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NAPLES (Sept. 21) – Friends of Rookery Bay will hold an Adventure Race and Fun Run from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, 300 Tower Road. Individuals and teams of two will participate in a 3k kayak or stand-up paddle (SUP) along Henderson Creek along with a 5k trail run. Fun Run participants will enjoy the 5k trail run, and children 10 and younger are invited to participate in a free 1/3-mile Fun Run.

beertender 915Friends of Rookery Bay Executive Director Athan Barkoukis will be the Celebrity Beertender from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at Momentum Brewhouse, 9786 Bonita Beach Rd SE #1 in Bonita Springs. Barkoukis will be pouring Momentum beers and sharing amusing environmental facts and jokes to earn tips for the non-profit organization. Friends of Rookery Bay members will receive a special gift from a table set up from 5 to 9 p.m. Maria's El Local Taco Truck will be in the parking lot for guests to purchase authentic street tacos. Guests may also bring their own food or order delivery to the brewhouse. Friends of Rookery Bay supports the Rookery Bay Research Reserve, which encompasses 40 percent of Collier County’s coastline and is celebrating its 40th anniversary. For more information, call Friends of Rookery Bay at 239-530-5971

WHAT: National Estuaries Day - 40th Anniversary Celebration

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Film presentations at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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

HOW: Free tours and activities will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

September 1, 2018

tyler and kennedy with bull 250

Working at Rookery Bay Research Reserve has been quite an experience! In addition to the everyday adventures of turtle patrol, I've been able to join in other types of field research and activities recently...

One of the programs I was able to assist with was the reserve's ongoing fisheries monitoring project. Reserve biologist Pat O'Donnell oversees the fisheries study that involves shark research and I was able to assist him on a couple trips. The study targets three bays: Pumpkin, Fakahatchee & Faka Union, and we used a gill net and longlines to bring live sharks on board for tagging and data collection. As you would imagine, this can be delicate work both for the safety of the volunteers and for the sharks themselves, but under Pat's guidance, everyone works together well and it was a fantastic experience. Learn more about this important research.

Grand Prize Winning Photo 250Back in April, we shared this trail camera image as part of a sequence showing interaction between a softshell turtle and a nesting crocodile on Reserve lands. We were excited to learn that this image was selected as the Grand Prize winning photo by RECONYX in their 2018 Trail Camera Photo Contest! Congratulations to Steve Bertone, resource management (and trail camera) specialist.

See more photos from our wildlife cameras

RB staff provided assistance during the rescue of a nine-foot-long manatee at Marco Rose Marina on Sunday. This unorthodox rescue was a group effort involving FWC's manatee team and law enforcement, Rose Marina and reserve staffers Greg Curry and Jill Ryder Schmid. The manatee is now recovering at Sea World. Watch the video below to see how it got to the manatee ambulance! 

Red Cage 250What the heck is that? It isn't necessarily associated with the estuary, but we've seen this interesting fungus on the grounds near our headquarters building several times over the years and have identified it as Clathrus ruber, or "basket stinkhorn."

The inside of this cage fungus is coated with slime that emits a putrid odor (smells like rotting meat) to attract flies that help distribute its spores. The smell is so bad it is also nicknamed "devil's eggs" because the fungus sprouts from an egg-shaped ball. Although native to Europe, the fungus is not harmful or toxic, but boy does it stink! It helps decompose dead organic material such as hardwood mulch.

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