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Nature Trail Education

Welcome to the 1,600-foot Wetlands Trail Boardwalk – an environmental experience that takes in the three distinct ecosystems found in Florida – uplands, freshwater and coastal. You can see these ecosystems as they transition from dry areas through wetlands down to the shoreline. Gulf Breeze lies within the Pensacola Bay Watershed, draining freshwater from more than 6,800 square miles of uplands in Florida and Alabama. This watershed is also known as an estuary as layers of freshwater and saltwater mix creating a coastal habitat for unique plant and animal communities.

Wetlands, often called nurseries of life, are a feature
of both freshwater and coastal systems. They are
among the most diverse ecosystems – only
rainforests and coral reefs have more different kinds
of species. Coastal systems and their connected
marine environments make up 75% of the earth’s
surface, while freshwater systems are the rarest on the planet combining for less than 3% around the world. Land-based ecosystems, like Florida’s various uplands, make up the balance of the planet’s surface.

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