Jensen Beach

Jensen Beach, Florida

Jensen Beach is a census-designated place (CDP) in Martin County, Florida, United States. The population was 11,100 at the 2000 census.


Jensen Beach is located at (27.234926, -80.231112).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21.1 km²), of which, 7.2 square miles (18.8 km²) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km²; 10.82%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 11,100 people, 5,059 households, and 3,025 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,531.8 people per square mile (591.1/km²). There were 5,805 housing units at an average density of 801.1/sq mi (309.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.80% White, 2.25% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.77% of the population.

There were 5,059 households out of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.78.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 23.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $36,674, and the median income for a family was $49,787. Males had a median income of $34,368 versus $25,118 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $22,921. 8.3% of the population and 5.0% of families were below the poverty line. 8.4% of those under the age of 18 and 7.4% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

The Beach in Jensen Beach

The main public beach in Jensen Beach is on Hutchinson Island, called Jensen Sea Turtle Beach. It's a wide sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is staffed by Martin County life guards and is a great spot for sun bathing, surfing, and swimming. Sections of the beach where sea turtles lay their eggs are blocked off. Jensen Beach is well known in the marine biology community for being a prime location for sea turtles to nest.

Designated sections of the Jensen Sea Turtle Beach are barricaded off in order to protect the nests of the beloved sea turtles that inhabit the warm waters. The three popular species found on this beach are the loggerhead, leatherback turtle and green sea turtle. Loggerhead nests are by far the most common type found on this and adjacent beaches. Locations of the sea turtle’s nests are marked with the approximate date in which the eggs were laid and the expected date in which the eggs will hatch. These notifications are meant to encourage tourists and residents to refrain from visiting the beach in the evening hours during these time periods. Great efforts are made to protect both species of sea turtles since nests have been declining in recent years due to the severe erosion of the beach.

Pineapple Farming in Jensen Beach

In 1879, Capt. Thomas E. Richards established his homestead at Eden, planting pineapple slips on his plantation. The slips flourished, and the pineapple industry was born. John Laurence Jensen, an immigrant from Denmark, arrived in 1881, and set up his pineapple plantation, which became the town of Jensen.

Capt. Richards had the largest pineapple plantation on the Indian River. The fruit was packed in barrels and boxes at the packing house, loaded on riverboats, and transported to Titusville, the southern terminus of Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). By 1894, the FEC reached Jensen Beach, and freight shipments were loaded directly onto the freight cars.

By 1895, Jensen was called the “Pineapple Capital of the World,” shipping over one million boxes of pineapples each year during the June and July season. To help deal with the increased Pineapple production, a Pineapple Factory was built.

Unfortunately, a hard freeze in 1895 devastated most of the small pineapple plantations. Also, two fires, 1908 and 1910, destroyed most of Jensen Beach and its remaining Pineapple farms. The industry finally collapsed in 1920 due to a wide variety of financial and agriculture problems. Growers decided to turn their efforts in another direction: raising citrus.

Today, the legacy of this tropical fruit lives on; the pineapple has become a symbol of Jensen Beach. The fruit legacy is celebrated annually during the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival.

Other information

Downtown Jensen Beach is the site of the annual Pineapple Festival.

Jensen Beach is home to Martin County's only Sonic fast food restaurant.

Jensen Beach High School in Jensen Beach is the school of the 2006 Florida Teacher of the Year, Connie Dahn.

Ocean Breeze Park is an incorporated town located within unincorporated Jensen Beach.

All Saints Episcopal Church erected in 1898 is the oldest church building in Jensen Beach as well as in Martin County. Adjacent to the church is All Saints Cemetery which is non-sectarian and serves the whole community.

Waveland was the original name for the area from Crossroads Hill (south of N.E. Center Street) south to the tip of Sewall's Point and west to Warner Creek. "Jensen" originally meant the area immediately adjacent to today's Downtown Jensen Beach.

Jensen Beach has been the sister city of Gregory Town in the Bahamas since July 1989.

Jensen Beach is a part of the Treasure Coast which derives its name from the ships that wrecked during the 17th century because of coral reefs in the shallow waters. Artifacts and treasures from these ships of Spanish origin can still be discovered today.

The Skyline Drive area is among the highest points in south Florida.


In 2004 Jensen Beach was hit by two hurricanes. On September 5, 2004, Hurricane Frances made landfall at Hutchinson Island with winds of 105 mph. On September 25, 2004, Hurricane Jeanne made landfall on Hutchinson Island with winds of 120 mph.

Famous residents


External links


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