ANERR education programs are primarily focused on K-12 students and teachers in Franklin County, and are designed to support the long tradition of stewardship of Apalachicola Bay. The rural nature of Franklin County provides a unique opportunity in that each year, every student in pre-K, first, third, fifth and seventh grades participates in standards-aligned ANERR education programs that focus on the ecology of Apalachicola Bay and its value to the community.
The environment within the ANERR boundaries and on ANERR-managed land provides a wide variety of outdoor resource based recreational opportunities. Although ANERR does not coordinate recreation, it is an important activity within ANERR. These include fishing (salt- and freshwater), hunting, hiking, camping, nature study, birding, canoeing, kayaking, boating, shelling, beach activities, swimming and nature photography.
Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) accomplishes resource management by physically conducting management activities on the resources for which they have direct management responsibility, and by influencing the activities of others within and adjacent to their managed areas and watershed. These activities, and the resultant changes in environmental conditions, affect the condition and management of the resources within their boundaries. Coastal watersheds are especially sensitive to upstream activities affecting water quality and quantity.
The Coastal Training Program (CTP) provides science-based knowledge, training, resources and technical assistance to individuals responsible for making decisions that affect the coastal resources so vital to our watershed, our economy and our way of life. We promote and facilitate community-based stewardship and conservation by engaging leaders, managers, professionals, business owners and residents in gaining knowledge of the reserve. We draw expertise from both federal and state levels, channeling it to the local community.
Monitoring submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) has shown particular promise in detecting specific factors that may influence both short and long-term changes to near-shore aquatic ecosystems. This vegetation can serve as an important indicator to the health of an estuarine system. SAV also plays an important ecological role to the aquatic environment by providing food and habitat for waterfowl, fish, shellfish and invertebrates.
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.