Tag Archives: nature preserve

Florida’s Aquatic Preserves

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IMG_0258-SW-Florida-aquatic preservesAnother week, another edition of my Monday Meme Trifecta, where I compose a post that’s appropriate for Manic Monday, Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday. Today we’re going to talk about aquatic preserves, specifically the ones that are located off the Florida Gulf coast in Charlotte and Lee counties. I found this sign posted at the boat ramp on the east end of Sanibel Island – when you come across the causeway and finally make land on Sanibel itself, you’ll see the parking lot for the boat ramp immediately to the left. I snapped the photo to remind myself to do some research about the aquatic preserves pictured, and find out exactly what an “aquatic preserve” is.

Aquatic preserves can be composed of a variety of community or habitat types. The yellow parts on the map are dry land, the edges of which border mangrove forests, seagrass flats and salt marshes, all of which are wet. The green parts are where the seagrass communities are located. These areas make a fine hatchery and nursery for a wide variety of aquatic life. The aqua-colored parts of the map define the extent and boundaries of each preserve.

One of the more interesting things I discovered about the aquatic preserves is that they often encompass sites of historical interest, specifically encampments and settlements of both Native Americans and European explorers and settlers. Quite a few of these are represented by shell mounds, the purposes of which are not clearly understood; perhaps they really are just kitchen middens/refuse piles, or perhaps there was some ritual reason for building them. Due to rising sea levels, many of these sites are now completely submerged under water – talk about wet!

Click here for MORE about Florida’s aquatic preserves

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