Ranger-guided tours scheduled weekly through March
By Jessica Creagan
SEBASTIAN INLET -- The water traffic just north of Sebastian Inlet State Park is about to get a whole lot busier on Wednesdays.
Park rangers assigned to state park will be offering guided kayak and canoe tours leaving from Campbell's Cove on Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. through March, weather permitting, showing off the Indian River Lagoon's flora and fauna.
Park services specialist Ed Perry said participants are welcome to attend and reserve a single or double occupancy vessel from the Sebastian Inlet Marina for a rental fee of $20 for two hours, which includes life jackets and paddles and a launch fee.
"You can also bring your own kayak or canoe and just pay the launch fee of $3," Mr. Perry said.
Because the tours are weather dependent, it is best to call the marina not only to sign up, but also to verify the status of the program on your scheduled tour date and where exactly to meet up, he said.
While media coverage about the health of lagoon may be accurate to report a decline in wildlife and plants, that doesn't mean there is nothing to see at all, Mr. Perry said.
"It's likely that you will see a lot of plant life on the trip, especially mangroves. There's also migrating ducks, egrets, blue herons, mullet, maybe some sting rays and sheepshead," he said.
Kayak or canoe tours have been popular and successful in other state parks around the state, and since Sebastian Inlet and the Indian River Lagoon have so much to offer, it seemed like a natural fit to add to the available programs, Mr. Perry said.
The tour will begin at Campbell's Cove, which is sort of a bay area right off of the lagoon and continue to Long Point Park and then back to Campbell's Cove.
"Depending on the paddler, it should take about one hour in each direction," Mr. Perry said.
Participants should dress appropriately for the activity and the weather, he said.
The Sebastian Inlet Marina is located at 9502 S. Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach.
For more information about the tours or other marina activities, call (321) 724-5424 or visit www.sebastianinlet.com.
Sebastian Inlet State Park is located at 9700 S. Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach.
For more information about Sebastian Inlet State Park programs, call (321) 984-4852 or visit www.floridastateparks.org/sebastianinlet.