Vero Beach

Vero Beach, a charming town on the East Coast of Florida has lots to something to offer all visitors! Known as the ‘Gateway to the Tropics,’ Vero Beach is located in a unique climatic transition zone that offers a mix of vegetation where you can find everything from grand oak trees and pine forests to tropical palm trees. This is because the town can be found at the eastern end of what is known as a demarcation line, a line that separates Florida into two zones. To the north of Vero, you will find a humid subtropical climate and to the south is a tropical climate, making Vero Beach the best of both climates!

 Vero Beach is part of Florida’s Treasure Coast, nicknamed for a Spanish treasure fleet that lost its treasure during a 1715 hurricane off the coast of Florida. Today the coast is a favorite among beach goers, surfers, and scuba divers alike.

The Indian River Lagoon passes through Vero Beach and is a center for water recreation. The lagoon is considered to be the most biodiverse lagoon ecosystem in the Northern Hemisphere, with over an estimated 2100 species of plants and 2200 species of animals. Almost one third of the nation’s manatees call this region home, and its beaches provide one of the densest areas for sea turtle nesting.  

Points of Interest

Environmental Learning Center

The Environmental Learning Center is an environmental education center located directly on the Indian River Lagoon on 64 acres on Wabasso Island. The center has hundreds of programs for kids and adults alike and is a wonderful place to learn more about what makes the Indian River Lagoon so unique.

 

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge

The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge stretches approximately 20 miles across Florida’s East Coast, from Melbourne Beach to Wabasso Beach. The refuge protects habitat for what is considered to be the most significant area for Loggerhead Sea Turtle nesting in the Western Hemisphere, and the most significant nesting area for Green Turtles in North America. The habitat accounts for approximately 25-35% of all Loggerhead and Green Turtle nests in the US.

 

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge was the nation’s first wildlife refuge and was designed to protect Brown Pelicans and other birds that nest on the island. The refuge marks the first time that the government set aside land for the protection or wildlife. The refuge includes over 5,375 acres of wildlife habitat.

 

Sources:

http://www.sms.si.edu/IRLFieldGuide/IRLBiodiv.htm

http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/

http://www.environmentallearningcenter.org/

http://www.fws.gov/archiecarr/

http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=41572

http://www.verobeach.com/vero_beach.html

Images

Vero Beach Water- Amanda Brown

Environmental Learning Center- Shayla Bryant

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchling- Amanda Brown