The Friends of the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves (FCHAP) is a Citizen Support Organization for the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves and the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. Established in 1995, the Friends provide funding, material and volunteer support for Preserve staff as well as facilities and Park and Preserve management.

The Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves are actually five contiguous aquatic preserves within the greater Charlotte Harbor estuary complex to be designated by Legislature for inclusion in the aquatic preserve system under the Florida Aquatic Preserve Act of 1975. The preserves are the Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve in the north, to Cape Haze Aquatic Preserve and Gasparilla Sound - Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve, to Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve and Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve in the south.

The park encompasses approximately 42,518 acres. Approximately 7,000 acres are uplands and 35,518 acres are wetlands and open waters. By preserving upland habitats surrounding the aquatic preserves, the park helps protect water quality, sea grasses and other habitats that are important to fish and wildlife and provides residents and visitors to the area with opportunities for boating, fishing, and other recreational pursuits.

Contact the State Park and Preserve office for more information about recreational and volunteer opportunities at 941-575-5861, stop in at 12301 Burnt Store Road Punta Gorda, FL 33955, or email us at