Monday, November 16, 2015

Florida Nature Spot of the Week: Sebastian Inlet State Park

The history of the Sebastian Inlet area goes back to the end of the last ice age. The barrier islands formed from sandbars off the coast of the mainland. As vegetation took hold on the sandbars, animals moved in, followed by the first human inhabitants, the Paleo hunters. The Ais Indians were more recent inhabitants of the barrier islands. They were a tribe of hunters and gatherers who lived off the bounty of the land and sea. By 1760, all of the Ais Indians were gone. Like the other natives of Florida, they succumbed to European diseases and mistreatment.

Sebastian Inlet State Park is a Florida State Park located 10 miles south of Melbourne Beach and 6 miles north of Vero Beach, Florida. The park lies on both sides of the Sebastian Inlet, which forms the boundary between Brevard and Indian River counties. The land for the park was acquired by the state of Florida in 1971. In 2006, it was the sixth most visited state park in Florida. The park occupies 755 acres on the barrier island on the Atlantic coast of Brevard County, at a point where a channel links the Indian River Intracoastal waterway with the Atlantic. Part of the Park is south of the Inlet on Orchid Island in Indian River County.

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