Sebastian Harbor Preserve
184 Englar Drive, Sebastian, FL
Located in Sebastian, Florida, the Sebastian Harbor Preserve is a 163-acre tract Country conservation area within the Sebastian Highlands development. It is accessible from S Fleming St east end or Englar Dr. This site shares its southern boundary with Sebastian Stormwater Park. The Sebastian Harbor Preserve features excellent pedestrian trails through pine Flatwoods and scenic views of wet prairies and freshwater marshes from multiple boardwalks and overlooks.
This Preserve has a unique mixture of wetland and upland habitat, and its home to several protected species, including the Florida scrub jay, Florida gopher tortoise, and Souther bald eagle. Scrubby Flatwoods are the dominant communities within the Sebastian Harbor Preserve; these upland communities are interspersed with scattered wet prairies and freshwater marshes. Several species of wading birds can be found foraging in the wetlands. This place is also home to numerous osprey nests.
The buying of the Sebastian Harbor Preserve by the Indian River County was to achieve several goals:
- The site’s preservation has become a more extensive wildlife corridor through its connection to other preserved sites.
- Preserving the Preserve’s tract provides a place for Sebastian residents to explore native habitats within the community.
- The preservation of the Preserve’s tract enables the County to further efforts for the conservation of native species.
The County later initiated land management activities. The initial management included chopping and burning within mesic and scrubby Flatwoods communities on-site. Additionally, through the wetland mitigation plan for an off-site track project requirements, the County could complete a melaleuca removal within the wetland on-site. The melaleuca was treated and harvested, and melaleuca weevils were introduced to aid long-term control. These melaleuca weevils are beneficial for seedling establishment and reducing seed production and are known to significantly minimize mature trees’ overall vigor.
To improve access to the Sebastian Harbor Preserve, the County is creating a trail network, a kiosk, and educational signage to provide future visitors with a scenic and complete experience. You can still enjoy watching wildlife along the trail located at the southwestern corner of the Preserve.