All About Marine Life in Florida

naples on the sand

Common Marine Life in Florida

It's no surprise that Florida is home to a wide variety of marine life, as the majority of the state is a peninsula surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Common species in the waters around Florida include sea turtles, swordfish, sharks, and many other types of aquatic life.

Rays and Skates

Rays and skates, two common types of cartilaginous fishes, are commonly found in Florida. They typically reside in brackish and salty waters. These two types of fish look pretty similar; one of the best ways to tell them apart is by the shapes of their tails, as the tail of a stingray is longer and thinner than that of a skate.

Rays of the Florida Panhandle

What's the Difference Between Stingrays and Skates?

Skates and Rays

Sea Turtles

You can find five different species of sea turtles swimming in Florida's waters or nesting on its beaches. Sea turtles can swim long distances, dive to deep depths, and live 60 years or more.

Species of Sea Turtles Found in Florida

Sea Turtles in Florida

Sea Turtles in Florida: Everything You Need to Know


Sharks have played an important role in maintaining healthy oceans for millions of years. The coastal waters of Florida are home to more than 30 species of sharks. Some of these species include the lemon shark, the blacktip shark, and the iconic great white shark.

Are There Sharks in Florida?

The Sharks in Florida

The Importance of Sharks


Manatees, sometimes called "sea cows" because of their appetite for seagrass, are large gray marine mammals that average around 10 feet long. The Florida manatee is native to the state of Florida and plays an important role in the marine ecosystem by controlling vegetation and consuming invasive species.

Florida Manatee

The Race to Save Florida's Manatees

Five Things You Might Not Know About Manatees


Florida has the highest concentration of jellyfish on its Atlantic coast. The most common type of jellyfish in Florida is the moon jellyfish, scientifically known as Aurelia aurita. The most dangerous type of jellyfish is the box jellyfish, which can sting you with deadly venom.

Florida's Marine "Stings and Things"

Jellyfish in Florida

Types of Jellyfish in Florida

Ocean Conservation

Oceans cover more than two-thirds of Earth's surface, and they're essential to all life. Oceans provide food and jobs and help to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. However, pollution, global warming, and overfishing have all caused harm to our oceans and the creatures living within them. Pollution is a particularly large threat, impairing water quality and ruining habitats for plants and animals.

Why Protect Oceans?

Protecting Our Oceans

15 Ways You Can Help Protect the Ocean and Marine Animals

What Is Ocean Conservation, and Why Is it More Important Than Ever?

5 Reasons You Should Care About Our Ocean

Marine Wildlife Conservation

Marine conservation is the process of protecting marine species and their ecosystems. Dozens of different marine species are endangered, and all of these creatures are integral parts of the oceanic food web. We can all do our part to protect marine wildlife by learning about the threats to their home and acting to prevent and undo the damage that humans have caused. For instance, you could join a beach cleanup, minimize your use of single-use plastics, and increase awareness of the need to protect marine life.

How You Can Help Protect Marine Wildlife

Marine Biodiversity Conservation

Why Is Marine Conservation so Important?

Additional Information on Marine Life in Florida

Ecosystem and Habitats: Florida's Coral Reef

How Plastic Is Harming Florida's Marine Life, and What We Can Do About It

Marine Life Protection Laws

Florida Oceanographic Research and Conservation

Florida Marine Life Dying From Pollution

Marine Plastics and Pollutants

Heron at Pelican Bay

Information About Sea Turtles: Threats From Marine Debris

Impacts of Plastic Pollution in the Oceans on Marine Species

Author: Sean Lorch