Discover the Pine Island Aquatic Preserve

Pine Island is a pristine destination where nature thrives and there’s no place that provides a better example of this success as the Pine Island Aquatic Preserve. Located at 12301 Burnt Store Road, the Pine Island Aquatic Preserve sits within the greater Pine Island Sound which welcomes in waters from the Gulf of Mexico, the Caloosahatchee River, San Carlos Bay, and Charlotte Harbor alike. This state-funded and owned preserve was first designated as protected land in 1970 and today, remains a place where wildlife, plant life, and marine ecosystems experience growth that’s stunted in other areas more prone to commercial development. The Pine Island Aquatic Preserve hosts a collection of captivating landforms and waterways that lend themselves to a diverse range of species. From mangrove tunnels to barrier islands, the versatile landscape offers up a rich terrain for birds, fish, plants, amphibians, mammals, and more to find a place to settle, grow and thrive.

Resource Management and Education

At Pine Island Aquatic Preserve, a combination of volunteers and staff work year-round to monitor both the natural resources available for wildlife as well as the quality of the water. This includes research around nesting birds in the area as well as vital seagrasses. In total, this preserve is home to no less than 16 of the 32 colonial rookery islands that are part of the greater Wading and Diving Bird Colonial Nest Monitoring Program in the state. Alongside Useppa Oyster Bar, Hemp Key, and Broken Islands, the Pine Island Aquatic Preserve houses 13 varying species of diving and wading birds! Data of this type has been monitored at the preserve for over 17 years and has shown that over that timeframe, seagrass diversity has positively increased at 11 different sites. The information acquired through this meticulous monitoring is always available upon request to professionals and visitors alike. Nature Boat and Snorkel Eco-Ventures offer options for visitors to pair safe area exploration with insightful information originating from these monitoring programs and studies.

What You’ll Find

Pine Island Aquatic Preserve houses salt marshes and mangrove swamps as well as areas where mollusk reefs thrive. While the aquatic terrain here is rich in seagrass beds, there are also sponge beds on-site. Blue crabs, sheepshead, black drum, oyster drills, and stone crabs all inhabit the waters at the preserve as well.

Collective Conservation at its Best in Florida

The Resilience and Coastal Protection program in Florida integrates the Pine Island Aquatic Preserve into its overall conservation efforts. In total, the program oversees 42 aquatic preserves in the state in an effort to restore resilient coastlines, boost fragile ecosystems, and protect coral reefs. The program is categorized as part of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Office and in total, 5.3 million acres of coastal uplands and submerged lands are protected under its direction.

Enjoy a Pine Island Adventure

When you’re traveling to Pine Island and looking for incredible accommodations that infuse luxury, style, and comfort into your stay, Dream Vacation Rentals is here to help. Reach out to learn more about our many options and to start planning!