The Friends of St. Sebastian River is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, with the mission to maintain and improve the health and beauty of the St. Sebastian River and its watershed.
The Friends of St. Sebastian River was started by members of the Roseland Property Owners Association (now Roseland Community Association) in 1988, out of concern for the health of the local river. Association members at the time were concerned about runoff from a local dairy that was causing high bacteria counts in the river.
The group continues to advocate for the health of the IRL. Below is a list of some of their major efforts and concerns over the years:
- Advocate for the compliance of the Barefoot Bar wastewater treatment facility with water quality standards
- Establishment of slow boat speeds throughout the St. Sebastian River to protect wildlife and the shoreline
- Ban airboats from operating on the river
- Advocate for the creation of the 22,000+ acre St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park to protect much of the west shoreline of the river habitat and water quality
- Advocate for the dredging of muck contaminating the river habitat
- Assist the Marine Resources Council in removal of invasive Brazilian pepper, an exotic, invasive pest plant
- Water quality monitoring, boat speed compliance surveys and manatee counts
- Development of an exotic pest plant brochure with the assistance of the local Audubon and FL Native Plant Society chapters