* DEP Home * About DEP * Programs * Contact * Site Map * Search *
Images
FCO Aquatic Preserve Ecotours

Miami

Naples

Fort Myers Beach

Punta Gorda

Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve (Fort Myers Beach) Wading Trips


Participants will take a refreshing journey into the waters of the bay, wading into mudflats and seagrass beds at low tide to find many of the plants and animals that call this estuary home. Dip and seine nets will be provided for participants to collect organisms such as fish, shrimp, crabs and snails. The organisms will be placed in buckets or magnifiers for attendees to take a closer look and learn how each living creature plays an important role in the ecosystem. girl on beach

Tour Time:
9:00 a.m. - 11: 00 a.m.

Tour Dates:
Mon, Apr 17, 2017
Mon, May 15, 2017

Tour Departure Point:
Detailed instructions will be sent when registration is complete. The wading trips are led by biologists with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Tour Rates:
Free, but registration is required by calling 239-530-1003.

What Should I Bring with Me on the Tour?
Participants are required to wear closed-toed shoes that can get wet, such as old tennis shoes or diving booties, and a swimsuit or shorts. Participants are encouraged to bring plenty of water, protection from the sun including sun block with a high SPF (15 or higher), hats, sunglasses, and bug spray.


Back to Top

Rookery Bay Reserve (Naples) Kayak and Boat Tours

Kayak Tours

Two-hour guided kayak tours allow guests to paddle lazily through backwater bays and mangrove forests with an experienced guide and naturalist. Tours provide opportunities to see wildlife such as wading birds, osprey, fish, and dolphins.

Tour Time:
Tours are two hours long. Click here for more details.

Tour Dates:
Kayak tours are offered seasonally November - May. Click here for tour dates. Registration is required.

Tour Departure Point:
split image of people on motor boat and people in kayaksDetailed instructions will be sent when registration is complete. The kayak trips are led by experienced guides and staff with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Participants are required to meet at the launch site 30 minutes prior to scheduled start time.

Tour Rates:
Prices may vary.

What Should I Bring with Me on the Tour?
Participants are required to wear closed-toed shoes. Participants are encouraged to wear clothes that they do not mind getting wet and to bring a towel, bottled water, sunscreen, and hat. Paddlers must be 12 or older. Weight limit: 250 pounds. Participants are also encouraged to leave all electronic equipment locked in their vehicles, as you may get wet.

Boat Tours

Three-hour boat tours allow guests to explore the unique ecosystem of Rookery Bay through a relaxed small-group cruise. With a maximum of six passengers, these on-the-water adventures are the only Rookery Bay boat tours conducted by Reserve staff. There are several different boat tours, all providing a chance to see a diversity of native wildlife and offering a comfortable platform for photography. All boat tours include free admission to the Environmental Learning Center on the day of the trip.

Tour Time:
Tours are three hours long. Click here for more details.

Tour Dates:
Tours are offered seasonally from November through April. Click here for tour dates. Registration is required.

Tour Departure Point:
Detailed instructions will be sent when registration is complete.

Tour Rates:
Tours vary in price. Click here for details.

What Should I Bring with Me on the Tour?
Participants are encouraged to wear closed-toed shoes and bring a hat, sunglasses, camera, sunscreen, binoculars, and water bottle. Guests are also encouraged to check the weather forecast in advance so they are properly prepared. The temperature is often much cooler out on the water, so a light jacket is always a wise choice.


Back to Top

Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve (Punta Gorda) Snorkel Trips and Nature Tours by Boat

Snorkel Trips

Snorkelers can explore the estuarine environment of Lemon Bay, Gasparilla Sound, and aquatic preserve waters during these two-hour trips led by environmental specialists from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Participants will explore firsthand the seagrass beds and other habitats that marine creatures call home. Sea urchins, a variety of fish, sea stars, whelks, and other animals can be discovered in their underwater environment as experienced guides assist in the collection and identification of these animals, as well as discuss the importance of aquatic preserves and the species that depend on these estuarine habitats. woman underwater snorkeling

Tour Dates and Times:
 May 3 (11 am), May 8 (12 pm), May 19 (10 am), May 22 (11 am)

Tour Departure Point:
The group will meet at the Gasparilla Marina, 1500 Gasparilla Road, Placida, FL 33946. Detailed instructions will be sent when registration is complete. Participants are required to pay the $5 parking fee at Marina office prior to boarding the boat, and must be on board at time of scheduled departure.

Tour Rates:
$30. Register here.

What Should I Bring with Me on the Tour?
Participants are encouraged to wear a bathing suit and bring snorkel gear if they have their own (otherwise gear will be provided). Participants are also encouraged to bring a towel, bottled water, sunscreen, and hat. Cooler space will be available onboard the boat for participants drinks and snacks (no private coolers allowed).

Aquatic Preserve Nature Tour by Boat

The Aquatic Preserve boat tour is a 1 hour boat tour aboard the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves' 25' Triumph Windsorcraft. Your Guide will be an Environmental Specialist on staff at CHAP. In addition to viewing wildlife such as dolphin, wading, diving and shorebirds, you will learn about the aquatic preserves and CHAP programs, all in a comfortable setting with only 6 guests. You will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions, and room to use your binoculars to view wildlife in the wild. Be sure to bring binoculars, sunscreen, water, hat.

Tour Dates and Times:
May 3 (1:30 pm), May 8 (10:30 am), May 19 (12:30 pm), May 22 (9:30 am)

Tour Departure Point:
The group will meet at the Gasparilla Marina, 1500 Gasparilla Road, Placida, FL 33946. Detailed instructions will be sent when registration is complete. Participants are required to pay the $5 parking fee at Marina office prior to boarding the boat, and must be on board at time of scheduled departure.

Tour Rates:
$20. Register here.

What Should I Bring with Me on the Tour?
Be sure to bring binoculars, sunscreen, water, hat. Cooler space will be available onboard the boat for participants drinks and snacks (no private coolers allowed).


Back to Top

 

 


 


 

 


 

Last updated: March 29, 2017

  3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235 Tallahassee, Florida 32399 850-245-2094
Contact Us 
DEP Home | About DEP  | Contact Us | Search |  Site Map