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Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve Project Spotlight

"This aquatic preserve is the essence of the southwest Florida estuary - teeming with life, exquisite in form and extremely sensitive to human caused impacts. It is one of our many jewels in southwest Florida and we have a duty to protect this valuable preserve!"

Bob Janes, Lee County Commissioner

Clouds over Matlacha Pass

Key Accomplishments

Staff collect a datalogger

Water Quality Monitoring

In September 2005, two permanent monitoring stations, in north and south Matlacha Pass, were established and equipped with continuous water quality data collection equipment. A third site was added near the Matlacha bridge in 2009.  These sites were selected to monitor the extent of the tidal node in Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve in addition to the tidal influence of the Caloosahatchee River, Charlotte Harbor and runoff from adjacent Cape Coral and Matlacha. Seven different water quality parameters including water temperature, salinity, pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and depth, are collected every 15 minutes. Water samples are collected monthly for chlorophyll a, total nitrogen (nitrate/ nitrite and total Kjeldahl nitrogen) total phosphorous and Harmful Algal Blooms. The data from this program is used to monitor the seasonal changes in Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve and is available upon request.

 Quick Facts about Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve
Map of Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve

Mangrove shrouded shoreline
View beneath shoreline mangroves


Kayaking under the mangroves
Kayaking through a mangrove shrouded trail

Roseate spoonbill
Roseate spoonbill


Lee County


14,622 acres of sovereign submerged lands


Mindy Brown
Aquatic Preserve Manager
12301 Burnt Store Road
Punta Gorda, FL 33955

Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves Management Plan (pdf - 42.9 MB)




Last updated: March 14, 2017

  3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235 Tallahassee, Florida 32399 850-245-2094
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