In the 1980s, the land that is now Seabranch Preserve State Park was slated to become a golf course community. In 1991, the State of Florida partnered with Martin County to purchase the property, which became a state park in 1992.[Scrub plants and trees crowd the water in the northern fork of Manatee Creek.]
The waters of Manatee Creek attract many species of birds to the park. Frequent visitors include the sandhill crane, several species of egret and heron, white ibis and the wood stork.
Visitors to the park enjoy exploring its unique biological diversity along four miles of well-marked hiking trails.
Scrub lupine is an endangered biennial or perennial herb with a soft-woody base and stubby appearance. Its stems are silvery, upright or spreading, grows to three feet tall.
Hikers enjoy a walk through the diverse habitats of Seabranch Preserve State Park. Visitors can see rare sand pine scrub, baygall, tidal swamp and estuarine seagrass beds, four of the most distinctive and unique natural communities in southeast Florida. Seabranch Preserve holds the distinction of being one of the few intact ecosystems south of Cape Canaveral.
To the east, the Indian River Lagoon supports a mangrove-dominated tidal swamp. The forests of red, black and white mangrove and buttonwood trees provide habitat for juvenile species such as snapper, grouper and snook. The Indian River is an important foraging corridor for the West Indian manatee.