Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Dedicated to the conservation of Northeast Florida’s natural biodiversity and cultural resources, the Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) reserve embraces more than 73,000 acres of natural areas in some of the state’s fastest growing counties. The reserve protects a variety of wildlife, including sea turtles, roseate spoonbills, eastern oysters, and American oystercatchers. It is home to the northernmost mangrove habitat on the East Coast and encompasses some of the highest dunes in Florida. From December to February, coastal waters around the reserve become calving grounds for the endangered right whale. Reserve staff combine education, research, and monitoring programs to promote the science-based stewardship and management of the state’s coastal resources.

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Vital Stats

The Guana Tolomato Matanzas reserve participates in the System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP), which collects, analyzes, and makes available weather, water quality, and nutrient data from all National Estuarine Research Reserves. Learn more


There are many opportunities for outdoor recreation at the GTM reserve. Four beach access areas connect for swimming, surfing, and fishing. You can launch your boat at Guana Lake (Lake Ponte Vedra) and the Guana River for fishing, boating, shrimping, and crabbing. The upland areas have opportunities for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, and birding.


Gain hands-on experience in conservation, environmental education, scientific research, natural resource management, botany, horticulture, and more at the GTM reserve.

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Become a Friend

The GTM reserve thrives on the citizen support of its friends’ organization. Through volunteer initiatives and community partnerships, the Friends of the GTM Research Reserve enhances the stewardship of the region’s natural and cultural resources and supports the reserve’s research, monitoring, and educational programs.

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Did you know?

Endangered North Atlantic right whales calve the offshore waters at the GTM reserve.


Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) National Estuarine Research Reserve
505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
T: 904.823.4500