When the Kennedy Space Center was established in the early 1960s it was determined all of the land was not needed for the space complex. Given the size of the land, several agencies were invited to help manage the area. The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services came together in 1963 to manage the property. A sanctuary for wintering waterfowl, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, was established.
In August 1974 the Canaveral National Seashore was established through US Code 459j-Canaveral National Seashore; establishment; boundary; boundary revisions; and limitations on area. The purpose of the code is to protect and preserve the natural, scenic, scientific, ecologic, and historic value of certain lands, shoreline, and waters along Florida's Eastern seaboard. Ever since the code was established the Canaveral National Seashore has provided miles of outdoor recreation.
The Canaveral National Seashore, located on the East Coast of Florida, is a surfers dream come true. With untouched, natural beaches surfers of all levels will find waves that will thrill and delight. Depending on the area the surfer visits the Atlantic Ocean does not disappoint.
From the northern end of the Canaveral National Seashore, Playalinda Beach, to the southern beaches of Sebastian Inlet, surfing has grown into a year round sport. Beginners surf the calm waters of Cocoa Beach. The most experiences surfers prefer the unpredictable waves found in Sebastian Inlet.
Some of the best surfing venues on the East coast are found in this area. However, surfing is off limits due to the location of the Kennedy Space Center. Other surfing venues are also restricted due to the location of Patrick Airfare Base.
The Canaveral National Seashore has hosted numerous national and world surfing competitions. In addition, the communities located along the seashore hold various surfing events throughout the year, such as the surfing Santa's during the Christmas holiday, the annual Easter Surfing Festival. as well as the NKF Rich Salick Pro-Am Surfing Festival during Labor Day weekend. In March 2015 the city of Cocoa Beach hosted a weekend event, Surf Cocoa Beach, which honored military veterans.