T.M. Goodwin - Habitat and Management
Habitats provide the food, water, shelter and space animals need to thrive and reproduce. Freshwater marshes at the 6,270-acre T.M Goodwin Waterfowl Management area are located within the Upper St. Johns River Basin and provide outstanding habitat for wetland wildlife, especially waterfowl.
The area is divided into two adjacent tracts: the T.M Goodwin Unit and the Broadmoor Marsh Unit. The original marshes in these two wetland tracts were ditched and drained by previous landowners for agricultural activities such as cattle grazing and the production of row crops and citrus. However, wetland management activities have restored a majority of the native vegetation. Goodwin Lake is a former borrow pit in the east-central portion of Goodwin.
The WMA is managed to provide habitats for a wide variety of wetland wildlife, with an emphasis placed on migrating, wintering and resident waterfowl. Habitats range from mud flats and shallow water impoundments to more deeply flooded open-water marshes. Using the system of impoundments and water control structures, water levels are raised and lowered to promote the growth of desired native plants and to provide foraging and resting habitat for wading birds and shorebirds. Managers also use prescribed fire and mechanical means such as disking and roller chopping to encourage seed germination and healthy plant growth. Invasive, nonnative plants are controlled with the use of fire, water level changes or chemical and mechanical methods.
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.