Marine Life of Southwest Florida

February 9, 2022

Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline and over 30,000 lakes throughout the state.

The Florida marine life is diverse with hundreds of native and non-native species.

One could spend an afternoon in Southwest Florida sailing alongside dolphins and manatees. The winding rivers etched with forests, preserves, keys, and the vast ocean is an eco-tourists dream destination.

All the more reason to visit Southwest Florida beaches.

What can you expect below the surface, soaring through the sky, and burrowing in the sandy beach dunes?

Many planning a trip to Southwest Florida will find delight in knowing they are in walking distance from warm, sunny beaches. reefs and rivers.

You will find a mix of gulls, crabs, and fish. Those seeking a journey into mother nature may come across alligators and freshwater turtles. Plus, our beautiful sea cows: manatees.

Others to look out for include:

  • Echinoderms: Sand dollars, sea cucumber, sea urchin
  • Crabs: Ghost crab, hermit crab, leopard crab
  • Reptiles: Alligators, gopher tortoise, American alligator
  • Fish: Pufferfish, smalltooth sawfish, rays
  • Birds: Pelicans, egret, spoonbill
  • Others: Octopus, jellyfish, sea worms, coral

Be sure to pack a camera — these are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see incredible Florida marine life found nowhere else!

The Florida marine life may be beautiful and welcoming but do understand that many are endangered and protected.

This includes:

  • Manatees
  • Alligators
  • Sea turtles
  • Waterfowl

We ask you to look but not touch – not only for their well-being, but to prevent dangers to yourself and hefty fines.

We have protections to prevent overfishing, too, so please make sure to check those out prior to fishing.

Visit us for an eco-tour to see manatees when you are in town. We would love to show you the real side of Florida — one rich in marine life that’s found nowhere else in the world!