Pinellas County's Shell Key Preserve is girding up for Memorial Day boaters and visitors by increasing Sheriff's Office patrols and enforcement in the area. Holiday weekends in the past have been marred by incidents involving alcohol and rowdiness. Visitors are urged to be safe and to remove any trash they generate.
The preserve has prime wildlife and birdwatching areas. There are no public facilities of any kind at Shell Key Preserve.
"Areas like Shell Key Preserve exist for the benefit of everyone in our community," said H. Bruce Rinker, Ph.D., director of Pinellas County's Environmental Lands Division. "We urge everyone to do their part to protect them so they remain unspoiled for generations to come."
Shell Key Preserve has a barrier island, mangrove islands and surrounding seagrass beds and sandflats. The preserve consists of 1,755 acres on the Gulf of Mexico west of Tierra Verde. The area is accessible by boat only.
Enforcement is provided primarily by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department; the Florida Marine Patrol also has jurisdiction.
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