Coastal Ecosystems

Coastal ecosystems include a variety of communities such as mangrove swamp, coastal strand, beach/surf zone, coastal tidal river or stream, salt marsh, maritime hammock, and tidal flats. Coastal habitats are characterized by being adjacent to or a component of the Gulf of Mexico, Florida Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean. These habitats provide beneficial natural buffers against hurricanes and other natural events and are confined to the coastline. They may have a tidal influence or contain portions of upland communities.

Protection from rising sea levels due to climate change is dependent on the preservation and function of these systems. The majority of these habitat types are intolerant of management disturbance. Maritime hammocks and coastal strands are especially sensitive as well as becoming increasingly rare throughout Florida.

General Habitat Management Techniques


Species potential by Community Type


Specific Resources