Shell Key PreserveShell Key Preserve 2187 Oceanview Drive
Tierra Verde, Florida 33715 United States
All Shell Key campers must have a camping permit. (No campfires allowed from May 1 – Sept. 30 because of turtle nesting. Violators will be fined $118.)
This 1,800-acre preserve protects sensitive marine habitats. It includes one of the County’s largest undeveloped barrier islands (Shell Key) as well as numerous mangrove islands and expansive seagrass beds.
Shell Key is one of the state’s most important areas for shorebird nesting and wintering and serves as an important study area for these species. It also is an important recreational area. Restricting the public to the northern and southern ends of the island helps balance both uses. A central core area for conservation is closed to the public.
Boating, camping and beach-related activities are permitted in public areas of the preserve. No restroom facilities are provided. The closest boat ramps, trailer parking and restroom facilities are at Fort De Soto Park.
- Beautiful Beaches
- Bird Watching – Designated as one of the state’s most important areas for shorebird nesting and wintering. It serves as an important study area for these species.
- Note: No restrooms available. Preserve is accessible only by boat.
Daily – 24 Hours a Day / Open Holidays
Preserve and Camping Rules:
- Dogs and alcohol are not allowed anywhere in the preserve. Municode – Chapter 90
- All plants and animals are protected.
- Removal of live animals from the beach (sea turtles, sand dollars, conchs, starfish, fiddler crabs, etc.) is not allowed.
- Preserve Boundary Map
Overview of Preserve
- Public Use of Land Map
Visitors to the island must stay out of unauthorized areas. The former public use area located mid-island is part of the Bird Preservation Area and is off limits.
- All overnight camping requires a permit issued by the County and is limited to the southern public use area of Shell Key.