Effective Feb. 6, 2021: It is now federal law that all persons on a tour boat, ferry or other RCP-provided watercraft within Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection (RCP) managed lands are required to wear a mask. RCP will comply with this order and continue efforts to provide for staff and visitor safety. Please review individual aquatic preserve and NERR pages for specific information for each location. As DEP reopens managed areas, the department will take measures to ensure the protection of staff and the public. During these phases of reopening, visitors should expect limited hours, capacity and amenities.
Initially, approximately six managed areas will reopen remote access trails, and beaches and boat ramps at the research reserves. Islands, beaches and submerged lands within the aquatic preserves will open in a manner consistent with local ordinances. Please refer to your local government web pages to identify any local restrictions.
The following areas have been identified to reopen for day-use with limited risk to visitors and staff.
Trails & Remote Access
Boat & Kayak Launch
Millender Park, Eastpoint - Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve
Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Trails, Eastpoint (Cat Point, Scipio Creek Boardwalk, Rodrigue Tract, Unit 4, Cape St. George Island)
Yes (except Scipio Creek and Rodrigue Tract)
Nick's Hole Parcel - St. George Island (ANERR)
St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve Trails (Heart and Deal Tracts)
GTMNERR A1A Beach Access Points (middle and south lots only - north lot is closed for boardwalk repairs).
Guana Lake Dam, boat ramp and hiking trails
Shell Island Road (Rookery Bay)
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection manages more than 4.9 million acres of submerged lands and coastal uplands in Florida.
Resilience and Coastal Protection oversees:
Forty-two aquatic preserves.
Three National Estuarine Research Reserves (Apalachicola in Eastpoint, GTM in St. Augustine and Rookery Bay in Naples)
Florida Coastal Management Program
Clean Boating Programs and Clean Vessel Act Grant Program
Florida Resilient Coastlines Program
Florida Coral Reef Conservation Program
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Statewide Ecosystem Assessment of Coastal and Aquatic Resources Program (SEACAR)
Florida Coastal Access Guide
Outer Continental Shelf Program
Beach Field Services Program
Beach Management Funding Assistance Program
Beaches, Inlets and Ports Program
Coastal Construction Control Line Program
Coastal Engineering and Geology Group
Alex Reed, Director, Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection
Alex Reed was appointed Director of the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection in November 2019. The office has a multi-faceted approach to resilience, including coral reef protection, preservation of coastal and aquatic management areas, beach and inlet management, and the implementation of ecosystem restoration projects to prepare Florida’s coastal communities and state-managed lands from the effects of sea level rise, coastal flooding, erosion and future storms.
Alex has been with the department since 2009, serving in a variety of roles and most recently as the Director of the Division of Water Resource Management. Alex earned a B.S. in geology from Florida State University.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.