Indian River County
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Indian River has changed names several times since the early 1800's. Prior to 1820 it was known as the Territory of East Florida. Before statehood in 1845, the county was known in 1821 as St. Johns, 1824 Mosquito, and 1844 was known as St, Lucia County. The name changed again in 1855 to Brevard, then in 1904 became St. Lucie. It wasn't until 1925 that it's current name was established.
Three main industries can be found in it's borders. Indian River Citrus fruits are shipped world wide. The Atlantic Ocean on it's eastern border draws many tourists for fun and sun . The least known industry is the aviation manufacturing plants for Piper and Velocity airplanes.
In addition to the beaches for sun and fun, there is a large tract along the Atlantic coastline set aside as a sanctuary for Loggerhead and Sea Turtles. People and turtles don't mix during the time the turtles lay their eggs. Floridians are very protective of the sea life understanding that it needs to be perpetuated. Dr. Archie Carr, a professor at the University of Florida was a leader in understanding the needs of turtles. In 1994 the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge coverins the beaches from Wabasso Beach north to Melborne Beach was dedicated in honor of his efforts
President Theodore Roosevelt in an executive order established the first national wildlife refuge in the United States at Pelican Island, a 3 acre island just off the coast of Orchid Island in the Indian River Lagoon just east of Sebastian. Included along with the land is a buffer of 2.5 additional acres of water. With the founding of this refuge in 1903, protection was offered the egrets and other birds whose feathers are highly prized for decorations. This hopefully would keep these beautiful birds from extinction. It was through the efforts of Paul Kroegel from Germany who settled nearby and watched what whas happening. He sailed to the island and protected the birds from outsiders. He discovered this was one of the last Brown Pelican rookeries in Eastern Florida.
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