Jensen Beach is a census-designated place (CDP) in Martin County, Florida, United States. The population was 11,707 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Port St. Lucie, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Geography and climate
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of , of which is land and is water.
Ocean Breeze is an incorporated town located within unincorporated Jensen Beach.
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 modern-day downtown Jensen Beach.
Jensen Beach was rated the "Top Spot for Beach Volleyball" in 2008 by the "Prime Time Magazine", and 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.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Jensen Beach has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Jensen Beach is an unincorporated town, governed by County Commissioners. Martin County is divided into five districts; Jensen Beach is represented by Doug Smith as part of District 1.
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 12,652 people, 5,934 households, and 3,038 families residing in the CDP.
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 . There were 5,805 housing units at an average density of . 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.
20.0% of the population was 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% were 65 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 main public beach in Jensen Beach is on Hutchinson Island and is called Jensen Sea Turtle Beach. It is a wide sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Martin County life guards are in attendance. The beach is used for sun bathing, surfing, fishing and swimming.
Jensen Beach is known in the marine biology community for being a 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 sea turtles. The three species found on this beach are the loggerhead, leatherback turtle and green sea turtle. Loggerhead nests are the most common type found on this and adjacent beaches. Locations of the sea turtles' 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 discourage tourists and residents from visiting the beach in the evening hours during these time periods. 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.
The history of Jensen Beach in the 19th century revolved around pineapple farming. John Laurence Jensen, an immigrant from Denmark, arrived in 1881, and set up his pineapple plantation, which became the town of Jensen.
By 1894, the Florida East Coast Railway 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 handle the increased pineapple production, a pineapple factory was built.
A hard freeze in 1895 devastated most of the small pineapple plantations. Two fires, in 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. The pineapple has become a symbol of Jensen Beach. The fruit legacy is celebrated annually during the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival.
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.
The Saint Joseph College of Florida was in Jensen.
Downtown Jensen Beach is the site of the annual Pineapple Festival.
Jensen Beach High School
Jensen Beach Elementary
Felix A. Williams Elementary
The Environmental Studies Center
Stuart Middle School
As of September 10, 2010, Jensen Beach once again has its own newspaper, the free Pineapple Post.
Historic landmarks in Jensen Beach include:
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.
Capt. John Miller House (private) on Indian River Drive in Eden, built by an early settler in the late 1890s
Jensen Beach Christian Church built in 1910-1912
Capt. Henry E. Sewall House, now located in Indian RiverSide Park
The Mansion at Tuckahoe in IndianRiverside Park
Mount Elizabeth Archeological Site in IndianRiverside Park
Stuart Welcome Arch, on State Road 707, N.E. Dixie Highway
Jensen Beach has been the sister city of Gregory Town in the Bahamas since July 1989.
Ralph Evinrude, CEO of Outboard Motor Company with a test facility in Stuart, married Frances Langford and retired to Jensen Beach.
Derek Fathauer, PGA golfer.
Forest K. Ferguson, World War II recipient of Distinguished Service Cross
Frances Langford, singer and entertainer
Bobby Lord, country singer
Anthony Newley, British songwriter and actor
Scott Proctor, baseball pitcher
Jennifer Sky (born Jennifer Kathleen Wacha), American actress