Located at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands on the Gulf coast of Florida, Rookery Bay National
Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR) represents one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North
America. An amazing world exists within the 110,000 acres of nearly pristine mangrove forest, uplands and protected
waters of Rookery Bay. A myriad of wildlife, including 150 species of birds and many threatened and endangered animals,
thrive in the estuarine environment and surrounding upland hammocks and scrub found within RBNERR.
The mission of RBNERR is to provide a basis for informed coastal decisions through land management, restoration, research
and education. RBNERR works in partnership with local communities to promote coastal stewardship. Located adjacent to one
of the fastest developing coastal areas in the United States, RBNERR is ideally suited as a regional hub for education
and research on estuaries.
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
300 Tower Road
Naples, FL 34113
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve comprises the western extent of the Everglades ecosystem, an
ecological region of international significance due to its high level of biodiversity, contiguous freshwater and marine
wetlands and abundance of coastal and marine wildlife. The natural and aesthetic values of the landscapes and wildlife
within RBNERR represent a significant economic contribution to southwest Florida. In 2008, over 1.3 million tourists
visited Collier County and the tourism industry is expected to yield over $1.06 billion per year to the local economy.
Annual visitation of RBNERR is nearly 750,000 people.
The estuarine environment of RBNERR provides an ideal setting for a variety of recreational activities, including
sportfishing, boating, hiking, sailing, bird watching or simply enjoying the aesthetics of the area. Recreational
fishing represents a primary public use of RBNERR resources and provides significant contributions to the economy of
local communities, including charter/guide services, sales of boats and fishing tackle and fuel. Major recreational
species include snook, mangrove snapper, sheepshead, redfish, tarpon and spotted sea trout. Commercially valuable
fishes and shellfish total 16 species, with mullet the principal finfish, and blue crabs and stone crabs the major
Collier County is currently ranked among the highest metropolitan growth rates and is considered one of the
fastest growing areas in the nation. The population has nearly quadrupled since 1980 to more than 330,000 estimated
residents. Current estimates predict an additional population increase of 64 percent through 2030. Projections by the
Collier County government anticipate continued growth in the next five to ten years along the
State Road 951 corridor (Collier Boulevard) and south of U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail). These areas are designated as urban
and directly adjoin the eastern and northern boundaries of RBNERR.
January 13 - 15
Explore the local environment through three days of guided field
trips to wildlife hot spots around Southwest Florida and lectures at the
Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Field trips, including
birding walks, buggy rides and kayak tours, are offered in cooperation
with local partners and range in price from $15 - $135. Enjoy three
lectures on Saturday afternoon about seabird banding, swallow-tailed
kite migration and beach-nesting birds, plus the evening Keynote, "My
Big Year Birding Adventure" with south Florida author Sandy Komito, the
inspiration for the Hollywood movie starring Owen Wilson. Find details
and registration at