The Sebastian Harbor Preserve is a 163-acre tract located within the Sebastian Highlands development. The Preserve shares its southern boundary with the 166-acre Sebastian Stormwater Park, which in turn is connected to the southeast to the County's Sebastian Scrub Conservation Area. The Sebastian Harbor Preserve contains a mixture of upland and wetland habitat, and provides refuge to several protected species, including the Florida gopher tortoise, Florida scrub-jay, and Southern bald eagle. Scrubby and mesic flatwoods are the dominant communities within the Preserve; these upland communities are interspersed with scattered freshwater marshes and wet prairies. Numerous species of wading birds can be observed foraging in the wetlands. The site is also home to a resident bald eagle and numerous osprey nests.
Purchased by Indian River County in 20xx, the acquisition achieved several goals: (1) the preservation of this area has become a part of a larger wildlife corridor via its connection to other preserved lands; (2) the preservation of this tract provides a site for the residents of Sebastian to explore native habitat within their community; and (3) the preservation of this tract enables the County to further efforts for conservation of native species and their habitat.
Land management activities were intiated by the County in 20xx. Initial management included roller chopping and burning within scrubby and mesic flatwood communities on-site. Additionally, through the requirements of a wetland mitigation plan for an off-site tract under private ownership, the County was able to complete a melaleuca removal project within wetlands on-site. The melaleuca were treated and harested, and melaleca weevils were introduced to aid in long term control. These weevils are useful in the reduction of seed production and seedling establishment, and are known to significantly reduce the overall vigor of mature trees.To improve access on the site, the County is in the process of developing a trail network and a kiosk/educational signage that will provide visitors with a scenic experience. We encourage the public to enjoy observing wildlife along the existing short trail located at the southwestern corner of the property. Please remember to leave only footprints on site!