The Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection manages more than 4.5 million acres of submerged lands and coastal uplands. The Office oversees the Florida Coastal Management Program, Clean Boating Program, 41 Aquatic Preserves, three National Estuarine Research Reserves, Florida Resilient Coastlines Program, Florida Coral Reef Conservation Program, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and activities on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Much of Florida's distinctive character lies in the beauty of its coastline. The best of our coastal landscapes have been set aside for protection as aquatic preserves. Florida’s natural beauty has always been a major attractions for both tourists and residents. Ironically, the very features draw people to Florida are potentially endangered by the increased population pressures. Aquatic preserves protect the living waters of Florida to ensure they will always be home for bird rookeries and fish nurseries, freshwater springs and salt marshes, seagrass meadows and mangrove forests. These natural wonders offer a window into Florida's natural and cultural heritage. In 1975, with growing appreciation for their environmental diversity and alluring beauty, Florida enacted the Aquatic Preserve Act. This ensured that aquatic preserves' natural condition, "their aesthetic, biological and scientific values may endure for the enjoyment of future generations." Today, Florida has 41 aquatic preserves, encompassing approximately 2.2 million acres. All but four of these "submerged lands of exceptional beauty" are located along Florida's 8,400 miles of coastline in the shallow waters of marshes and estuaries. All of these waters are ours to enjoy and protect. To learn more about the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection and Florida’s Aquatic Preserves Program visit https://floridadep.gov/RCP