Aquatic Preserves List
Much of Florida's distinctive character lies in the beauty of its coastline.
The best of our coastal landscapes have been set aside
for protection as aquatic preserves. This natural beauty has always
been one of Florida's major attractions for both tourists and residents.
Ironically, the very features that have drawn people to Florida are
potentially endangered by the increased population pressures.
Aquatic preserves protect the living waters of Florida
to ensure that they will always be home for bird
rookeries and fish nurseries ... freshwater springs and
salt marshes ... seagrass meadows and mangrove forests.
These natural wonders offer a window into Florida's natural and cultural
heritage. In 1975, with growing appreciation for their environmental diversity
and alluring beauty, Florida enacted the Aquatic Preserve Act. This ensured that
aquatic preserves' natural condition ... "their aesthetic, biological, and scientific
values may endure for the enjoyment of future generations."
Today, Florida is fortunate to have 41 aquatic preserves, encompassing approximately
2.2 million acres. All but four of these "submerged lands of exceptional beauty" are
located along Florida's 8,400 miles of coastline in the shallow waters of marshes
and estuaries. These waters are ours to enjoy and ours to protect.
These pristine waters act as critical nurseries for fish and other aquatic life.
This is where our fishing industry begins. Bottlenose dolphins break the water's
surface and manatees feed on the seagrasses. Wading and shore birds, including
pelicans, ospreys, and roseate spoonbills, thrive in the shallow waters.
Approximately two-thirds of Floridians live in counties that border an aquatic
preserve. Aquatic preserves are vital to Florida's
quality of life. Residents and visitors enjoy swimming, fishing, boating and paddling
through the preserves, often unaware that the waters are being protected and preserved
for generations to come.
Numerous archaeological sites found along the preserves, shores attest to early human
habitation. Like many people today, early explorers found them attractive places to
live. Shell mounds, which are heaps of the discarded remains from early meals, bear
the evidence of early human communities and add to their cultural and historical
Aquatic preserves' natural heritage is
entrusted to us ... to explore, experience and protect ... for future
explore Florida's aquatic preserves, click on the map or
view a list of Florida's aquatic preserve sites on the
July 09, 2014
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
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