Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration


The FWC's Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration (AHCR) Section has the responsibility of restoring, enhancing and managing publicly owned freshwater and saltwater habitats throughout the state. This benefits fish and wildlife which depend on these resources and the public who utilizes these waters for recreation and other purposes.

There are two groups within AHCR:


Restoration work at Grassy Flats,
Lake Worth Lagoon, Palm Beach County

Projects undertaken by AHCR are designed to improve freshwater and marine ecosystems that have been negatively impacted. They typically involve at least one and often many partners working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They may require big machinery capable of digging up and moving tons of sand, sediment, rock and floating vegetation. Volunteers may help transplant beneficial aquatic plants or construct oyster reefs with natural materials. When an aquatic restoration project is finished, the results can be both subtle and impressive. The restored waterway and habitat will look natural and their functions will improve over time, but the biggest difference will be the renewed diversity and abundance of fish and wildlife living there. The other important result is improved public access and enjoyment.

Florida’s Freshwater Priority Resources: A Guide for Future Management

Florida is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico and full of lakes, freshwater springs, rivers, marshes, bays and the “river of grass” that is the Everglades. Native species of fish, birds and other wildlife are dependent on the health of these aquatic habitats. Residents and visitors enjoy the beauty and diversity of the state’s waterways as they go boating, fishing, paddling, viewing wildlife, hunting waterfowl, swimming, snorkeling or simply stopping to soak up the view. AHCR plays a key role in improving and maintaining aquatic resources throughout the state.


Photos, before and after, from New Smyrna Beach marsh restoration

FWC Facts:
Larger, older striped bass can produce more than a million eggs at one time.

Learn More at AskFWC