month is April with 1.6" rainfall; the wettest September, 6.6". [Space Coast Visitor's Guide,"Florida Today",2007 Winter/Sprint Edition]
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. [ [http://www.ocean-beach.com/weather_hurricanes.htm#Areas%20At%20Risk Hurricanes] ]
Tornados spinning off from even small storms can result in severe damage in small areas. [ [http://www.wxdude.com/Severe.html Questions on Thunderstorms and Severe Weather ] ]
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 Countydirectly and caused widespread wind damage throughout Brevard, [ [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995erin.html TPC NHC ERIN 1995 PRELIMINARY REPORT ] ] 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. [ [http://www.bebr.ufl.edu/FloridaFocus/FloridaFocus1_3_2005.pdf bebr.ufl.edu] ]
The following storms did not affect Brevard County with hurricane force winds: Floyd (September 15, 1999), [ [http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/floydsum.html Hurricane Floyd Preliminary Summary] ] and Irene (October 16, 1999). [ [http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/irenesum.html Hurricane Irene Preliminary Summary 10-16-99] ]
Tropical Storm Faydropped a record rainfall of convert|27.65|in in 2008. [ [http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081002/NEWS01/810020328/1006/news01&referrer=NEWSFRONTCAROUSEL] retrived October 2, 2008]
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, [ [http://www.eelbrevard.com/eel/index.htm About the EEL Program] ] and lands dedicated by the State as conservation areas.
Brevard County has transportation available in the usual modes for a coastal county - highways, shipping, and airlines.
Florida Power and Lightmaintains 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. [ [http://partners.marketcenter.com/cboe/news/story.action?id=KRO122e1174&symbol=&count=10 FPL Company News] retrieved May 4, 2008]
Volusia County, Florida- north
Indian River County, Florida- south
Osceola County, Florida- southwest
Orange County, Florida- west
Seminole County, Florida- northwest
Love bugseason occurs in May and September. Motorists, usually, encounter swarms of these while driving during a four week period. [ [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0015-4040(197003)53%3A1%3C23%3ABOT%22PN%3E2.0.CO%3B2-5 Biology of the "Love-Bug", Plecia Nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae)] accessed September 21, 2007]
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 [ [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_event=Search&geo_id=&_geoContext=&_street=&_county=Brevard+county&_cityTown=Brevard+county&_state=04000US12&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&pctxt=fph&pgsl=010 Brevard County, Florida] ]
The county ranked 17th for per capita income, out of Florida's 67 counties.
The following were below the
poverty linein 2000:
* Families - 6.80%
* Total population - 9.50%
* Under age 18 - 13.00%
* Age 65 or older - 6.50%
The county's median home price reached a high in Augst 2005 at $248,700. ["Florida Today",March 22, 2007, page 7A] New home permits fell in 2007 to 1,894, the lowest since 1982. [Florida Today, January 20, 2008, "New home permits in Brevard hit lowest level in 25 years. Staff authored] Sales of existing homes fell 19% in 2007 from the prior year to 373 monthly. Average prices fell 12% to $193,600. [cite book | author = Price, Wayne T. |title = 2008 offers hope for housing | publisher = Florida Today | date = January 25, 2008] 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. [cite book | author = Staff and wire reports |title = Insurers strike homebuyers | publisher = Florida Today | date = March 21, 2008]
Brevard expects to have 100,000-300,000 more people by 2020, an increase of 60%.
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.
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.
Port Canaveral is the world's busiest cruise port. It is served byseven 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.
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 were among the top five private employers in the county.
A long term concern has been the probable re-assignment of thousands of space coast workers when the shuttle is discontinued in 2010.
Two locally headquartered builders, Mercedes 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).
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 Museumthat 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 Leaguecouncil 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 Grummandevelops the military JSTARS electronics surveillance system used in all major US conflicts since 1990.
USS Brevard (AK-164)was a World War IIAlamosa-class naval cargo ship that was decommissioned shortly after the war.
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 [http://www.4husa.org |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. [ [http://www.nbbd.com/npr/4H/index.html nbbd.com] ]
Tourism brings $1 billion annually to Brevard. 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, [ [http://www.space-coast.com//] Florida's Space Coast] promotion and advertising, the
Brevard Zoo, additional beach improvements and the Space Coast Stadium.
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. [cite book | author = Bakancia, Donna |title = Brevard hotels strive to attract guests as summer nears and new facilities open | publisher = Florida Today | date = April 27, 2008]
In September 2005, FEMA diverted one cruise line from Canaveral (under contract) to shelter Hurricane Katrina evacuees, with a consequent negative impact on local tourism.
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. [ [http://www.keepbrevardbeautiful.org/] Keep Brevard Beautiful]
"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. [ [http://www.cocoamainstreet.com/] Cocoa Main Street] "Melbourne Main Street" is another historic business area and tourist attraction restored through the Main Street Programs. [ [http://www.downtownmelbourne.com/] Melbourne Main Street]
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 [ [http://www.artsbrevard.org/events/] BCA Cultural Events Calendar] and a map of sites of historic, cultural, and ecological interest. [ [http://www.artsbrevard.org/resources/map.html] BCA Arts Map]
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. [ [http://www.grantseafoodfestival.com] Grant Seafood Festival]
The Globe Sebastian Inlet Pro surfing contest, on the county line, draws 16,000 visitors the second weekend in January.Fact|date=January 2008
An ice skating rink in Rockledge serves the county's residents and visitors with hockey and figure skating events. [cite book | author = Dowling, Lyn |title = IcePlex gets new owners | publisher = Florida Today | date = January 14, 2008]
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.
Forbes magazinenamed 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.
National Association of Realtorsreported 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/ Moneyranked 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 Bankof 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.
Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is the largest employer in the county with 15,000 contractors and civil servants. [cite book | author = Halvorson, Todd |title = KSC chief says more tech work needed | publisher = Florida Today | date = May 12, 2007] 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. [cite book | author = Price, Wayne T. |title = Brevard's ranking slips, but it's still a boomtown | publisher = Florida Today | date = May 1, 2007]
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.
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. [ [http://www.corillian.com/corporate/news/XcNewsPlus.asp?cmd=view&articleid=280 Space Coast Credit Union to Strengthen Its Online Banking with Corillian Consumer Banking] ] [cite book | author = Sonnenberg, Maria|title = Union Label | publisher = Florida Today | date = April 8, 2007]
Communication and utilities
area codefor 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.
As of the
censusGR|2 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 least-populated state, Wyoming.
The racial makeup of the county was:
* White - 84.81%
* Black or African American - 10.40%
*Hispanic or Latino - 4.61%
* two or more races - 1.77%
* Asian - 1.50%
* other races - 1.09%
* Native American - 0.37%
* Pacific Islander - 0.06%
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. [cite book | author = Kim, Eun Kyung |title = Law's impact increases with age | publisher = Florida Today | date = December 17, 2007]
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. [See List of United States metropolitan areas.]
In 2006, the county stood 10th in population in the state, out of 67. ["Florida Today", March 22, 2007, page 1A] The increase in population from 2000 was 11.8%, less than the Florida average of 12.7%.
A pastor spearheaded the construction of three high rise buildings with 500 units housing the needy elderly. [ [http://www.trinitytowers.info/html/amenities.htm Trinity Towers, Inc.] retrieved August 10, 2007]
A county-wide ministry conducts retreats for young prisoners. [ [http://www.kairosprisonministry.org/templates/System/details.asp?id=23761&PID=77879 About Us] ]
Church festivals are sponsored by various religious groups including Jewish and Greek Orthodox. [ [http://www.floridajewish.com/florida/brevard_fed/brevard_fed.html FEDERATION SERVICES] ] [ [http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/99999999/ENTERTAINMENT03/609030310/1033/entertainment03 Central Florida festival schedule] ] Thousands attend.
A Roman Catholic church was recognized as one of the best in the country. [Paul Wilkes. [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0809139928 Excellent Catholic Parishes: The Guide to Best Places and Practices] . ISBN 978-0809139927.] 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. [ [http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/list-1982.pdf ed.gov] ] " [ [http://www.straphaelschool.org/2003-2004%20pages/Distinction/blue%20ribbon.htm St. Raphael school wins national award] ] [ [http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2001/10/10052001h.html Paige Announces 64 National Distinguished Elementary and Middle School Principals] ] 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
Various religious groups have demonstrated near the local abortion clinic forcing it to move twice since its founding in 1977.
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. [www.brevardalzheimers.org]
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. [ [http://www.sceic.com/_site2005/home_template.php SCEIC] ] 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. [ [http://www.circlesofcare.org/current/locate.html Circles of Care: Physical Locations] ]
211 Brevard responds to people in crisis and/or needing information about community resources. [ [http://www.211brevard.org/home/pages/helpline.cfm 2-1-1 Helpline] ]
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. [ [http://ese.brevard.k12.fl.us/ICB/SCCIndLiving.html Space Coast Center for Independent Living (SCCIL)] ] 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. [ [http://www.health-first.org/ Health First] ]
Harmony Farms runs “Horses for the Handicapped," a therapeutic riding program located on the Duda Ranch in Viera. [ [http://www.harmonyfarmsinc.com/ HARMONY FARMS, INC.] ]
Parrish Medical Center is a 210-bed, not-for-profit public medical center serving Florida's Space Coast for 50 years. The Center is Brevard's only Spirit of Women network hospital. It has been recognized as Modern Healthcare magazine's Spirit of Excellence for Service award winner, Starizon & Healthcare Design magazine's Discovery Award winner for exceptional patient experience, and has earned more disease-specific Gold Seals of Approval for quality and excellence from the Joint Commission than any other hospital in Central Florida.Fact|date=June 2008 Parrish Medical Center has been named America's No. 1 Healing Hospital for the third straight year by the
Baptist Healing Trust. [ [http://www.parrishmed.com/ Parrish Medical Center] ]
Cities and towns
*City of Cape Canaveral
*City of Cocoa
*City of Cocoa Beach
*Town of Grant-Valkaria
*Town of Indialantic
*City of Indian Harbour Beach
*Town of Malabar
*City of Melbourne
*Town of Melbourne Beach
*Town of Melbourne Village
*City of Palm Bay (formerly Tillman)
*Town of Palm Shores
*City of Rockledge
*City of Satellite Beach
*City of Titusville
*City of West Melbourne
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.
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 Collegeand Florida Institute of Technologyin 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.
University of Central Floridahas a branch on the Community College Cocoa Campus. Additionally it operates the Florida Solar Energy Center. [ [http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/about/organization/index.htm fsec.ucf.edu] Dead link|date=November 2007]
Other colleges include
Barry University, [ [http://www.barry.edu/ace/files/Melbourne.pdf barry.edu] Dead link|date=November 2007] [ [http://discoverbrevard.com/Schools.php Brevard County Schools] ] Columbia College, [ [http://www.ccis.edu/nationwide/main.asp?PAFB Columbia College–Patrick Air Force Base] ] a cooperating program with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, [ [http://www.erau.edu/ec/wwc/articulation/bcc-asmto.pdf Embry Riddle] retrieved April 28, 2008] Florida Metropolitan University-Melbourne, Keiser College and Webster College.
Elementary and secondary
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.
AARPranked 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. [cite book | author = Downs, Megan |title = Brevard's the county to beat at science fair | publisher = Florida Today | date = April 13, 2007] 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. [cite book | author = Downs, Megan |title = Students place 2nd in robotics | publisher = Florida Today | date = April 19, 2007]
In 2007, the Division 3 Technical Team from Eau Gallie High School placed 1st Place in World Odyssey of the Mind tournament.Fact|date=April 2008
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 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 Developmentexam, 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.
;Minor league baseballBrevard County is the home of the
Brevard County Manatees.
;Major league baseballThe
Washington Nationalshold their spring trainingat Space Coast Stadiumin Viera.They play about 14 games against other professional teams locally in March as part of the "Grapefruit" League. ["Grapefruit League",Florida Today, February 28,2007]
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.
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.
Independent stations include:
WOTF-TVUnivision Spanish Language
WBCCBrevard Community College Education
The following films were filmed (in parts) in Brevard County.
Matinee" - 1993 film starring John Goodman. Filmed in Cocoa Village and Cocoa Playhouse.
Apollo 13", " Contact", " Armageddon", "Moonraker" and " I Dream of Jeanie" all utilized Cape Canaveral's NASA headquarters.
The Number 23" shot scenes on the shore of Cocoa Beach.
Marvin's Room" a 1996 drama starring Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, and Leonardo DiCapriowas filmed in Rockledge.
Nightmare" a 1981 horror film was shot in Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beachand Titusville
MadTV" used Titusvilleas a phony address in their sketches in the mid 1990's.
A Night in Heavenstarring Christopher Atkins was filmed in Titusville
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.
Brevard Zoois a 56 acre facility. [ [http://www.brevardzoo.org/aboutthezoo/index.html Brevard Zoo Information] ]
;BalletThe 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 "
Brevard Symphony Orchestrahas 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.
City of Melbourne Pipes and Drumsis 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.
The U.S. Spacewalk Walk of Fame commemorates Kennedy Space Center's history with a museum, monuments and programs.
Brevard Museum of History & Natural Sciencefeatures 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
* Brevard County Public Schools
;Government links and constitutional offices
* [http://www.brevardcounty.us/ Brevard County Government / Board of County Commissioners]
* [http://brevardelections.org/ Brevard County Supervisor of Elections]
* [http://www.brevardpropertyappraiser.com/ Brevard County Property Appraiser]
* [http://www.sheriff.co.brevard.fl.us/ Brevard County Sheriff's Office]
* [http://www.brevardparks.com/ Brevard County Parks and Recreation]
* [http://www.sjrwmd.com St. Johns River Water Management District]
* [http://4brevard.com/schools.htm "Shopping" Guide to all local schools]
* [http://www.isbcmelbourne.org/ Islamic school in Melbourne, Fl]
* [http://www.brevardclerk.us/ Brevard County Clerk of Courts]
* [http://www.brevardcounty.us/publicdefender/ Brevard County Public Defender]
* [http://sa18.state.fl.us/ Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit] serving Brevard and Seminole Counties
* [http://www.jud18.flcourts.org/ Circuit and County Court for the 18th Judicial Circuit of Florida]
* [http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=factbook Florida Today "Fact Book" on Brevard County]
* [http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/maps/county/brevard/brevard.htm USF Maps of Historical Brevard County]
* [http://www.cfhf.net/maps/1839.htm Explanation of "Leigh Read" county]
* [http://www.brevardclerk.us/PAGES/brevard.htm Brevard County Fact Sheet - Brevard Clerk of Courts]
* [http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/maps/maps.htm Old Florida Map Collection]
* [http://nbbd.com/ North Brevard - Titusville, Florida - Community Directory]
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