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on the Matanzas River
The Matanzas River estuary
stretches approximately 23 miles from the St. Augustine Inlet southward to about seven miles south of the Matanzas Inlet. The Matanzas River basin occupies more than 120,000 acres (186 square miles) and supports significant fish and wildlife resources. Simply put, the Matanzas River is one of this country’s most historic bodies of water. One of Florida’s most iconic architectural structures, the Bridge of Lions, crosses the Matanzas River, and connects St. Augustine and Anastasia Island.
photo credit: Walter Coker The archeological, cultural and historical resources of the Matanzas River are only supplanted by its ecological significance. The Matanzas basin contains the last relatively undisturbed and intact tidal marsh creek systems along Florida’s east coast. Its geographically unique coastal area extends from the sub-tropical to temperate latitudinal climate transition zones so that many species can safely move about and forage.
The Matanzas River basin has several unusual characteristics that create a special opportunity for protecting the waters from degradation and for preserving the ecological and recreational attributes of those waters.
About a third of the basin has not yet been developed other than for silviculture. The remaining third of the Matanzas Basin is in public ownership: approximately 18,000 acres are owned by federal, state and local governments.
The Matanzas Inlet is the least improved inlet on the east coast of Florida; only the southern side is hardened. In general, Matanzas water quality is good, most likely the best water on the east coast of Florida. The Matanzas is home to one of only three open oyster harvesting beds in northeast Florida.
Today, the Matanzas River is the only spot in Florida where you can stand on the edge of a nearly natural ocean inlet, watch the sun set over an 18th century Spanish fort, and observe the iconic Florida roseate spoonbill and Florida manatee.
Neil A. Armingeon, Matanzas Riverkeeper
Contributions to MATANZAS RIVERKEEPER are fully tax-deductible. MATANZAS RIVERKEEPER is a program of FRIENDS OF THE MATANZAS, INC. For official financial registration records: FDACS Registration #CH40186, Expiration Date: 1/13/2016
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.