Amelia Island – It’s An Island Thing

By Amelia Island

Amelia Island is a well-kept secret, situated on the Northeast Coast of Florida close to the Georgia border. Its position as the largest barrier island in a chain, known as the Golden Isles, performs a vital role in protecting the mainland, preserving natural habitat, flora, and fauna. The island itself is home to nesting sea turtles, amazing indigenous species onshore, and an abundance of sea life offshore.

Packed with history, nature, memorable accommodation, and a delicious and exciting range of high quality, locally sourced food choices, Amelia Island has long appreciated the importance of tourism and how it can impact on this precious environment.

It is no surprise why people want to come to this wonderful location. It chooses to work towards sustainable travel, taking massive strides towards ensuring that future generations can experience this astonishing place. Not because it is easy, or it’s fashionable, but because it is the right thing to do.

From tree and wildlife conservation to coastal restoration and green businesses, Amelia Island has embraced the importance of having a harmonious coexistence with nature.

“With the entire island community committed to sustainability and responsible tourism, it is a way of life on Amelia Island”

Tree planting initiatives and land management practices are among several initiatives that ensure the preservation of the Islands lush maritime forests, canopy roads and parks. They have also taken great strides in wildlife conservation, actively working to protect and restore habitats for sea turtles nesting along the shore, migratory birds, endangered whales, and all indigenous wildlife that thrive in the island’s salt marsh estuaries.

Local businesses, accommodations, restaurants, and tourist attractions have worked to implement eco-friendly practices, such as energy-efficient infrastructures, water conservation efforts and the use of locally sourced cuisine where possible. With the entire island community committed to sustainability and responsible tourism, it is a way of life on Amelia Island.

The island has two high end, luxury resort hotels that contribute to the rich mix of traditional antebellum style small lodgings and mid-size comfortable modern hotels. All of them play their part. The luxury beach front Omni Amelia Island Resort is an impressive example; it was ahead of the game long before going green had become such an imperative for the planet. They have naturalists as part of their team of dedicated employees, ensuring the hotel meets and exceeds expectations. They are also on hand to educate guests, with explanations of the island’s natural ecosystem, and environmental projects. The hotel is constantly looking at schemes that reduce impact on the environment such as The Sprouting Project – A “Farm to Table” experience, where visitors tour the gardens, greenhouses, and apiary to discover where their next delicious 5 course meal is sourced. Low mileage food which will not leave the 1350-acre site.

The equally luxurious Ritz Carlton has also been recognised by Florida’s “Green Lodging Program” in its efforts to conserve resources with motion sensors to help reduce power consumption and Food Bank schemes for the use of unused food. Putting in huge effort on this beautiful island is not just the responsibility of the large hotels.

Deremer Studios Jacksonville Commercial Photography –

All hotel partners are part of the drive towards sustainable tourism.  For example, The Addison, Sea Cottages, Home2 Suites, and Fairbanks are a just a few who have embraced low energy appliances, LED lighting, recycling programmes, reuse of tired sheets and towels, soap recycling, planting schemes, water reduction and of course avoiding the use of single use plastics.

There are a growing number of accommodations that have gone further and earned the prestigious Audubon International Green Lodging Programme certification, a third-party rating system that verifies that properties meet environmental best practice standards.

Through a series of performance assessments and evaluations, the Green Lodging Programme, provides hotels with the tools and specific actions needed to reduce their ecological footprint.

Amelia Island’s Convention and Visitors Bureau aims to be the first location in Florida to have all hotels Green Lodging certified—a goal they are well on their way to achieving.

Amelia Island has a Downtown full of old-fashioned charm and quaint wooden buildings housing local businesses, built long before the environment was foremost in people’s minds. They all play their part in adopting practices and adapting with innovation and forward thinking.

Eco tours offer the chance to explore and appreciate the island’s rich biodiversity and learn about conservation. Whether it’s kayaking through the winding waterways of the Amelia River, embarking on a guided nature walk in the lush maritime forests, or taking a boat tour to observe the fascinating marine life, these tours offer immersive experiences that fascinate everyone.

“Islanders are protective of their environment, while supporting and enhancing visitor experiences.”

The clean golden beaches are testament to the preservation of grasses known as sea oats. These perennials are vital to stabilise dunes, and their response to being covered with sand is to grow. Amelia Islands beaches can be enjoyed as any other and are exceptional for their lack of crowds, but visitors are discouraged from walking amongst the dunes and through the plants that are fighting a battle to preserve the island against climate change.

Islanders are protective of their environment, while supporting and enhancing visitor experiences. The southern part of the island can be affected by seasonal closures to protect shorebirds nesting, and those wanting to pass by can do so by foot only.

With the whole island embracing Green and Eco-Friendly intentions it will remain as wonderful tomorrow as visitors find it today.

Amelia Island…Come Make Memories.

Images: Deremer Studios Jacksonville Commercial Photography –


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