The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, designated in 1979, is a joint partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The second largest Research Reserve in the country at 246,000 acres, much of the acreage (135,680) is state-owned submerged lands, including significant acreage of brackish submerged vegetation, sea grasses (Halodule wrightii), oyster reef (Crassostrea virginica), tidal flats and unconsolidated bottom.
The Apalachicola Bay lies at the terminus of the Apalachicola River, which is formed by the confluence of the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers at the Florida/Georgia border. Both the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers originate in northern Georgia and drain an area of approximately 20,000 mi2. The Apalachicola River flows unimpeded from the Georgia border to the Gulf of Mexico where it delivers freshwater to the Bay and to offshore areas down the western coast of Florida. It is the largest river in Florida in terms of flow and has the greatest influence on the salinity of Apalachicola Bay and thus, the species and habitats that are located there. The timing and duration of flood events on the river has also been linked to nutrient delivery and productivity in the river and bay. Because of the myriad habitats, temperate climate and relatively pristine condition, the Apalachicola Reserve is one of the most biologically diverse areas in North America. The Reserve is home to several endangered and imperiled species. The river and bay are also tremendously productive, supporting commercial and recreational fisheries including finfish, shrimp and oysters. Apalachicola Bay provides 90% of the oyster product coming out of Florida, which equates to 10% nationally. Between 65 and 80% of Franklin County’s workforce is employed in some manner by the seafood industry. FAMU and the ECSC have had successful collaborations with ANERR for the last decade.
Jenna Harper (Jenna.Harper@dep.state.fl.us) (850) 670-7700 - Reserve Manager
Jenna Wanat (Jennifer.Wanat@dep.state.fl.us) (850) 670-7716 - Research Coordinator
Megan Lamb (Megan.Lamb@famu.edu) (850) 670-7709 - ECSC Coordinator of Research Programs/Services
NOAA-ECSC is funded under the NOAA/EPP Cooperative Agreement Award# NA11SEC4810001
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