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St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve What's New


Gulf County


5,019 acres


Dylan Shoemaker, Preserve Manager
St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve Center
3915 State Road 30-A
Port St. Joe, FL 32456
(850) 229-1787


Chapman's rhododendron (Rhododendron chapmannii)

Shoreline of St. Joseph Bay
  • St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve provides an essential buffer to St. Joseph Bay that helps protect the bay's water quality, natural productivity and critical habitats.
  • St. Joseph Preserve State Buffer Preserve protects an intact natural coastal landscape with one of the highest concentrations of rare plants in the Southeast, including globally-imperiled species such as Chapman's rhododendron, Telephus spurge (Euphorbia telephoides) and pinewoods aster (Aster spinulosus).
  • Money Bayou is an unusual tidal creek that flows directly into the Gulf of Mexico instead of an intervening bay or sound.
  • St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve contains 20 known archaeological and historical sites, dating from prehistoric times to the 20th century.
  • The dune/swale system formed by sand dunes created during ancient changes in sea level in St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve is one of the most stable and clearly defined of such topographic features found anywhere.
  • Additional Information about St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve
  • St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve brochure

TRAM Tours

There's a new program at St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve. Beginning in January on the first Friday of each month (except July & Oct) Buffer Staff will host TRAM Tours for the public. The tour lets you explore the Uplands with an experienced guide and provides opportunities to observe the diverse communities present at the Buffer. Tour time is 9am to 11am departing from the Welcome Center parking lot. Join us to learn about the history and importance of the Buffer Preserve.

Winter Bay Day Celebration

Feb 1, 10 am - 3:30 pm

Join us for one of three guided tours  through the backwoods trails of the Buffer Preserve and learn about birds and life along the bay. There will also be a low country shrimp boil from 11 am - 2 pm.

Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves Meeting

Feb 22, 11 am
St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve Center, Building B

The Board of Directors of the Friends cordially invites all present, past and future members to the Annual Meeting on February 22, 2014. Members and guests will learn about the past years’ activities and hear what is planned for future happenings in 2014!

Beginning at 11am, Saturday, February 22 everyone is encouraged to meet at the Welcome Center (Lodge – Bldg B) at the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve for an informative recount of 2013 activities at the Buffer. Looking forward to 2014 will hopefully entice members to become more pro-active and involved even more.

After a Question and Answer Session a Potluck Chili Dinner will be served. There is no charge for members and only a $5 contribution (per person) for not-yet members (if eating). There is no charge to attend the meeting.

Membership in Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves is a great way to ensure continued support for the St. Joseph Bay Aquatic and Buffer Preserves. Your donations are instrumental in providing equipment and support for visiting researchers, site improvements which benefit Preserve Center visitors, publications, events and community outreach activities.

The St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve Management Plan is being updated.

Last updated: January 10, 2014

  3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235 Tallahassee, Florida 32399 850-245-2094 (phone) / 850-245-2110 (fax)
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