Located in southwest Florida on Charlotte Harbor ,the states second largest open water estuary, Punta Gorda provides direct access to what is a pristine estuary of national significance. In fact, 1/5 of penninsular Florida drains into Charlotte Harbor. An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water where fresh water from the land and rivers mixes with salt water. In southwest Florida, the Gulf of Mexico provides the salt water. Out of Punta Gorda, the Peace and Myakka Rivers provide the fresh water.
A Healthy estuary can be one of the most productive places on earth for marine wildlife. Typically, 80 to 90% of Florida’s commercially valuable fish and shellfish depend on estuaries. The vast amount of mangrove shorelines and seagrass beds are a vital component for fish nurseries and bird rookeries. Moreover, the vast majority of juvenile game fish species that use our estuary to mature and grow never leave. They become resident adults throughout the bays and sounds that surround the harbor.