"Imagine Florida without its tourism-driven economy: without fishing, boating, wading and beachcombing. Thankfully, you won't have to because the state's 41 aquatic preserves (AP), including Lemon Bay AP, will help safeguard Florida's environment and quality of life for generations to come." - U.S. Senator Bill Nelson
"Cape Haze is a Florida place where the sense of wilderness and encounters with the genuinely wild persist-- where there remains the chance to experience our state's original bounty and heritage of nature. That's what aquatic preserves are all about."
- Ernest D. Estevez, Ph.D., Director at the Center for Coastal Ecology, Mote Marine Laboratory
St. Joseph Bay is a large body of water mostly enclosed by St. Joseph Peninsula. The St. Joseph Peninsula is 17 miles long and has an average width of 1,000 feet. It is formed from the Cape San Blas shoals and the historical migration of the Apalachicola River. The cape and the spit sediments are quartz sands originally supplied by the Apalachicola River. Waves and other shore zone processes have put the beaches in a constant state of change over the last hundred years.
Rocky Bayou State Park Aquatic Preserve is recognized as an exceptional water resource of the state. The aquatic preserve is the smallest of the 42 aquatic preserves in Florida, encompassing 367 acres.
"A trip on the Yellow River is like going back in time. Its tall-forested banks, pristine water quality and productive fishing create a place one can go to be completely surrounded by nature. The Yellow River Preserve is one of Florida's most precious contributions it has for its future generations." - Ernie Rivers, River Keeper and Bream Fisherman Associate of Northwest Florida
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.