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Apalachicola Bay Aquatic Preserve Project Spotlight

"The Apalachicola River, Floodplain, and Bay comprise one of the most biodiverse and productive riverine and estuarine systems in the Northern Hemisphere. The historic natural function and cultural heritage of the surrounding communities remain intact much of the way it has been for generations of commercial fishermen on one of Florida's last working waterfronts. This ecosystem and its people are truly an American Treasure."

Dan Tonsmeire, Apalachicola Riverkeeper

Shoreline of Apalachicola Bay

Derelict crab trap

Derelict Crab Trap Removal

Staff partnered with members of the community to participate in the efforts to remove derelict crab traps from the bay waters each year. These traps are no longer fished, but remain in the water because they have been lost to storms, tides or currents, have deteriorated floats, lines or knots, have been clipped by boat propellers, or have been cut intentionally by vandals. Negative impacts created by derelict traps may include, mortality of blue crabs and bycatch, navigational hazards, user group conflicts, visual pollution and impacts to sensitive habitat.


 Quick Facts about Apalachicola Bay Aquatic Preserve
Map of Apalachicola Bay Aquatic Preserve


Franklin and Gulf counties


80,000 acres of sovereign submerged lands


Jon Brucker, Manager
Florida Coastal Office 
108 Island Drive
Eastpoint, FL 32328
(850) 670-7723



Shoreline of Apalachicola Bay

Shoreline of the Apalachicola Bay


Rainbow over the bay

  • Apalachicola Bay is one of the most productive estuarine systems in the Northern hemisphere as a result of the overall good water quality.
  • Apalachicola Bay is an exceptionally important nursery area for the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Over 95% of all species harvested commercially and 85% of all species harvested recreationally in the open Gulf have to spend a portion of their life in estuarine waters. Blue crabs, for example, migrate as much as 300 miles to spawn in Apalachicola Bay.
  • Apalachicola Bay is a major forage area for such offshore fish species as gag grouper and gray snapper.
  • The area is a major forage area for migratory birds, in particular for trans-gulf migrants in the spring.

Sunrise over Apalachicola Bay

Sunrise over the bay

Last updated: February 22, 2016

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