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kayak and boat tours

fundraisers 915The Friends of Rookery Bay's mission is connecting people with the dynamic coastal environment in support of the Rookery Bay Research Reserve. Below please see the many ways your generosity can be applied in support of this mission.

9th Annual Batfish Bash For the Bay

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Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
300 Tower  Road, Naples, Florida
6:00 - 10:30 PM

Celebrate the taste and feel of Old Florida and life along the Gulf coast. Enjoy live music, cocktails, sunset, dinner and dancing, and other surprises.  Expect an evening of Southern Charm reminiscent of Collier County 100 years ago.

What's New!
Complimentary Valet Parking
Sumptuous Raw Bar 
Photos with Live Animals
Old Florida-inspired decor & dinner menu
Limited Live Auction items highlighting 'Your Treasure, Your Backyard' 
6-Station Scavenger Hunt
New tent location suited for better dancing  

Catering by Artichoke & Company, Music by Three Crooked Steps, Decor by Soiree, Auctioneer Rick Gallo and Master of Ceremonies Stacey Deffenbaugh

 Honorary Chair
 J. Dudley Goodlette

 Karyn Capozzo

Milda Vaivada

Pat Carroll, Muffy Clark Gill, C.J.O’Connor, Bruce Robertson, 

Mary Vertin, Lori Wagor, Tom Wagor and Sandi Wilson



The Friends of Rookery Bay supports needed environmental education, research and stewardship within the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay Research Reserve through fundraising, volunteerism and community outreach.





Adopt a Sea Turtle Nest

Two species of sea turtles nest along beaches of the Cape Romano complex: loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas). Hatching success has improved significantly since 2005 when Rookery Bay Reserve staff, interns, and volunteers began placing cages over the nests to protect them from predators.

The turtles here depend on interns and volunteers to conduct this important work, including:  

  • first-nest-252     searching miles of beach for turtle tracks (called crawls)
  •      caging nests to prevent predation by raccoons
  •      recording the GPS coordinates for each nest
  •      collecting and compiling other relevant data

Nests are monitored throughout the nesting season and evidence of predation or inundation (due to high tides/storms) is recorded. After the hatchlings have emerged, interns evaluate the nest contents (empty shells, unhatched eggs) to determine hatching success.

Catch up on monitoring activity at the intern blog.

Learn more about research and monitoring efforts underway within the Reserve.

Each year the Friends of Rookery Bay supports an intern who spends the summer protecting sea turtles. You can help!

Adopt a Nest NOW!


Nest adoption costs $250 and includes the following:

  • Your name on the cage's "turtle tag" and the Sea Turtle Giving Wall at the Environmental Learning Center
  • An initial letter with details of nest location and date of expected hatching etc.
  • A second letter with result of hatching
  • Invitation to the (fall) Sea Turtle Support party

Adoptions or other support received after August 15 will be applied to the coming season. Be sure to indicate the name for your turtle tag (max. 22 characters with spaces).

Support sea turtles at any level

Did you know you can support these efforts at any level? Just click here and enter your own dollar amount (choose "sea turtle nesting program" in the dropdown).

NEW!  You can also support an egg ($5) or hatchling ($20). Visit the desk at the Environmental Learning Center to put your name, or your loved ones' names, on the support wall.

Watch the video below to see our interns and volunteers in action! (no sound)


Annual Appeal

Your philanthropic investment in Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is an investment in the future of Southwest Florida. Make a difference today and donate to the Friends of Rookery Bay, a Florida 501c3 non-profit organization. 

2017 Annual Appeal 850

Annual Rookery Bay Adventure Race

Rookery Bay Adventure Race logo 178th Annual Adventure Race and Fun Run 

Enjoy a 3k kayak or SUP along Henderson Creek and a 5k trail run at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. All participants will receive a t-shirt (sizes guaranteed if registered before Nov 1), giveaways, post-race refreshments and free admission to the Environmental Learning Center after the race.

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Pricing (per individual*):

Early bird (until 11/2): $35
Reg price (11/03-11/30): $40
Day of price (12/01): $50
    *price doubles for relay/tandem division
Single kayak rental: $20
    *limited availability
Kid's Race: $10 
Awards will be presented to the top finishers in each category: men, women, individual, relays, tandem-teams, kayak-run, SUP-run, and Fun Run.
Races will begin at 9:30am. Full detailed schedule coming soon!
Registration Now Open!


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fundraisers 915The Friends of Rookery Bay's mission is connecting people with the dynamic coastal environment in support of the Rookery Bay Research Reserve. Below please see the many ways your generosity can be applied in support of this mission.

Just 24 Hours to Support Rookery Bay!

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Dave in wet lab 300

We have been challenged, and now YOU have been, too!

Friends of Rookery Bay is participating in Give Where You Live Collier.

We have 24 hours – from noon on Wednesday, Feb. 21 to noon on Thursday, Feb. 22 – to raise as much money as possible… and earn match dollars on top of that!

Support the Friends of Rookery Bay Through Amazon's "Smile" Program

Amazon Smile

Do you shop on Through a program called Amazon Smile, when you shop, Amazon gives a percentage of their profits to the Friends of Rookery Bay. Visit to learn more about this program and select "Friends of Rookery Bay" as your preferred charity.

Watch the video below to learn how you can update your Amazon account:


By the Numbers

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Sponsorship Opportunities

Support the Friends!

In celebration of Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s 40th Anniversary, the Friends of Rookery Bay is offering a special edition sponsorship prospectus. Support our collective activities and receive recognition throughout the year! DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

Athan Barkoukis
Executive Director


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