visit the learning center

event list

kayak and boat tours

  • Crafty & creative individual able to build new exhibits for adopt a sea turtle nest giving wall, donor appreciation wall and nature store (Flexible on schedule but immediate need).
  • Tech savvy computer whiz to use 3-D printer to support the Adopt A Sea Turtle Nest Program (couple hrs/wk; January through July).
  • Friendly “Friend of FORB” interested in making monthly calls to new, renewing and lapsed Friends’ members (two half days/month; year-round)
  • Administrative gurus to assist Director and staff with weekly office tasks (two half days/week; year-round)
  • Customer service liaison to answer calls about programs, activities, membership, etc (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays from Jan 1 to March 30)
  • A real people person to represent & promote the Friends at our membership table for special events (multiple events/month; year-round)

If interested, call or email Athan Barkoukis, Executive Director, at 239-530-5990 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All positions would report to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Each position to be filled by 1-3 individuals. Must complete volunteer orientation in additional to specific training.

sarah jill excavating 850

NAPLES, Fla. – Florida Department of Environmental Protection staff, interns and volunteers at Rookery Bay Research Reserve recently completed their assessment of nesting efforts for the 2018 sea turtle nesting season and reported more than 10,000 loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings made their way out of their nests at the Cape Romano Complex, south of Marco Island. That is nearly twice the number of hatchlings as any prior year since monitoring and nest caging began at the complex in 2006.

NAPLES (Nov. 16) – Friends of Rookery Bay will present a Holiday Shopping Spectacular from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24 at its nature store within the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, 300 Tower Road, Naples. The event kicks off a season of shopping for people who love environmentally-themed gifts. Proceeds help the non-profit organization support the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which encompasses 40 percent of Collier County’s coastline from downtown Naples to the Western Everglades.

science saturday 250WHAT: Science Saturdays and Eco-Holiday Crafts
WHEN: Every Saturday from October through April, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

spoonbill 250WHAT: Birding Basics & Birds of the Beach Workshops

WHEN: Birding Basics: Nov. 9, Dec. 21, Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 8 and April 12 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Birds of the Beach: Nov. 10, Dec. 15, Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 9, and April 6 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

HOW: Preregistration is required, cost is $40 (Friends of Rookery Bay members enjoy 10 percent discount)

Ever wonder about the birds around you? Would you like to be able to identify them easier and better understand their behavior? November – April, Rookery Bay will host two workshops each month for birders – Birding Basics and Birds of the Beach.

lunch learn 250What: Lunch & Learn Lecture Series: Rookery Bay Through Their Eyes
When: Monthly (Noon-1pm), November 2018 through April 2019
Where: Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, 300 Tower Road
How: Cost is $15, includes lunch. Advance registration is required.

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.

Segments of documentary film to be previewed at National Estuaries Day event

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the production of a full-length documentary film. Clips from the film, which is slated to air on PBS stations across the state on Earth Day 2019 (April 22, 2019), will be previewed at the reserve’s National Estuaries Day celebration on Sept. 29.

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