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Florida's Gulf Ecological Management Sites Florida's GEMS

A Gulf Ecological Management Site (GEMS) is a geographic area that has special ecological significance to the continued production of fish, wildlife and other natural resources or that represents unique habitats.

The GEMS Program is an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gulf of Mexico Program (GMP) and the five Gulf of Mexico states to provide a framework for protection of ecologically important Gulf habitats.  It is administered through the Gulf of Mexico Foundation.

Gulf of Mexico Program

Gulf of Mexico Program logo

Gulf Ecological Management Sites logo

The GEMS Program will coordinate and utilize existing federal, state, local and private programs, resources, and mechanisms to identify GEMS in each state, build an informational database, and foster cooperative use of GEMS to further GMP goals.

The GMP has identified the GEMS Program as one of its priority action items to achieve its goal to conserve, restore, enhance and create Gulf of Mexico habitats. The first step of the program is for each Gulf state to identify special ecological sites it regards as GEMS. Information about each site, such as size, boundaries, ecological characteristics and current management status, will be included in a Gulf-wide database. This information network will be used by participants in the GEMS Program to coordinate and to share information about ecologically important sites and appropriate management techniques on a regional basis.

The regional strategy of the GEMS Program will:

  • promote information exchange;
  • increase awareness of the national significance of Gulf of Mexico sites;
  • muster additional support for management activities; and
  • assist in setting priorities on a geographical basis for funding and activities, such as
  • research, monitoring for ecological health, special action projects, and other mechanisms to ensure the continuing vitality of these critical areas.

See The Gulf of Mexico Alliance for similar efforts to protect the coastal environment of the Gulf states.

Visit the GEMS of the other Gulf coastal states.

Link to Texas GEMS


Link to Louisiana GEMS


Link to Mississippi GEMS


Link to Alabama GEMS


GEMS Managed by CAMA

Aquatic Preserves

National Estuarine Research Reserves


GEMS Managed by US Fish & Wildlife Service

Last updated: December 29, 2015

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