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Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve Project Spotlight

"Very rarely can you be on the water or stand at the water's edge and see a shoreline as protected as Pine Island Sound. It is rimmed with mangroves and other vegetation that protect both the surrounding land and the water within."

Erick Lindblad, Executive Director
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation


Key Accomplishments

Brown pelicans

Colonial Wading and Diving Bird Nest Monitoring Program

Since 2008, CHAP staff has conducted monthly bird nest counts on rookery islands throughout CHAP in coordination with staff from J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Many species of birds nest on the islands including state-listed Species of Special Concern such as the brown pelican, reddish egret, snowy egret, little blue heron, and tri-colored heron. Goals of this program include documenting population trends to better understand avian biodiversity on the islands. The species' peak nest count data is published annually in the South Florida Wading Bird Report. In 2016, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission selected three islands in Pine Island Sound as potential areas for establishing Critical Wildlife Areas. This assessment utilized long-term data provided by Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve staff. Hemp Key, Broken Islands, and Useppa Oyster Bar are currently awaiting establishment orders from the FWCC.

 Quick Facts about Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve
Map of Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve

Nurse shark
Nurse shark

Lightning whelk and egg casings
Lightning whelk and egg casings

Horseshoe crabs
Horseshoe crabs



Lee County


58,507 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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