Mission & Impact | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Achieving Goals Since 1978

Our Mission & Impact

Our mission is to practice and promote stewardship of coasts and estuaries through innovative research, education, and training using a place-based system of protected areas.

Our vision is resilient estuaries and coastal watersheds where human and natural communities thrive.

How We Help

  • Manage coastal lands to ensure their health and to serve as a model of appropriate land stewardship for other organizations.
  • Understanding our long history and existing human connections is key to appreciating the entire socioeconomic system.
  • Bridging science, management, and community involvement will lead to resilient, productive, and adaptable ecosystems and human communities.
  • Share scientific information that forms the basis for an appreciation of the value of the environment, which in turn promotes a public sense of ownership of natural resources.



Rookery Bay Research Reserve managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in partnership with NOAA, FIU and the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association.
History | Rookery Bay Research Reserve


In the 1960’s, with farms, buildings, roads and canals springing up across coastal Collier County, residents started to take notice that the once pristine bays and estuaries were showing the effects of development upstream. A 10-mile loop road through Rookery Bay proposed in 1963 would have opened up unbounded opportunities for coastal development, but a new perspective emerged in the community.

The Collier County Conservancy, the National Audubon Society, and the Nature Conservancy galvanized community support that resulted in more than $600,000 being raised to buy 3,362 acres of land that would have been otherwise destroyed. This land ultimately became the Rookery Bay Sanctuary, prompting the birth of a legacy.


Our local, state and national partnerships ensure priority coastal management issues, including environmental change, water quality and habitat protection, are addressed across research, education, conservation and coastal training programs.
Partnership List | Rookery Bay Research Reserve


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Become a Friend of Rookery Bay

Support this amazing and important ecosystem today and know that your impact will be felt for generations to come.


Take a hands-on approach to supporting our efforts.


Your donation will positively impact our coastal treasure, Rookery Bay Research Research.


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