Saint Lucie Inlet
St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park is a Florida State Park east of Port Salerno on the northern end of Jupiter Island and is accessible only by boat. Activities include snorkeling and scuba diving, swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and picnicking and wildlife viewing.
Among the wildlife of the park are migratory birds such as the Peregrine falcon, Broad-winged hawk and the American kestrel, as well as bobcats, otters, raccoons. Amenities include more than 2 miles of sandy beach, a 3,000-foot boardwalk, and 8 picnic tables.
Located at the confluence of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Okeechobee Waterway, the St. Lucie Inlet offers direct access to the Atlantic Ocean, and is a significant portal for marine commerce and recreational boaters. The Inlet separates the barrier islands of Hutchinson Island to the north and Jupiter Island to the south, along Floridas southeast coast. In addition to its importance as a navigation channel, the St. Lucie Inlet holds great environmental value. It is the heart of an estuarine system that supplies clear, clean, oxygenated waters to the Indian River Lagoon, the St. Lucie River and the Hobe Sound Narrows.
If left unmanaged, littoral sands would migrate into the Inlet, clogging the channels that provide the flow of water essential to maintaining the health of this productive and diverse estuary. The Coastal Management Division provides oversight over the continued maintenance of the Inlet.
The St. Lucie Inlet serves as a vital conduit to the Atlantic for the Indian River Lagoon (including the Intracoastal Waterway and the Hobe Sound Narrows) and the St. Lucie River (including the Okeechobee Waterway). Commercial, sport fishing and recreational boating use of the inlet is maintained through a navigation channel 12 feet in depth.
Dredging is typically conducted every two to four years to control shoaling in the three major reaches of this essential channel. Severe storms and adverse weather conditions can expedite the need for dredging, however, as material from beach and ocean areas settles in the mouth of the inlet and the inner channel, forming obstructive shoals. This shoaling results in an unreliable channel for boat traffic, negatively impacting safe navigation. Fishing is excellent here, with any type of angling available,lodging,parks,and beautiful beaches.