The ECUA Bayou Marcus Water Reclamation Facility (BMWRF) invites you to take a walk on the Boardwalk, located at 3050 Fayal Drive, Pensacola, Florida.
Since 1997, BMWRF has won 6 Gold and 11 Silver Awards from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. The Boardwalk, which spans coastal wetlands near Perdido Bay, is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, a 2,000-mile, and self-guided state-wide trail connecting nearly 500 birding sites throughout Florida. The Trail is a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, supported in part by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Wildlife Foundation of Florida. It’s divided into four sections; the East, West, Panhandle, and South Florida areas. For a list of individual Birding Trail sites, with counties, nearest cities, web links and contact phone numbers, visit the Florida Birding Trail website.
The Boardwalk is built above the Bayou Marcus Wetlands, offering visitors an opportunity to walk through an authentic Northwest Florida wetland ecosystem, which provides spectacular views, and an up-close opportunity to see wildlife that’s indigenous to the area. The abundance of fresh, clean water, which is reclaimed water from the BMWRF averaging approximately, 6.2 million gallons per day, keeps the large and diverse bird population, as well as, White Tailed Deer, Osceola Turkeys, Gray Foxes, Raccoons, Rabbits, Beavers, Bobcats, Turtles, Otters, Snakes, and even Alligators on and around the site.
There are 17 known Endangered, Threatened and Species of Special Concern observed at the Bayou Marcus Wetlands. They are American Alligator, Eastern Indigo snake, Gopher tortoise, brown pelican, Lest tern, Pine woods bluestem, Spoon leaf sundew, Pineland bogbutton, Panhandle lily, Southern twayblade, Naked stem panic grass, Yellow butterwort, Chapman’s butterwort, Southern butterwort, Rose pogonia, White-top pitcher plant, and the Parrot pitcher plant. The walk is about 300 yards to the Boardwalk ramp, from the parking area, then a mile and a half to the end. It is not a loop, so it’s recommended to only go as far as you are willing to walk back. The different seasons require a few basic safety rules:
Children should always be accompanied by an adult guardian.
During the warm months, bring cool fluids to drink. The temperature in the Wetlands is higher than elsewhere, and the humidity is always 100%!
Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothes, and comfortable walking shoes.
The wooden deck heats up as the day goes on, so early morning or late afternoon excursions are advised. You may also want to wear a hat to provide shade.
During the cooler months, warm clothes and a windbreaker jacket will help make the walk comfortable.
And don’t forget the bug spray during the warm months!
Generally, the Boardwalk is open year-round for the public to enjoy, but we allow access only during the daylight hours. We maintain a Boardwalk communications line, which provides updated information. Come see us, but it’s always best to call the information line first at (850) 969-5853.