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Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore is on a barrier island which includes ocean, beach, dune, hammock, lagoon, salt marsh, and pine flatland habitats.

The barrier island and adjacent waterways offer a blend of plant and animal life. Records show that 1,045 species of plants and 310 species of birds can be found in the park.

Endangered species include, but are not limited to, loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles, West Indian Manatee, Southern bald eagle, wood stork, peregrine falcon, eastern indigo snake, and Florida scrub jay.

The park has two districts and the Seminole Rest Site. The North District is in Volusia County, near New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Seminole Rest is also located in Volusia County in Oak Hill, Florida. The South District, in Brevard County is near Titusville, Florida.

Visitors may enjoy walking the nature and historical trails during the cool winter months. Throughout the year opportunity for recreational activities include; lagoon and surf fishing, boating, canoeing, surfing, sunbathing, swimming, hiking, and backcountry camping.

The park contains 58,000 acres of barrier island, open lagoon, coastal hammock, pine flatwoods and offshore waters along the east central coast of Florida. It represents an excellent example of a relatively stable barrier beach backed by a productive lagoon system.

The park's 24 miles of undeveloped beach is the longest such stretch on the east coast of Florida. Mosquito Lagoon, which comprises over two-thirds of the park, is designated an Outstanding Florida Water and as a part of the 155-mile long Indian River Lagoon (IRL), an Estuary of National Significance. The IRL is considered the most diverse and productive estuary in North America. Mosquito Lagoon supports nationally-recognized commercial and recreational fisheries for finfish, clams, oysters, blue crabs and shrimp. The park provides habitat for 14 federally-listed (Threatened and Endangered) animal species (see below), ranking it second in the entire National Park Service. Three sea turtle species deposit approximately 4000 nests on the beach each year. Large numbers of waterfowl and wading birds utilize the Seashore as a migratory stopover and wintering ground. Located along the "frost line", the park contains a rich and unique mixture of subtropical and temperate plants found nowhere except central Florida.

Endangered Species Found at Canaveral National Seashore:

Seven Reptiles:
Loggerhead sea turtle
Green sea turtle
Leather back sea turtle
Kemps's Ridley sea turtle
Hawksbill sea turtle
Eastern indigo snake
Atlantic salt marsh snake

Four Birds:
Bald eagle
Wood stork
Florida scrub jay
Arctic peregrine falcon

Three Mammals:
West Indian Manatee
Southeastern beach mouse
Right whale

The park and adjacent Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge are well known for great birding and are favored destinations for avid bird watchers. In addition to the the three species listed above, large numbers of migrating waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds can be seen during the spring and fall migration periods and winter.

Canaveral National Seashore is equally renowned for outstanding fishing in the ocean surf and Mosquito Lagoon. The lagoon also harbors abundant populations of oysters, clams, blue crabs and shrimp.

Information provided by:
National Park Service