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Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve Project Spotlight

"The Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve protects a lasting legacy a magical part of old Florida, where waters from palm lined subtropical rivers mix with vast salt marshes just back from the sea. This rich estuary serves as a nursery for so many species identified with Florida like manatees, snook, blue crabs, and wading birds. Perhaps just as important, it captures its place name from the Timucua, the last of the native tribes who lived in close relationship with these unique lands and waters. Protection of these lands did not just come about on its own but through partnerships between the state, county, conservation organizations, and concerned citizens who continue to appreciate the magical sense of place which is the Tomoka.

Clay Henderson
former Chair, Volusia County Council
President emeritus, Florida Audubon Society

View of Bulow Creek

Key Accomplishments

Bulow Creek after restoration

Bulow Creek Restoration

The final phase of Bulow Creek restoration at Corona Canal was completed. Thousands of cubic yards of sand deposited in Bulow Creek from upland sources through Corona Canal were removed using the Mosquito Control District's unique amphibious excavator. The excavated sand was used in the repair of several local roads, at other county project sites, or was deposited at the Flagler County landfill. Five shallow weirs were installed at various locations upstream of the canal to prevent future sand deposition. Because the canal drains a large two county area, the locations of the weirs allow for maintenance and removal of any sediment that may accumulate in the future. The project was a great success aesthetically with approximately one-quarter mile of streambed restored to near natural conditions.

 Quick Facts about Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve
Map of Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve


Northeast coast of Florida, along the Tomoka River and portions of the Halifax River, in Flagler and Volusia counties, between the towns of Ormond Beach and Flagler Beach


8,000 acres of sovereign submerged lands


Deborah Shelley
Aquatic Preserve Manager
8300 West State Road 46
Sanford, FL 32771
(407) 330-6727

Download a printable version of this page.

Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve Management Plan

Woodstorks in mud flats

The endangered woodstork feeds in quiet backwaters.

Resting shorebirds

Shorebirds resting along the Halifax River

Salt marsh

Marshes are exceptionally productive.

Moon reflected in the waters of Bulow Creek

Scenic vista along the Tomoka

  • The Halifax River, Smith Creek and the Tomoka River are an important travel corridor for the endangered West Indian manatee. The Tomoka River and its tributaries Strickland, Thompson and Dodson Creek are a designated Manatee Sanctuary.
  • In the early 1980s, a tributary of the Tomoka River was the site of the first witnessed and documented birth of a free-ranging manatee.
  • The aquatic preserve is a valuable nursery area for fish, shrimp, and crabs caught by commercial and recreational fishermen in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The aquanic preserve is utilized by more than 120 species of fish including snook, redfish, croakers, flounder, red drum, black drum, pompano and seatrout. The small, often unseen anchovy dominates as forage for larger and more popular game fish.
  • The Tomoka area has important archaeological and historic resources. Nineteen prehistoric sites are located near the aquatic preserve, including the remains of the Timucuan village Nocoroco located at Tomoka State Park.

Last updated: February 04, 2016

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