About the Harbor Branch WebcamThe Webcam idea began as an effort to provide people with limited mobility (Americans with Disabilities Act) visual access to the wetland impoundment areas of St. Lucie County. Funding was provided in 2000 by the Indian River Lagoon License Plate Grant Program, which is administered by the South Florida Water Management District. The St. Lucie County Mosquito Control District also contributed some matching funds and in-kind work for the installation. The County Information Technology (IT) Department selected the equipment, provided some of their own, oversaw the installation, and developed the web site.
This Webcam was installed at Mosquito Control Impoundment 14B, at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, a location very attractive to wading birds (up to 18 species), especially during the summer and fall. The site previously was a stormwater storage area isolated from the estuary. It has been restored with coastal wetland plants, and the birds can be seen in and around the clearings.
Water level in the impoundment can be repeatedly lowered (drawn-down) to attract birds during the summer mosquito breeding season, while still limiting mosquito production (the main purpose of a mosquito impoundment). A mosquito impoundment draw-down involves the gradual lowering of water until marsh-resident fish accumulate. This enhances wading bird (juvenile and adult) feeding success. Draw-downs are conducted during nesting and post-nesting periods. Marsh-resident minnows are a favorite food of the waders, as are juveniles of some transient fish like white (silver) mullet. As many as 700 birds can be seen during a successful draw-down of Impoundment 14B. Draw-downs generally are performed every 30-45 days, to give the marsh residents time to reproduce, and for the waders to derive maximum benefits.
The Webcam is a Pelco Spectradome, connected to a Digital Image Mega Chips OpennetView which acts as a web server. The Pelco Spectradome and OpennetView were provided and installed by Advanced Alarms Service, Inc. The OpennetView is connected to a Bell South 128-Kbps ISDN line which is then routed to the Internet.
We apologize for the inconvenience the web cam is not available for viewing at this time.