Located at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands on the gulf coast of Florida, the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve represents one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Coastal Office in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
An amazing world exists within the 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forest, uplands and protected waters of Rookery Bay. Where rivers and streams meet the sea, a unique habitat is formed. A myriad of wildlife, including 150 species of birds and many threatened and endangered animals, thrive in the estuarine environment and surrounding upland hammocks and scrub found within the Reserve.
Rookery Bay is one of 29 national estuarine research reserves in the nation designated to protect and study estuarine systems under our federal partner, NOAA. Learn more about the system
The mission of the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is to provide a basis for informed stewardship of estuaries in Southwest Florida through research and education.