* DEP Home * About DEP * Programs * Contact * Site Map * Search *
Rookery Bay Research Reserve Events Quick Topics

Lunch & Learn Lecture


Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
300 Tower Road
Naples, FL 34113
(239) 530-5940 

Date and Time

  • Tue, Nov 3, noon - 1 pm
  • Tue, Dec 1, noon - 1 pm
  • Tue, Jan 5, noon - 1 pm
  • Tue, Feb 2, noon - 1 pm
  • Tue, Mar 1, noon - 1 pm
  • Tue, Apr 5, noon - 1 pm


Rookery Bay hosts a lunch lecture series from October through April, with speakers discussing environmental or local cultural topics. Lunch and dessert provided by Carrabba's and Costco.

The lecture is free for members and $10 for non-members and includes admission to the Environmental Learning Center. Reservations are strongly recommended.

  • Tue, Nov 3, 2015, noon - 1 pm
    Mangrove Forest Management and Restoration 101
    Mangrove forests are important habitat for fish, shrimp and crabs, and thus an important food source for many seabirds and wading birds in Florida, and also larger fish of commercial and recreational importance. Their management and restoration, however, is not routinely successful, and failed efforts are common. Ecological Mangrove Restoration helps to solve many of these problems.
    Mr. Roy R. "Robin" Lewis III is president of Coastal Resources Group, Inc., (CRG) a not-for-profit scientific and educational organization, with offices in Salt Springs and Venice, Florida, USA. CRG operates an In-Lieu-Fee coastal wetland mitigation program in the Florida Keys. He is a Professional Wetland Scientist certified by the Society of Wetland Scientists, and a certified Senior Ecologist with the Ecological Society of America. He has forty years of experience in the design and construction of wetlands with over 200 completed and successful projects in the USA and overseas. He has recently completed design and permitting of a 225 acre mangrove restoration project at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve near Marco Island, Florida, USA. The first phase of this project is currently underway. He has also worked and taught wetland restoration in twenty-two foreign countries. He specializes in the ecological monitoring, management and restoration of mangrove forests and seagrass meadows and has over 125 professional publications in these and other wetland subject areas.
  • Tue, Dec 1, 2015, noon - 1 pm
    Little Marco Settlement
    Join Steve Bertone, long-time Rookery Bay Reserve Cultural Resource Monitor, on a virtual walk through prehistoric and historic settlement areas in the Reserve. Built atop a remnant 2,500-year-old Calusa shell mound and village site, a historic pioneering community homestead called the Little Marco Settlement flourished on the Henderson Creek waterfront. The presentation will address how pioneers made a living on this harsh landscape, and what life was like here before air conditioning and running water. 
  • Tue, Jan 5, 2016, noon - 1 pm
    Fire, It's Good
    Rookery Bay Reserve encompasses 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters. Although most of the area is aquatic or marine, it includes a variety of ecosystems from mangroves to pine flatwoods, freshwater wetlands, and rare xeric oak habitats in high relict dune ridges. Because of the diversity of habitats and elevations, the proximity to developed land, and associated changes in hydrology, the prescribed fire program at Rookery Bay Reserve is an important tool for preserving native biodiversity. Greg Curry is the "Burn Boss" and will explain how fire is used to protect wildlife and people. 
  • Tue, Feb 2, 2016, noon - 1 pm
    A Snapshot in Time
    Understanding landscape-scale status and trends of critically important aquatic and coastal upland habitats is crucial for resource management. RBNERR recently completed work toward producing its first ever comprehensive maps that classify and enumerate the relative acreages of the various aquatic and upland habitat types contained within the Reserve's managed area. These maps are an important tool with which researchers and resource managers can begin to investigate how these habitats have responded to land-use changes, how they will respond to future changes including the effects from sea level rise, and can serve as a basis for designing and implementing resource management/restoration strategies that can allow for these habitats to be more resilient to natural and anthropogenic changes.
    Kevin Cunniff is a coastal/estuarine ecologist, with particular expertise in seagrass habitats, who has been working in south Florida estuarine ecosystems since 1999. Cunniff has served as RBNERR’s Research Coordinator since November 2013, and prior to his tenure at the Reserve worked for six years with the South Florida Water Management District in the Florida Bay and Southern Everglades Ecosystems Research Group. Cunniff also spent time working in the private sector assessing resource damage to marine seagrass and brackish submerged aquatic vegetation habitats related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Most recently, Cunniff was a researcher in the Seagrass Ecosystems Research Laboratory at Florida International University where he was conducting long-term research on seagrass and water quality trends in the ecotonal mangrove lakes of northern Florida Bay in Everglades National Park.
  • Tue, Mar 1, noon - 1 pm
    Channelized Freshwater Flow Effects on Estuarine Fish Nurseries
    This talk will provide an overview of 15 years of fisheries data as it relates to altered freshwater flows in eastern Collier County’s watershed with special emphasis on the Picayune Strand Restoration Project and current estuarine conditions.
    Patrick O’Donnell joined the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in 1998 as an Environmental Specialist with expertise in fisheries research. In his position, he heads up two fisheries monitoring programs in the Ten Thousand Islands to collect baseline data on fish, sharks and commercially-important shellfish species prior to a large-scale restoration project slated for the southwestern Everglades in the coming decade. His projects utilize VOLUNTEERS to help to collect fisheries data relevant to restoration activities.
  • Tue, Apr 5, noon - 1 pm
    Deepwater Horizon: Five Years Later
    Program will focus on lessons learned from the largest oil spill in maritime history, including the role of the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in working and coordinating with the U.S Coast Guard, and coastal managers from across Florida and the Gulf. Updates from ongoing research in the Gulf of Mexico to learn more about environmental impacts related to the event will be discussed.
    Gary Lytton received his academic training in biology and marine science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and the University of South Florida. He served as the Director for the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for 25 years prior to retiring in 2015, where he received national recognition by NOAA and the Clinton and Bush Administrations for his work in coastal management and environmental education and training. Lytton has two daughters, and is currently serving as the Executive Director for the Friends of Rookery Bay, Inc., a non-profit organization that supports the mission of the Rookery Bay Reserve.

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Core Programs


Visit Us / Get Involved



Last updated: November 24, 2015

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