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National Estuarine Research Reserves - Apalachicola

Education at ANERR

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. 

Recreation at ANERR

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.

Resource Management Programs at ANERR

Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) accomplishes resource management by physically conducting management activities on the resources for which it has direct management responsibility and by influencing the activities of others within and adjacent to ANERR's 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 Training Program at ANERR

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.

Topics include:

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Monitoring at ANERR

Monitoring submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) has shown particular promise in detecting specific factors that may influence both short- and long-term changes to nearshore 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.

Oyster Research at ANERR

Researching Oysters for the Economy and for the Environment
Apalachicola Bay is known for delicious oysters, but did you know that these oysters grow more quickly than oysters anywhere else in the United States? It takes Apalachicola oysters about 18 months to grow to legal size, about half the time it takes oysters in Chesapeake Bay to grow to an equivalent size.

Coastal Shorebird Monitoring at ANERR

The relatively undisturbed miles of Gulf of Mexico beach and dunes of the barrier islands provide essential habitats for a number of endangered and rare birds. Since 1985, Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) has concentrated most of its avian management efforts on several listed species, including least terns, black skimmers and American oystercatchers, which use habitats within the reserve for breeding and nesting. The research section's annual nesting shorebird survey is concentrated in two areas within ANERR -  "Bird Island" and the St.

Sea Turtle Monitoring at ANERR

The beaches of northwest Florida provide excellent habitat for nesting sea turtles. The barrier island beaches in the Apalachicola area support some of the densest concentrations of nesting loggerhead sea turtles in northwest Florida. The loggerhead is the most common turtle to nest in this area. There have been occasional reports of green sea turtles nesting on northwest Florida beaches and even rarer occurrences of leatherback nests.


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