Pensacola Bay

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Pensacola and Pensacola Bay, 1885 lithograph.
Pensacola Bay (map center) is southeast of Pensacola, Florida, by Escambia Bay.
Location of Pensacola Bay (top left) in the state of Florida.

Pensacola Bay is a bay located in the northwestern part of Florida, United States, known as the Florida Panhandle.

The bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, is located in Escambia County and Santa Rosa County, adjacent to the city of Pensacola, Florida, and is about 13 miles (21 km) long and 2.5 miles (4 km) wide.

Pensacola Bay lies behind the barrier beach of Santa Rosa Island. The Pensacola Bay Bridge crosses the bay, connecting Pensacola to Gulf Breeze, Florida. The Gulf Islands National Seashore encloses part of the bay, and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway runs through a section of the bay. Pensacola Bay leads into Escambia Bay to the north, and to the East Bay. Pensacola Pass connects the Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.


After the War of 1812, Pensacola and Pensacola Bay were commissioned for fortification by the United States Government, and as a result Fort Barrancas, Fort McRee, and the Navy Yard were built.

2010 Gulf oil spill[edit]

Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (called the "Gulf oil spill"), the entrance to Pensacola Pass was intended to be closed,[1] with a floating barrier system in June 2010, to control tidal flow of oil entering from the Gulf of Mexico. The daily high tide was causing oil-contaminated water to enter Pensacola Bay. The barrier system is designed to allow boats to travel through Pensacola Pass, during the outflowing tide, but to close during the rising tide.

Although this was the initial plan, the booming plan was never carried out. The Pass was only boomed for a day due to strong currents, the boom broke. No other plan was in place in areas of less current nor was their a plan to trap incoming oil, therefore oil product freely entered the pass.[2]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  • The Road Atlas '06, Rand McNally, pg. 27
  • NOAA Nautical Charts 11382, 11383, 11384

Coordinates: 30°22′06″N 87°12′03″W / 30.36833°N 87.20083°W / 30.36833; -87.20083