FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2013
CONTACT: DEP Press Office
15 LOCAL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN
"GIRLS IN SCIENCE DAY" AT ROOKERY BAY RESERVE
~Hands-on activities teach students about marine life
at the Reserve~
NAPLES – Fifteen Collier County students middle school students particpated in Rookery Bay Reserve's "Girls in Science Day," a day of hands-on learning at the Reserve.
Reserve staff and Team OCEAN volunteers posted a small portion of beach on the south tip of Keewaydin Island and in early April will post part of an emergent sandbar at Cape Romano Shoals. These areas have been posted annually from early April until late August to protect nesting habitat for least terns, black skimmers and Wilson's plover since 2001. They installed informational signs connected by string and flagging to clearly mark closed areas. Two marked crossover trails on the south tip of Keewaydin Island lead beachgoers across the island to access the Gulf-side beach.
ROOKERY BAY PROVIDES PROTECTION FOR THREATENED BIRD SPECIES
NAPLES –Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR), in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), has posted a small portion of beach on the south tip of Keewaydin Island and in early April will post part of an emergent sandbar at Cape Romano Shoals. These areas have been posted annually from early April until late August to protect nesting habitat for least terns, black skimmers and Wilson's plover since 2001.
Greg Curry, Rookery Bay Reserve's Resource Management Specialist, returns to document the re-growth progress following the final prescribed burn of the season, two weeks ago. Already, there are signs of new plants sprouting, old plants re-sprouting, and visible wildlife activity in the area.
Visit Rookery Bay Reserve's Prescribed Fire Program webpage to learn more.
Clyde Butcher Photos on Exhibit at Rookery Bay Reserve This Summer
Living Waters: Aquatic Preserves of Florida, a collection of 29 black-and-white photographs by preeminent Florida photographer Clyde Butcher, will be on exhibit from May 2 through Nov. 14 at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center art gallery, 300 Tower Road in Naples. In conjunction with the exhibit, Rookery Bay will show the companion one-hour nature film documentary, "Living Waters: Aquatic Preserves of Florida." The film includes an introduction and closing remarks by Butcher and was produced and directed by cinematographer Elam Stoltzfus. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Call 239-530-5940 or visit rookerybay.org for more information about the exhibit and film viewing schedule.
On March 25, 2013 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its proposal designating critical nesting habitats for loggerhead turtles in the U.S., which includes beaches along 739 miles of coastline from North Carolina to Mississippi. This proposal includes 84% of the entire nesting habitat in the United States. The beach designations will help ensure that sea turtles return to healthy beaches to lay their eggs. Importantly, the designations help highlight the significance of these areas so that the public and city and state governments can better plan coastal activities and mitigate any threats to nesting habitat. Critical habitat does not affect private property, public access or beach activities such as surfing, swimming, fishing and sunbathing. The proposed critical nesting habitats include several beaches within the Reserve, such as: Keewaydin Island, Sea Oat, Cape Romano, and others in the Ten Thousand Islands. This proposal is an excellent example of how the monitoring data collected at the Reserve can translate into species management efforts at a higher level. Read more about this designation and its supporting data and provide your comments on the proposal on or before May 24, 2013 via www.regulations.gov under Docket # FWS-R4-ES-2012-0103.
Rookery Bay Reserve Events for Spring and Summer
NAPLES, FL (April 22, 2013) – The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve updates its schedule of events for March and April. The Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is located at 300 Tower Road. During April, hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. From May 1 through Oct. 31, the center is closed on Saturdays. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-12 and free for members, unless otherwise noted for special activities. For more information, call 239-530-5940 or visit facebook.com/friendsofrookerybay.
On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, Project Greenscape hosted the "Good Plant, Bad Plant, Right Plant" landscaper training class at Rookery Bay Reserve. Over 100 landscapers attended and received continuing education units to enourage more sustainable landscaping practices in Southwest Florida.