John U. Lloyd State Park is a 251 acre recreation area located on Ocean Drive in Dania, Broward County, Florida. The park is adjacent to Port Everglades and has a beach front park spanning 2.5 miles. It preserves some of south Florida's vanishing natural resources, while at the same time offers the public usage of beach and water recreational activities. Surf fishing, picknicking, and canoeing along the tidal waterway New River Sound or Whiskey Creek are just some of the activities the public can enjoy.
The recreation area was named in memory of the late John U. Lloyd, Broward County's attorney for more than 30 years, who was instrumental in acquiring the first piece of property that eventually became this park.
Further inland away from the beach and dunes are stands ·of subtropical coastal hammock (seaside hardwood forest). The Barrier Island Trail, a self.-guide trail, offers a leisurely 45-minute walk through the hammock ecosystem. The park has a policy to remove all nonnative species frdm this area, such as Australine pine and Brazilian pepper. This is a long-term project that is carried out throughout the State of Florida.
On the west side of the park, along the Intracoastal Waterway, a man-made wetland is re-establishing red mangroves on the shoreline. The mangroves not only screen the view of developed areas outside the park, but act as a nursery for fish and other marine life. This project is a mitigation site to replace wetlands destroyed by port expansions in 1989.
The park has mangrove-lined waterways along Whiskey Creek where it is possible to spot the endangered West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). There is a great deal of marine life that makes its home in the park ranging from the mangrove tree crabs and shore birds, to seasonal nesting sea turtles. Species of nesting turtles are comprised of mostly loggerheads (Caretta caretta), along with green turtles (Chelonia mydas), and occasional leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea). It is estimated that John U. Lloyd park produces some 16,700 sea turtle hatchlings per year.
Visitors can explore the beach/dune systems, maritime forests, and the mangrove communities, as well as the Environmental Education Center located within the park. Boardwalks and dune walkovers have been constructed for easy access to these areas. Park hours are typically from 8:00 am to sunset. The park is managed and operated with a staff of 23 full time, and five to ten part time employees, as well as numerous volunteers and community service workers. The staff helps to provide a safe and fun recreational program providing family oriented activities. Some of the activities offered in the park, in order of popularity, are listed below:
- fishing (available 24 hours)
- beach related activities
- boating, including access to boat ramps
- SCUBA diving
- turtle nesting tours
- educational research
John U. Lloyd State Park was voted 2nd best beach in Florida by the Sun Sentinel on May 5, 1996 in "The Ultimate Florida Beach Guide" and Best Park in South Florida 1996 by "South Florida Magazine"
NSU Oceanographic Center, "John U. Lloyd Beach State Recreation Area Nature Guide" (1996). Technical Reports. 1.