Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
Guana Tolomato Matanzas, United States
MARINE PROTECTED AREA
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Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR) on Florida's First Coast is part of a network of 26 protected coastal areas along the United States coast from Alaska to Puerto Rico, The National Estuarine Research Reserve System. This program is a partnership between partner NOAA and the US coastal states with the goal of protecting estuarine lands and water.
The Reserve is over 73,352 acres (29,685 ha) of salt marsh and mangrove tidal wetlands. It includes oyster beds, tidal lagoons, critical habitat and offshore seas spanning St. Johns County and Flagler County. This estuarine ecological system produces a rich abundance of marine life including numerous commercially and recreationally valuable forms of sea life. The upland areas include pine flatwoods, maritime hammock, coastal strands and dunes, and mangroves. (GTMNERR) stretches from Summer Haven in the south all the way to Ponte Vedra Beach in the north, which is over 30 miles.
The Guana River Environmental Center, operated by the Friends of the GTM Research Reserve, is located at 2690 South Ponte Vedra Boulevard in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The center features interpretive exhibits about the estuary system and the reserve, aquariums, classrooms, teaching and working laboratories, an auditorium and an outdoor amphitheater. Education programs focus on the importance of estuarine ecosystems.
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