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
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.