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Important Notice for Boaters: Location of Important Seagrass Beds at Sebastian Inlet

For boaters who use the channel leading from the ICW to Sebastian Inlet or those entering the popular anchoring area at the inlet, please be mindful that there is sensitive seagrass habitat on the western flood tidal shoal.  The protected 145-acre area is divided into 6 zones, as shown in this graphic, and marked with signage.  Biologists verified 34 prop scars - with the majority in Zone D - during the 2019 biological monitoring field work on the shoals.  Prop scars take an average of 10 years to heal naturally and can be devastating to the health of seagrass beds.  If you run aground, stop the engine, tilt the motor and pole, drift or walk your vessel to deeper water.  Download a free copy of the Sebastian Inlet District Navigation Guide HERE.

Seagrass beds are home to a highly diverse group of plants and animals and 70% of Florida’s marine recreational fish depend on seagrass communities at some point in their life cycle.  Seagrasses not only act as a nursery and food source for juvenile fish, shellfish and manatees, it improves water quality by trapping and removing sediment and nutrients in the water column.  Seagrass roots also help to stabilize sediment on the lagoon bed and established beds help protect shorelines.  According to the St. John’s River Water Management District, 2.5 acres of seagrasses can support up to 100,000 fish and 100 million invertebrates.  There is a total of 108.71 acres of seagrasses on the western flood shoal at Sebastian Inlet.

Posted: 2/17/2020

aerial map looking straight down of Sebastian Inlet flood shoal with 6 zone boundaries and indicators where prop scars were found