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St. Andrews Aquatic Preserve What's New

"St. Andrews Bay is one of the most highly diverse estuaries in America, with over 2,900 species. On any given day, you can find almost anything in the clear waters of St. Andrews Bay. It is also one of the most fragile coastal estuaries that needs our continued protection."

Mike Brim, Executive Director
St. Andrews Bay Environmental Science Team

Nesting sea turtle

Management Plan Development

The St. Andrews Aquatic Preserve Management Plan is being updated. A draft plan was produced and is available to the public for review and comment. A public meeting will be held to present the plan to the public and receive comments specific to the plan. Following the public meeting, the advisory committee will meet to discuss the comments received at the public meetings and possible revisions to the plan.

Meeting Date

  • Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Meeting Location

  • Gulf Coast State College
    Gibson Lecture Hall, Student Union E, Room 231
    5230 West Highway 98
    Panama City, FL 32401

Written comments are welcome and can be submitted by mail to 108 Island Drive, Eastpoint, FL 32328 or by email to FloridaCoasts@dep.state.fl.us by Wednesday, July 27, 2016.


 Quick Facts about St. Andrews Aquatic Preserve
Map of St. Andrews Bay Aquatic Preserve


Bay County


24,000 acres of sovereign submerged lands


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

Shell Island off of Alligator Point

Shell Island off of Alligator Point



Rock jetties help protect the beach

Rock jetties help protect the beach.

Campground in the sand dunes

Campground in the sand dunes

  • Relatively clear water is one of the characteristic features of St. Andrews Aquatic Preserve. Several factors contribute to the bay's clarity, such as its spring-fed tributaries, low amounts of silty clay in the local soils and the filtering effect of the marshes and seagrasses.

  • The rock jetties at the entrance to the bay are inhabited by a myriad of tropical species of fish and invertebrates. Semi-tropical fish species such as cocoa damsels, angelfishes, parrotfishes, spadefishes, and butterfly fishes are frequently observed during the warmer months of summer.

  • The sea grass beds that are dominant on the back of Shell Island within the aquatic preserve have a diverse assemblage of fish populations including mullet, pinfish, needlefish, mojarra, seahorses, pipefish, blennies and gobies as well as the young of many commercially and recreationally important species.

Last updated: June 07, 2016

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