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September 9, 2019

dora artist rookery bay 2Meet Rookery Bay’s new featured artist Dora Knuteson! Over the next few months, Dora will be onsite painting sea turtle and Rookery Bay inspired collections that will be featured in our Nature Store, exhibitions and special receptions. She’ll also be painting a large mural depicting Rookery Bay’s coastal beauty and the wildlife who call it home. 
dora turtle painting
Known for her lively brush work and bright tropical colors, Dora is inspired by the sunshine and beaches of Southwest Florida. Part of her artistic mission is to support the conservation and environmental protection of local waters and wildlife. Stop by and say hi to Dora during your next visit!

August 26, 2019

turtle crawling to gulf close Up

At Rookery Bay Research Reserve, sea turtle hatchling season is going strong. Turtle nesting teams check nests almost every day for signs of hatching and baby sea turtles.

turtle crawling to gulf

If a nest has hatched, a depression is left in the sand. The team then digs up the nests and counts the number of hatched and unhatched eggs. Sometimes straggler baby turtles need a little help making their way out of the nest. These little hatchlings are placed on the beach to make a natural crawl to the ocean.

August 26, 2019

rising tide abc7 8 26 19 850

Kristen Clarke of ABC7 stopped by Rookery Bay Research Reserve this morning to learn more about naturalist-led kayak and boat tours with exclusive tour partner, Rising Tide Explorers.

rising tide abc7 8 26 19 3

Ryan Young of Rising Tide talked about the memorable kayaking adventure's that await visitors in Rookery Bay's beautiful backwater bays and white sandy beaches.


August 23, 2019

NED collage with GF 650

National Estuaries Day at Rookery Bay

Saturday, September 28, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
300 Tower Road
Naples, FL 34113

Visit to Learn More & Register in Advance

PleaseThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in advance if you require specific accomodations to participate in 2019 National Estuaries Day. 

The annual event includes entrance to the Environmental Learning Center, staff-narrated boat trips, kayaking experiences, stand-up paddle boarding, touch tanks, live animal presentations, crafts, Junior Scientist lab activities, live music and more! In addition, foods truck will be on site during lunch hours.

National Estuaries Day is celebrated by the 29 national estuarine research reserves across the country to help coastal communities learn more about the importance of this special habitat that forms where rivers meet the sea.

August 8, 2019

hatchling 850This summer has been flying by for our turtle team. We can’t believe it’s already August, and that means one thing – HATCHLINGS! On July 3, we observed that one of our nests on Morgan Beach had hatched! Upon excavating, we found that the nest was a very successful nest with 94 hatchlings that emerged, and only five eggs that didn’t hatch. Since then, we have seen the number of new nests slow down, and more and more nests hatch! So far, we have had 41 of our 104 nests hatch.

Every day in the field, we are checking all of the nests for signs of hatching! After a nest hatches, a depression will form in the sand. When we see a nest with a depression, we make a note of it, and wait 3 days. This 3-day period gives any hatchlings that may still be in the nest a chance to make it out as naturally as possible. After 3 days, we take off the cage, and carefully dig up the entire nest. We count the number of hatched eggs, unhatched eggs and anything else we may see.

Sometimes, there are still hatchlings in the nest that need a little help making their way out. We take the hatchlings out of the nest and place them on the beach, allowing them to make their way to the ocean. This process is super important because this is when the hatchling is “imprinting”. This means that the female hatchlings will know to return to the same beach when it is time for them to lay their own eggs.

Hatchling season is my favorite time of the whole season! It is so rewarding to see all of our nests starting to hatch and know that all of our hard work from earlier in the season is paying off. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds!

Laura Blessing
Turtle Intern

August 7, 2019

sims padel lessons 850Teens are learning about environmental science at Rookery Bay’s Summer Institute for Marine Science (SIMS) camp. It kicked off yesterday with a tour of the Environmental Learning Center and a kayak expedition on Henderson Creek. As part of their eco-studies, the students collected mangrove leaves while out on the water. More fun and science to come this week including pulling a boat trawl, a visit with scientists at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Vester Field Station and a snorkeling eco-tour at Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve.sims shirt

sims kayak

August 1, 2019

mangrove trimming photo850

Mangrove Trimming and Regulations Workshop

Sept. 4, 2019, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Spanish)
Sept. 17, 2019, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (English)

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
300 Tower Road
Naples, FL 34113

Register online
$25 fee includes materials and refreshments

This workshop will provide attendees a better understanding of proper mangrove maintenance, the value of mangroves, and the rules and laws that govern mangrove trimming. Attendees also will learn basic mangrove biology and identification. The course will consist of a combination of demonstrations, hands-on learning, discussion and lecture.

CEUS OFFERED: 4 CEP, 4 FNGLA, 2 FDACS (including 1 Natural Areas or 1 Right-of-Way), up to 3.5 ISA

Taller Sobre La Reglamentación Para La Poda de Manglares En Florida

4 de Septiembre de 2019, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
300 Tower Road
 Naples, FL 34113

Register online
Costo $25, incluye materiales y refrigerios

Este taller proporcionará información para una mejor comprensión sobre el mantenimiento adecuado de los Manglares, su valor, normativa y las regulaciones que rigen el recorte apropiado de los Manglares. Los asistentes también aprenderán conceptos biológicos básicos sobre Manglares y su identificación. La dinámica integral de este curso se centra en: Demostraciones, Aprendizaje Práctico, Discusión y Conferencia.

CEUS OFFERED: CEP, 4 FNGLA, 2 FDACS (incluyendo 1 en Areas Naturales, ó 1 en Right-of-Way), hasta 3.5 ISA

July 12

mural 1As part of a summer project, high school students from Marco Island Academy are painting a mural at Rookery Bay Research Reserve to help other local students better understand the coastal estuary environment in their own backyard. The 30-foot long painting accurately (as well as artistically) portrays the plant, wildlife and research science occurring at Rookery Bay and will be used as a visual teaching tool for Collier County Public Schools’ environmental education programs.



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