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Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics

"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


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


2,800 acres of sovereign submerged lands


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

Download a fact sheet. (pdf - 1.57 MB)

Leaning palm

A cabbage palm leans over Bulow Creek.

  • 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 creeks 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 aquatic 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. Approximately 70 historic and prehistoric sites are located near the aquatic preserve, including the remains of the Timucuan village Nocoroco within Tomoka State Park.

Management Plan Development

The Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve Management Plan is being updated. A draft plan was produced, and is now available to the public for review and comment. A public meeting is being held to receive comments and a subsequent advisory committee meeting will be held to discuss the plan and those comments. Written comments are welcome, and can be submitted by mail to 8300 West State Road 46, Sanford, FL 32771, or by email to FloridaCoasts@dep.state.fl.us on or before July 5, 2017.

Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve Management Plan Public Meeting

Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Tomoka State Park Recreation Hall
2099 North Beach Street
Ormond Beach, FL 32174




Last updated: June 02, 2017

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