Pelican Island holds a unique place in American history, because on March 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt designated it as the Nation's first National Wildlife Refuge to protect brown pelicans and other native birds nesting on the island. This was the first time the federal government set aside land for the sake of wildlife. The Refuge celebrates its Centennial Anniversary in 2003 and now the refuge system consists of more than 530 refuges on nearly 95 million acres of our nation's most important wildlife habitats.
From I-95, take Exit 156 towards Sebastian via CR 512 to US 1. There are opportunities to view the historic island's bird life on guided boat tours through local tour operators or kayak. There are 2 local tour operators off US 1, and one located in Sebastian Inlet State Park off of A1A. Contact the Indian River Chamber of Commerce for more information by calling 772/567-3491.