At the direction of Governor DeSantis and to successfully uphold CDC guidance to maximize social distancing and avoid gatherings larger than 10 people, DEP will close all Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection managed lands to the public effective Tuesday, March 24. This follows the cancellation of events and closure of state parks and National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERRs) facilities and education centers to the public earlier this month.
This closure includes state-owned uplands, such as beaches, islands, sand bars and emergent shoals within aquatic preserves. Vessel landings are strictly prohibited.
Unless closed by local or county order, state waters in aquatic preserves are open to recreational or commercial fishing and boating at this time, as long as adequate social distancing is observed.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work to prioritize the welfare of our communities and staff. We look forward to welcoming you again to our NERRs and aquatic preserves as soon as possible.
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) is dedicated to the conservation of natural biodiversity and cultural resources through research and monitoring to guide science-based stewardship and education strategies.
GTM Research Reserve protects 76,760 acres south of the city of Jacksonville (Duval County), in St. Johns and Flagler counties on the northeast coast of Florida, one of the fastest-growing regions in the state. These protected areas provide habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife. A species list recently compiled for Guana River Marsh Aquatic Preserve indicated the presence of at least 44 mammal, 358 bird, 41 reptile, 21 amphibian, 303 fish and 580 plant species. The research reserve contains habitats essential to 48 protected animals and eight protected plants. GTM Research Reserve is important for the economy because these include 16 species that are fished or harvested commercially and 18 species that are fished recreationally.
The GTM Research Reserve encompasses many parcels of land and water that are protected for conservation. It is named for the three rivers that tie these parcels together: Guana River, Tolomato River and Matanzas River.
St. Johns and Flagler counties
GTM Research Reserve Visitor Center 505 Guana River Road Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 904-823-4500 Fax: 904-825-6829
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.