The Coastal Training Program (CTP) provides up-to-date scientific information and skill-building opportunities
to coastal decision-makers who are responsible for making decisions that affect coastal resources. Through this
program, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR) can ensure that coastal decision-makers have
the knowledge and tools they need to address critical resource management issues of concern to local communities.
Classes offered by RBNERR relate to coastal habitat conservation and restoration, biodiversity, water quality
and sustainable resource management and integrate reserve-based research, monitoring and stewardship activities.
Programs target a range of audiences, such as land-use planners, elected officials, regulators, land developers,
community groups, environmental non-profits, business and applied scientific groups.
A mullet skiff takes a group of community leaders to the barrier island beach for a learning experience
These training programs provide opportunities for professionals to network across disciplines, and develop new
collaborative relationships to solve complex environmental problems. Additionally, the CTP provides a critical
feedback loop to ensure that professional audiences inform local and regional science and research agendas.
Programs are developed in a variety of formats ranging from seminars, hands-on skill training, participatory
workshops, lectures and technology demonstrations. Participants benefit from opportunities to share experiences
and network in a multidisciplinary setting, often with a reserve-based field activity.
Partnerships are important to the success of the program. RBNERR's CTP has recently developed a training program
designed to promote Best Management Practices for local landscape professionals, in partnership with the cities
of Naples and Marco Island, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Project Greenscape is now
serving as a statewide model for training landscape managers.