The western portion of Shell Island is part of St. Andrews State Park, and the two are divided by the St. Andrews Shipping Channel (known to locals as "the pass"). The eastern portion of Shell Island is property of Tyndall Air Force Base.
If you want to get technical, Shell Island is not an island at all, but is now and historically has been a peninsula. However, the efforts of man and shifting sands have changed the designation back and forth over time. It became an island when a shipping channel was developed to establish a more direct shipping lane between Port Panama City and the Gulf of Mexico. The majority of the bay's outflow of water also soon followed this route, and the original eastern outlet gradually filled with sand and turned the island back into a peninsula. However Shell Island may be an island again soon if what's known as the "East Pass" or "Old Pass" is opened up again by dredging a channel.
In its history, Shell Island has seen Native American settlement, the arrival of Spanish explorers, and even pirates! More modern efforts at development have usually been quickly undone by hurricanes, including a zoo that was once located in what is now state park owned land. You can read more information on Shell Island here (Shell Island).
I took a few photos of the area from the tour boat. It was a beautiful sunny day with the seagulls lining all around the outside of the boat waiting to be fed as the boat took off with "cheetos corn curls" that the first mate handed to us to feed to them. One seagull snapped one right out of my hand. Unfortunately, husband left the movie option on and some of the photos turned into movies which for some reason we cannot download onto my blog so these are the images I took after we found out the landscape photos were movies and I changed the setting. All are from the boat. I hope you enjoy them.