FOR RELEASE: October 14, 2011
ROOKERY BAY RESERVE AWARDED $815,000 GRANT FOR 3-YEAR WATER STUDY
--Non-regulatory approach aims to resolve local freshwater allocation issues--
NAPLES -- Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR) in Naples, Florida was selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to receive $815,000 for a water use and allocation study in collaboration with engineers and other scientists. The announcement was made on Wednesday by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System's (NERRS) Science Collaborative granting program.
NAPLES, FL (September 6, 2011) - Shark research at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR) will have the national spotlight in an upcoming segment of Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin. The new production, being launched jointly by the Georgia Aquarium and Litton Entertainment, is part of the Litton Weekend Adventure Saturday morning three-hour educational programming block on ABC. The shark research episode, featuring RBNERR’s fisheries biologist Pat O’Donnell, along with Mike Hyatt and Paul Anderson, PhD., two of the other researchers involved in the study, is slated to air on October 29.
Shortly after the southern Homestead Act began encouraging Americans to rebuild the south, a pioneer settlement called The Little Marco Settlement appeared between Naples and Marco Island. Located along the banks of Henderson Creek and Hall Bay, from Shell Island to Little Marco Island, dozens of homesteads formed this waterfront community in the 1880's, pre-dating the City of Naples. People primarily made a living off the richness of the estuary: catching fish, harvesting shellfish, and also growing small plots of winter vegetables.
As in many rural communities, these islanders laid their loved ones to rest on high ground on the mainland near what is now known as Shell Island Road. This historic cemetery is one of the unique cultural resources of the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The cemetery rests many of the Kirkland family pioneering ancestors, and several descendants
still reside in the area today. The Kirklands were among the first families to establish a homestead along Henderson Creek, and purchased their 100-acre site for about $25 in 1899.