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Cocoa Beach is a city in Brevard Countymarker, Floridamarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 12,482 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates of 2008, the city had a population of 11,920. It is part of the Palm BaymarkerMelbournemarkerTitusvillemarker Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The first non-native settlement in the area was by a family of freed slaves following the Civil War. In 1888, a group of men from Cocoamarker bought the entire tract of land, which went undeveloped until it was bought out in 1923 by a member of the group—Gus Edwards, Cocoa's city attorney. At that time, Edwards' total holdings included approximately 600 acres and he had stopped practicing law to devote all his efforts to developing the area.

The Town of Cocoa Beach was established on June 5, 1925. Gus C. Edwards was elected as Mayor and served as a commissioner along with J.A. Haisten, and R.Z. Grabel. On July 27, 1925, Cocoa Beach held its first official meeting at the Cocoa Beach Casino, and adopted the City Seal. A little less than a month later, plans for a pier became official. By 1939, the town had 49 residents.

During World War II, Cocoa Beach experienced money shortages for employees, and money to fix roads. On June 29, 1957, the town of Cocoa Beach incorporated into a city. In September, 1959, the city voted to add more sidewalks, improve the streets in residential areas and the main streets, and to pave more roads.

In 1965, Cocoa Beach High School requested that Cocoa Avenue, the street that the school was located on, be changed to Minutemen Blvd., in honour of the school's mascot, the Minuteman. Over the next couple decades, the school would come to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, and was ranked the 46th best high school in America in 2006.

Cocoa Beach started its major growth during the 1960s (1000% population increase from 1950 to 1960) due to America's space program. NASA'smarker John F. Kennedy Space Centermarker is located approximately 15 miles north of the town. Many people moved to Cocoa Beach due to their jobs involving the space program, and in search of new opportunity.

After manned space flights, the town held parades in honor of the astronauts.

Many of the homes in Cocoa Beach are built on dredged mud and sand from the Banana River. After NASA's Apollo program came to an end, and before the Shuttle program was in full swing, the town suffered from layoffs. At one point, in 1975, unemployment was 14.3%. Many families lost their jobs or simply moved away. People could not sell their homes and some walked away from them.

Cocoa Beach was the setting for the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, although only one episode was actually filmed there (Jeannie's wedding). Also, Cocoa Beach High School was used as the school in the 2000 movie Race to Space.


Cocoa Beach run by a Commission-Manager government, agreed to by its citizens in 1958. The City Commission acts as the legislative branch of the city government, guided by the provisions of the Charter of the City of Cocoa Beach. The City Commission enacts ordinances and resolution that the City Manager administers as the appointed executive officer of the city government.

The city owns and runs a golf course on the Banana River.

In 2007, the city had a taxable real estate base of $2.09 billion.

City Commission

The City Commission is made up of five members, one of which is the Mayor. The commissioners are elected at-large to three-year terms. A Vice Mayor is then selected from among them at an organizational meeting held after the election. The Mayor presides over all meetings and performs duties as delegated to the Mayor by the City Commission.

  • Mayor/Commissioner, Seat #1 - Dr. Leon "Skip" Beeler (term expires 2011)
  • Commissioner, Seat #2 - Kenneth Griffin (term expires 2009)
  • Vice Mayor/Commissioner, Seat #3 - Kevin S. Pruett (term expires 2009)
  • Commissioner, Seat #4 - Skip William (term expires 2010)
  • Commissioner, Seat #5 - Don John (term expires 2010)

City Manager

The City Manager is appointed by the City Commission and is responsible for the city's day-to-day operation. The city's charter has established a separation of powers and responsibility between the Commission and the Manager: The elected Commission establishes policy that the Manager and staff carry out. The City Manager conducts day-to-day operations through four city departments: Administrative, Public Safety, Utilities, and Recreation. Charles Billias has filled this office since 1998.

Public transportation

Public transportation in Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, and surrounding Brevard County is provided by Space Coast Area Transit.


Cocoa Beach Pier built in 1962 extends into the Atlantic Ocean
Beach is located at .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 39.0 km² (15.0 mi²). 12.7 km² (4.9 mi²) of it is land and 26.3 km² (10.1 mi²) of it (67.49%) is water. Bordered on the north is Cape Canaveralmarker; on the south is Cresent Beach; on the east is the Atlantic Oceanmarker (5.6 miles of oceanfront); on the west is the Banana River.

Propelled by a powerful hurricane, the ocean pushed its way through the barrier islands centuries ago and formed the Thousand Islands in the Indian River.

Surrounding areas


Cocoa Beach's climate can be classified as subtropical.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 89 92 93 97 97 101 102 101 98 96 91 89
Norm High °F 72 73 77 81 85 89 91 90 88 83 78 73
Norm Low °F 50 51 55 60 66 71 72 73 72 67 60 53
Rec Low °F 17 27 25 35 47 55 60 60 58 41 30 21
Precip (in) 2.48 2.49 2.92 2.08 3.94 5.83 5.38 5.78 7.20 4.76 3.12 2.31
Source: The Weather Channel [16386]


As of the census of 2000, there were 12,482 people, 6,529 households, and 3,532 families residing in the city. The population density was 985.5/km² (2,552.1/mi²). There were 8,709 housing units at an average density of 687.6/km² (1,780.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.64% White, 0.62% African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.07% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 1.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.52% of the population.

There were 6,529 households out of which 12.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.9% were non-families. 38.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.91 and the average family size was 2.47.

In the city the population was spread out with 12.2% under the age of 18, 3.8% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 34.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54 years. For every 100 females there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.


Personal income

The median income for a household in the city was $42,372, and the median income for a family was $51,795. Males had a median income of $39,418 versus $27,113 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,968. About 3.7% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.8% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.

Cocoa Beach is a retirement area, with the average age being 54.


Surfing manufacture and tourism add to Cocoa Beach's economy.

Ron Jon's, a surf shop, receives 2 million visitors a year. Cocoa Beach is home to the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame.

The Cocoa Beach Pier formerly known as the Cape Canaveral Pier was built in 1962. An annual Easter Surfing Festival began in 1964. An estimated 100,000 spectators watch. An annual Beach Fest is held in May.

An annual art festival has been drawing tourists since its start in 1963.

An air show in 2009 drew a crowd estimated at 30,000.


In 2007, the average size of Cocoa's labor force was 6,344. Of that group, 6,006 were employed and 338 were unemployed, for an unemployment rate of 5.3%.


In 2008, 6 building permits were issued. This was down from 9 permits for 11 units in 2007, which was down from 20 permits for 34 units in 2006.

The median home price in 2007 was $409,000.


Cocoa Beach is served by the following public schools:

94% of all residents 25 years or older are high school graduates. 38.6% have a Bachelor's Degree or higher.

Points of interest

  • Cocoa Beach Pier
  • Alan Shepard Beachfront Park
  • Space Coast Art Festival
  • Cocoa Beach Golf Course (27 holes)
  • Thousand Islands Conservation Area
  • Cocoa Beach Aquatic Center and Pool Complex
  • I Dream of Jeannie Lane

Notable residents

Sister cities

See also


  1. 2007 Population Estimates United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2009-06-26
  2. Biography of Gus C. Edwards City of Cocoa Beach - Official Site. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  3. City History City of Cocoa Beach - Official Site. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  4. History at a Glance City of Cocoa Beach - Official Site. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  5. Meeting Minutes for July 27, 1925 City of Cocoa Beach - Official Site. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  6. [1]
  7. [2]
  8. Elected Officials City of Cocoa Beach - Official Site. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  9. Cocoa Beach golf course accessed March 18, 2008
  10. City Departments City of Cocoa Beach - Official Site. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  11. City Officials City of Cocoa Beach - Official Site. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  12. The Thousand Islands are really but "a few hundred,ibid"
  14. Travel Writer'S Magazine - Space Coast Is Great Place For Families To Commune With Nature
  15. East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame
  16. [3] retrieved November 30, 2008
  17. [4] retrieved 4 October 2009
  18. Cocoa Beach Community Data Sheet Economic Development Council of Florida's Space Coast. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  19. Building Permits United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2009-06-24.
  20. Records, Clerk of the Courts
  21. Freedom Forum retrieved April 8, 2008
  22. Online World of retrieved April 8, 2008
  23. John Wooden: UCLA Coaching Legend
  24. [5]

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