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kids with shark 250WHAT: Kids Free Fridays
WHEN: Every Friday, June 14 - Aug. 2, 2019
             9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
            300 Tower Road
            Naples, FL 34113
HOW: Admission is FREE for children 12 and under; must be accompanied by an adult.
Adult admission is $5 (free for members).

least terns 16WHAT: Breakfast with the Birds Lecture Series
WHEN: May 23, June 27, July 23, Aug. 20
             9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
              300 Tower Road
              Naples, FL 34113
HOW: Cost of $15 includes pastries, juice and coffee. Advance registration is required.

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Sen. Rick Scott announces water policies 3.25.19 250Naples, FL – U.S. Senator Rick Scott hosted a roundtable meeting on Monday, March 25, 2019 to discuss Everglades restoration at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples. Attendees included elected officials, representatives from Audubon Florida, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, and other partners. Before the ensuing press conference, Reserve manager Keith Laakkonen, left, welcomed the crowd and introduced the senator, who renewed his commitment to preserving water quality and lauded the federal government for their willingness to allocate federal funding for construction projects such as the Hoover Dike.

WHAT: Lunch & Learn Lecture Series: Through the Eyes of a Filmmaker

WHEN: April 16, 2019, Noon to 1 p.m.

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

HOW: Cost is $15, which including lunch.

Register at Advance registration is required.

SW florida mangrove coast 250NAPLES, Fla. – Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the production of a full-length documentary film. The film, titled “Southwest Florida’s Mangrove Coast, is slated to air on many of Florida's PBS stations, including WGCU (Ft. Myers) on April 22 and April 28. As part of this project, Live Oak Production Group has also produced a series of video shorts.

View shorts|View list of broadcasts

second chance 250NAPLES, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in collaboration with Audubon Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), is working to protect nesting habitat for least terns, black skimmers and Wilson's plovers at the Second-Chance Sandbar. Beginning March 1, the sandbar, which is designated as a Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) by the FWC, will be closed to allow for successful nesting of these beach-dependent species.

NAPLES, FL (Feb. 15, 2019) – The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Collier County Commissioners selected Friends of Rookery Bay as the Business of the Month for February 2019.

Each month, the award is presented to an organization that has enhanced the community through financial, volunteer and active involvement in organizations and programs that assist in creating a better quality of life for all citizens in Collier County.

In the short clip above, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis shared his vision for the future of water management in southwest Florida at with local media and staff at Rookery Bay Research Reserve on Jan. 29. Following a brief introduction by DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein, Govenor DeSantis' announcement included the appointment of Chauncey Goss to the South Florida Water Management District, plans for reducing stormwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee to Florida's east and west coasts, adding more culverts or bridges under U.S. 41 to allow more sheetflow to reach the Ten Thousand Islands and Florida Bay estuaries, and the creation of the new Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection. Several local broadcast news stations provided real-time coverage of the announcement providing amazing exposure for DEP, Rookery Bay Research Reserve and Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. 

How does this affect Rookery Bay?

While reducing freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee and the future efforts of the new Blue-Green Algae Task Force would benefit water quality for all of southern Florida, $6 million for the Resilient Coastlines Program and the new Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection will have the biggest effect on Florida’s three NERRS and 41 Aquatic Preserves, which are managed by the new office (formerly known as Florida Coastal Office).

According to the vision, that program will now do more to “help prepare Florida’s communities and habitats for changes resulting from sea level rise by providing funding and technical assistance and continuing to promote and ensure a coordinated approach to planning among state, regional and local agencies. The increased funding for coastal resiliency grants will also help protect Florida’s coral reefs, which serve as the state’s first line of defense from storm surge and are a major tourism attraction, and support emergency sand placement to help fortify coastal areas ahead of storms.”

Below please find the entire Governor's Executive Order. 

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