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The Apalachicola Bay Reserve protects one of the most productive estuarine systems in the Northern Hemisphere, where the economic value of the natural resources and pristine conditions depend on the region’s biological diversity. The 246,000-acre reserve on the Florida panhandle is about 75 miles southeast of Tallahassee and 60 miles east of Panama City. Included within the Reserve’s management area are two barrier islands and a portion of a third, the lower 52 miles of the Apalachicola River and its floodplain, portions of adjoining uplands, and the Apalachicola Bay estuarine, riverine and floodplain systems . Apalachicola Bay is a major forage area for trans-gulf migratory bird species and supports a local fishing industry worth $14-16 million annually which directly supports up to 85 percent of the local population.