Sight See Sustainably

Ecotourism on the Space Coast

kayaking in the thousand islands conservation area

Florida’s Space Coast is made up of many biodiverse ecosystems ready to explore. You’ll find salt marshes, oak hammocks, freshwater lakes and rivers, brackish lagoons, and miles and miles of rolling dunes on the seashore. If you’re looking to explore protected natural landscapes on your Florida getaway while learning to contribute to their health and conservation, here are some incredible places and exciting adventures you can experience on Florida’s SpaceCoast.

Protected Parks and Refuges

kayaking in the indian river lagoon

Eco Tours

Non-motorized vessels like kayaks and paddle boards are the most eco-friendly way to explore the fragile ecosystems of the lagoon. Find one of many locally-owned tour operations to guide you through the maze of mangroves in search of manatees, dolphins, native birds, and reptiles in their natural habitat. Need Accommodations? Eco tours by boat are plentiful around here too and an incredible way for everyone in your party to explore the waterways while looking for wildlife.

Find your EcoTour
enchanted Forest

Environmentally Endangered Lands

The Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program was established in 1990 to protect the natural habitats of Brevard County by acquiring environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, passive recreation, and environmental education. Today 22 conservation areas feature a mix of education centers, boardwalks, maintained trails, and even host events to continue to bring awareness to these important natural habitats by allowing visitors to explore.

Here are a few of the most popular conservation areas to explore:

Barrier Island Sanctuary
Crane Creek Sanctuary
Enchanted Forest Sanctuary
Sam’s House at Pine Island Conservation Area
Thousand Islands Sanctuary

See all 22 EEL Sanctuaries
Oyesters on the half shell

Eat for the Environment

Restaurants on the Space Coast are also very interested in keeping our environemnt as healthy and happy as possible. Businesses that are Lagoon Loyal and Ocean-Friendly have adopted practices that help to curb the use of single-use plastics and otherwise harmful materials like styrofoam and plastic bags.

Shuck & Share

The Shuck & Share Program was devised by the Brevard Zoo and is a way to reuse spent oyster shells from restaurants on the Space Coast. When you order oysters from these Restaurants, the shells are collected and turned into oyster mats or bags. These shells are then placed in strategic spots in the lagoon and foster the growth of more oysters that filter the water and improve the health of the lagoon.

Learn more about Shuck & Share
Shuck & Share Restaurants

Get Involved

Feel like making more of a difference on your getaway? Check out all the awesome and impactful volunteering events and opportunities you can be a part of on the Space Coast.

Beach Bucket foundation buckets at beach entrance

Beach Cleanups

Many local organizations gather for beach clean-ups frequently and they are completely free to participate in. The Beach Bucket Foundation has several cubbies with buckets for trash collection at several beach accesses making it easy for you to help remove harmful plastics and garbage from the ecosystem

Keep Brevard Beautiful
Surfrider Foundation


growing mangroves in buckets

Mangrove Planting Opportunities

Mangroves are one of the most important native plants on the Space Coast. This walking tree is a nursery for small fish and birds, protects against erosion and storm damage, and provides necessary habitat for hundreds of species. Additionally, mangroves help to filter nutrients from the lagoon and improve the overall water quality. Several organizations on the Space Coast work tirelessly to grow and place these amazing plants in the lagoon to restore its health and vitality.  Help to plant this native vegetation next time you’re here with a workshop or special event.

Restore Our Shores
New Swell Mangrove Project
Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition

Oyster mats at the Samsons island site

Oyster Mats and Clam Planting

Did you know that oysters can filter 50 gallons of water every day? These marvelous mollusks are one of the most important ways organizations on the Space Coast are working to help improve the health of the Indian River Lagoon. You can help these organizations in several ways. Volunteer with Restore our Shores to create oyster mats and place them in strategic areas in the lagoon. You can also simply eat at restaurants participating in the Shuck and Share program. On the Space Coast your Rockefeller shells and spent shooters will be turned into the perfect place for new oysters to grow!

Restore our Shores
Samsons Island 
Marine Resources Council 


How to Be A Good Tourist on Florida’s Space Coast

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints Florida’s Space Coast is unlike any other place in the world. From our rocket launches to the 72 miles of shoreline, 2 national wildlife refuges, and one of the most diverse estuaries in the world,  we’ve got a lot going for us....

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Woman sits at the beach with heart floaty