Cordgrass and tidal creeks characterize the salt marsh.
Habitats provide the food, water, shelter and space animals need to thrive and reproduce. The diversity of natural habitats within a small area is one of Guana River’s most striking features. For example, from the observation tower along Capo Road you can see salt marsh, maritime hammocks and pine flatwoods. Scrub is also present.
Many of Guana River’s diverse natural habitats can be seen within a small area. Salt marshes, maritime hammocks and pine flatwoods are easy to spot from the observation tower along Capo Road. Coastal scrub plants also grow at Guana.
These communities are highly influenced by coastal maritime conditions and are similar to the Sea Island Coastal Region of southern Georgia.
Slow-burning prescribed fires keep habitats healthy.
Biologists at Guana River WMA are actively involved in a number of management and restoration activities. Water levels on Lake Ponte Vedra and the interior impoundments are controlled to produce a mosaic of desirable, natural plant communities of benefit to wildlife.
Scrub is being restored through roller chopping and the use of prescribed fire. Pine flatwoods are being managed through thinning and prescribed fire on a 3- to 5-year rotation. Maritime forest hammocks and salt marshes are not fire dependent and are thus managed passively.
In addition to the management work described here, biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rely on a wide range of techniques to ensure that natural areas throughout the state stay healthy for wildlife and inviting to visitors.