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National Estuarine Research Reserves - Guana - Tolomato - Matanzas

Safety Updates

Effective Feb. 6: 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 that can be reopened for day-use with limited risk to visitors and staff.

Facilities Trails & Remote Access Boat & Kayak Launch Beach Access
Millender Park, Eastpoint- Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve - - Yes (bay)
Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Trails, Eastpoint (Cat Point, Scipio Creek, Rodrigue Tract, Unit 4, Cape St. George Island) Yes - Yes
Nick's Hole Parcel- St. George Island (ANERR) Yes - No
St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve Trails (Heart and Deal Tracts) Yes Yes No
GTMNERR A1A Beach Access Points (Middle and South lots only. North Lot is closed for boardwalk repairs.) - - Yes
Guana Lake Dam, Boat Ramp, and Hiking Trails Yes Yes No
Shell Island Road (Rookery Bay) Yes Yes No

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 Jacksonville (Duval County), in St. Johns and Flagler counties on the northeast coast of Florida. It is 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, among the species identified, there are 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


76,760 acres


GTM Research Reserve 
Visitor Center 
505 Guana River Road 
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 
Fax: 904-825-6829

Coastal Training:
Resource Management:
Reserve Manager:
Northeast Region Program Administrator:


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