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Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve What's New
Cabbage palm in salt marsh

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) is dedicated to the conservation of natural biodiversity and cultural resources through research and monitoring to guide science-based stewardship and education strategies.

GTM Research Reserve protects 73,352 acres south of the City of Jacksonville (Duval County) in St. Johns County and Flagler County on the northeast coast of Florida, one of the fastest growing regions in the state. The populations of St. Johns County and the adjacent Flagler, Putnam and Volusia counties have grown 20 percent since 1990 and are projected to grow an additional 20 percent by 2010. More than 1.3 million people live within 50 miles of GTM Research Reserve, including the cities of Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Palatka, Daytona and New Smyrna.

These protected areas provide habitat for a wide variety of fish and wildlife. A species list recently compiled for Guana River Marsh Aquatic Preserve indicated the presence of at least 44 mammal, 358 bird, 41 reptile, 21 amphibian, 303 fish and 580 plant species. It contains habitats essential to 48 protected animals and 8 protected plants.

GTM Research Reserve is also important for the economy because these include 16 species that are fished or harvested commercially and 18 species that are fished recreationally.

GTM Research Reserve is geographically separated into a northern and southern component, separated by the City of St. Augustine. The northern component (referred to locally as Guana) is associated with the Tolomato and Guana River estuaries and the southern component is associated with the Matanzas River.

The northern component consists of:

The GTM Environmental Education Center (EEC) is located in the northern component of GTM Research Reserve ten miles north of St. Augustine on State Road A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach, and serves as the administrative, education, research and stewardship facilities for the northern component of GTM Research Reserve.

The southern component of GTM Research Reserve consists of:

There is a smaller office building on AIA within the River to the Sea Preserve in Marineland. The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund (the Trustees) has designated CAMA to manage Guana River Marsh Aquatic Preserve (excluding Guana River Wildlife Management Area) and Pellicer Creek Aquatic Preserve.


St. Johns and Flagler counties


73,352 acres


GTM Research Reserve
Environmental Education Center
505 Guana River Road
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
(904) 823-4500
Fax: (904) 825-6829

Research: Nikki.Dix@dep.state.fl.us
Education: Kenneth.Rainer@dep.state.fl.us
Coastal Training: Tina.M.Gordon@dep.state.fl.us 
Volunteer: Shannon.Rininger@dep.state.fl.us
Stewardship: Joseph.Burgess@dep.state.fl.us
Manager: Michael.Shirley@dep.state.fl.us


Boardwalk over dunes


State of the Reserve 2016

The GTM Research Reserve, in conjunction with the University of North Florida, will hold its annual State of the Reserve symposium on Friday, February 5. This year's theme is "Ecosystem Services", which is defined as the results of ecosystem processes that confer benefits on human society.

Due to increasing popularity over the past few years, this event has been expanded to provide a wider variety of programs. The traditional science symposium with oral presentations about the technical research conducted at the reserve will take place in the afternoon, followed by a poster session and reception hosted by the Friends of the GTM Reserve.

New this year will be five citizen science-based workshops geared to anyone of any age with an interest in nature and ecology. These will take place in the morning of February 5th.

Register here

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Print an 11"x17" map of GTM Research Reserve (pdf - 474 KB)

Last updated: January 08, 2016

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