For Hometown News
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- Exploring the Indian River Lagoon, Pelican Island, and the St. Sebastian River aboard the Environmental Learning Center's pontoon boat, also known as a "floating classroom," is an up close and personal way of learning about and appreciating one of the most diverse environments in North America.
Excursions sail from the ELC on Wabasso Island into the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. Separate morning and afternoon trips give participants the opportunity to see the bird species that nest, rest, and feed on Pelican Island at close range. The onboard guide identifies the species encountered, discusses the ecology of the Lagoon, and how it might be preserved. Brown and white pelicans, egret, ibis, kingfishers, and herons are often on the island or nearby. Migrating birds gather on the mangrove islands, and manatees and dolphins may be seen throughout the trip. The fee for this excursion is $25 per adult and $10 per child ($2 less for members and their children).
The St. Sebastian River boat excursion explores the south prong of the Sebastian River. This aquatic preserve is part of the Indian River Lagoon watershed. The trip is guided by an ELC Naturalist who will point out the natural wonders of the area. Lucky boaters may spot alligators, wading birds, eagles, ospreys, and manatees. The fee for this adventure is $28 per adult and $14 per child ($2 less for members and their children).
The Environmental Learning Center is located north of Vero Beach off County Road 510 at the western end of the Wabasso Bridge. Its campus includes exhibit areas, native plant gardens, picnic facilities, gift shop, and a visitor center. ELC membership benefits, a list of its many field excursions, Ecology Adventures, including nature walks, canoe excursions, and boating adventures can be found at www.DiscoverELC.org. Admission is $5 per person, children 12 and under free, and ELC members receive free admission year-around. The first Saturday of every month is free to all.
The schedule of the various boating excursions is available on the ELC's web site, www.DiscoverELC.org. Reservations may be made by calling the ELC at (772) 589-5050.