Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve
Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Logo

Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve

Reserve Information



Lead Agency

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
(Visit Site)


234,715 acres


90 miles southeast of Tallahassee, and 80 miles east of Panama City, Florida

Additional Information

This reserve is a major forage area for trans-gulf migratory bird species and supports a local fishing industry worth $14-16 million annually, which in turn directly supports up to 85 percent of the local population.

Biogeographic Region


Tidal Range

0.6 meters

About This Reserve

One of the most productive estuarine systems in the Northern Hemisphere is located within the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. The economic, recreational, educational, and environmental benefits provided by this estuary are enhanced and protected by the programs and initiatives led by reserve staff. The site encompasses two barrier islands and a portion of a third, the lower 52 miles of the Apalachicola River and its floodplain, portions of adjoining uplands, and the Apalachicola Bay estuarine, riverine, and floodplain systems.

The Apalachicola Reserve is one of 30 areas in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. The reserve is managed on a daily basis by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection with input from local partners. NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management provides funding, national guidance and coordination, and technical assistance.

Reserve Location and Boundaries

Reserve Location and Boundaries