Viera East Communities

KECE began working with The Viera Company in 1987 to develop the new town of Viera. As the primary environmental consultant, we mapped over 3,500 acres comprised of more than 20 habitat types and almost 600 acres of jurisdictional wetlands. As a portion of the permitting process, KECE designed habitat management plans to provide for wetland mitigation and listed species management. While the build out of the Viera community is nearly complete, KECE continues to work with the Viera East Community Development District, to assess and provide management oversight of more then 1,000 acres of wetland and upland preserves, and provide.

The design and development of the Viera East communities has produced a rare development/preservation plan for the space coast region based on the premises of linking large interconnected native preserves between individual development units. Prior to initiation of development, the majority of the Viera property was utilized for agricultural production or rangeland and nearly all wetlands on site were connected by drainage ditches to large header canals. The primary philosophy of resource protection utilized within Viera East, was the restoration and preservation of large intact systems with upland corridors between separate watershed basins, which resulted in the preservation of significant quantities of upland habitat adjacent to the preserved wetlands. KECE conducted detailed pre-project and historic hydrological assessments to identify target hydroperiods to hundreds of acres of heavily impacted wetlands. The analysis of hydrologic impacts and desired conditions allowed for a preservation plan which eliminated drainage impacts within most preserve areas, restoring water tables to pre-manipulation levels and allowing native systems to recover naturally with little management intervention.

The Viera East preserve plan of hydrologic restoration, large buffer preserves, and connectivity between systems has provided an extremely successful restoration model that supports many listed upland and wetland species and, due to restored hydrological conditions, requires minimal management activities. The preserve design and management has also been successful at supporting utilization and nesting onsite by a large number of listed and non-listed wildlife species including multiple pairs of nesting eagles and Sandhill cranes, as well a promoting a dramatic population increase of Florida scrub jays. The Viera East has a specific scrub jay management component which has resulted in an increase of utilization from three families in the early 90’s to more than 20 confirmed families of scrub jays utilizing the site today.

Over the last few years KECE helped the Viera East Community Development District:

Identify a fault with the designed drainage within one of the VECDD watershed basins which was negatively affecting hundreds of acres of preserves and presenting a potential flooding issue within two developments. KECE worked with the VECDD and the project engineer, to identify a solution to the problem and get a permit modification to correct the fault.
Assist in quantifying capacity of the surface water management system in addressing concerns raised in renewing the water use permit for the VECDD golf course.
Currently working to identify the opportunities and strategies to retrofit the 80+ water management system lakes in order to increase water quality treatment and reduce erosion of the lake shores.
Review tracts to be transferred from the developer to the VECDD to insure that they are in permit compliance and/or deficiencies identified and coordinated with the Developer and permitting agencies.
Conduct periodic reviews of the preserves and recommend management activities to maintain preserve health and long-term compliance.
Conduct required vegetative monitoring of mitigation wetlands and make adaptive management recommendations when necessary.
Engage in public meetings with the Viera East Community Development District Board as well as individual homeowner associations to present information on the preserves and their management and to address specific concerns.

Ecological Services Provided

  • Property Evaluation/Habitat Assessments
  • Listed Species Surveys
  • Hydrologic Monitoring
  • Analysis of Environmental Changes
  • Hydrological and Habitat Restoration Design
  • Developing and Implementing Monitoring Plans
  • Prepare Analytical Reports
  • Project Permitting
  • Agency Coordination
  • Restoration Specifications
  • Restoration Oversight
  • Habitat Management Plans