Canaveral National Seashore was created through congressional legislation on January 3, 1975 (by Public Law 93-626) to preserve and protect the natural, scenic, scientific, ecological, archeological, and historical values and resources within the national seashore, and to provide for public outdoor recreational use and enjoyment of those resources. The national seashore which represents an excellent example of a relatively stable barrier beach backed by a productive lagoon system, is comprised of a barrier island ecosytem and contains nearly 58,000 acres of barrier island, open lagoon, coastal hammock, pine flatwoods, and offshore waters. The national seashore contains 24 miles of pristine, undeveloped beach along the Atlantic coast, is prime habitat for many threatened and endangered species providing nesting beaches for several thousand protected marine turtles. Mosquito Lagoon, which encompasses more than two-thirds of the national seashore, is designated an estuary of national significance and an outstanding Florida water. This lagoon is one of the most diverse and productive estuaries in North America. The national seashore also contains cultural resources that reflect human history in the Florida peninsula from 2000 BC to early 20th century Florida settlement.
The national seashore is managed by the National Park Service in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which owns approximately two-thirds of the national seashore, and the adjacent Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
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