Environmental education has always been important to St. Lucie County, starting with one of our first County Commissioners Paul Kroegel, who convinced President Theodore Roosevelt to protect Pelican Island – just off of Sebastian – from hunters killing egrets, spoonbills and pelicans for their plumes. Through an executive order, President Roosevelt named Pelican Island as the first national wildlife refuge on March 14, 1903.
One of the nation’s most diverse estuaries, the Indian River Lagoon, runs through St. Lucie County with more than 4,000 species of plants and animals calling it home. Here you can visit environmental education centers that feature hands-on exhibits about manatees and rare deep-water corals. But the learning doesn’t stop at the water’s edge, there are regularly scheduled lectures and guided hikes that focus on the birds, mammals and reptiles that inhabit all of St. Lucie County’s 600-square-miles.
Finally there are plenty of cultural and historical educational opportunities from the National Navy SEAL Museum and the St. Lucie County Regional History Center to the Zora Neale Hurston Dust Tracks Heritage Trail.