The Boca Ciega Bay and Pinellas County aquatic preserves (referred to collectively as the Pinellas County Aquatic Preserves) were designated in 1968 and 1972, respectively.
Boca Ciega Bay was designated as an aquatic preserve to aid in halting the wholesale dredging and filling of the bay that occurred with the finger fill developments of the 1950s. Pinellas County Aquatic Preserve was designated to help prevent the events in Boca Ciega Bay from being repeated elsewhere.
"Very rarely can you be on the water or stand at the water's edge and see a shoreline as protected as Pine Island Sound. It is rimmed with mangroves and other vegetation that protect both the surrounding land and the water within." -- Erick Lindblad, former Executive Director for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
"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
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.