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Our team of naturalists offer programs on a variety of topics - check out the daily themes here.
This tour provides an opportunity to explore Keewaydin Island, a natural, living barrier island with an incredible diversity of life and some of the best shelling in Florida. Stroll the beach with your naturalist guide and learn about all the things you are seeing: specially adapted native plants, gastropods, bivalves, crustaceans, corals, sea squirts, snails, sponges, worms, fishes, birds, reptiles, and more. This island is a wonderful example of the life and death reality of plants and animals "living on the edge". Also included is a leisurely cruise through the Rookery Bay mangrove estuary, one of the richest and most productive ecosystems on the planet. Participants must have the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock. Closed-toed shoes are recommended for the walk across the island (and can be removed on the beach). Please arrive at launch site (Shell Island Road) 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time.
The treasure on this interesting island isn't gold, silver or pirates' booty. It is the amazing ecological treasure of a rare tropical hardwood hammock. You will enjoy a leisurely boat trip through the estuary to the island, disembark, and hike about 1/2 mile on a primitive trail in a shaded forest dripping with ferns and bromeliads. Your naturalist guide will introduce you to the fascinating plants that make this community of life unique and will share interesting stories of how human history and coastal ecology intertwine. This tour requires the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock and walk 1/2 mile on uneven terrain. Closed-toed shoes required. Please arrive at launch site (Shell Island Road) 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time.
Come along on this small boat cruise through back bays and winding creeks to visit a particularly unusual place in Rookery Bay Reserve. After disembarking, take a short hike to one of the highest points in Collier County, an ancient sand dune relic from the Pleistocene Era. Your naturalist guide will help you see and appreciate the geologic history of Sand Hill as you enjoy the remarkable view. You will also learn about the specially adapted trees, shrubs and wildflowers that survive in this coastal scrub ecosystem. This tour allows guests the opportunity to experience a place few visitors get to see. Participants must have the physical ability to get into and out of a boat tied to shore. Closed-toed shoes are recommended. Please arrive at launch site (Shell Island Road) 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time.
Have you ever visited a place with the hope you might come away with a profound understanding of its essence rather than just a snapshot? This tour is designed to “get you there”. You will wander through the bays and backwaters of Rookery Bay Reserve, learning about plants and animals, but more importantly, how they fit into the complex tapestry of this special place we call an estuary. Bring your curiosity and be rewarded with discovery and insight. You will journey back in time and learn how human history and natural history intersect. Your guide adapts the tour to changes in weather, tides, and participants’ interests so no two tours are ever the same. Participants will be on the boat the entire time and must have the physical ability to step on and off of the boat at our dock. Please arrive at launch site (Shell Island Road) 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time.
This one-of-a-kind tour takes place in the evening and is often (but not always) around the time of the full moon. Guests will visit a remote section of Keewaydin Island, renowned for its shell-strewn beaches and pastel sunsets. Stroll along and enjoy beachcombing until the magical moment when the sun sinks into the Gulf. As darkness gradually enfolds you, begin the leisurely return cruise through the back bays of the reserve, becoming immersed in the sights, sounds and sensations of night in a mangrove-forested estuary. If the tide permits, you will ease by the rookery island where hundreds of herons, egrets and ibis gather for the night. Participants must have the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock. Closed-toed shoes are recommended. Please arrive at launch site (Shell Island Road) 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time.
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Tel: (239) 530-5940 300 Tower Road Naples, Florida 34113
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