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Management Issues of Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Quick Topics

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR) is committed to resource management efforts that are in direct response to and designed for its local and regional issues, listed below.

Boats and tents on a beach
  • Public Use
    Collier County is experiencing tremendous population growth, accompanied by a significant increase in public use of RBNERR resources. This has resulted in a significant increase in the frequency of incompatible public use and related damage to wildlife and essential habitats. These impacts also degrade the wilderness experience that many visitors come to RBNERR to enjoy.
Controlled burn
  • Habitat and Species Management
    The biodiversity associated with native plant and wildlife communities within and adjacent to RBNERR boundaries is threatened by invasive non-native plants and animals, suppression of natural fires, and the quantity, quality and timing of freshwater releases to coastal estuaries. Habitat restoration is implemented through passive and active methods from seed dispersal by wildlife to staff and volunteers replanting native species.
Calusa mask
  • Cultural Resource Management
    RBNERR will initiate, facilitate and/or conduct targeted research to develop a comprehensive cultural resources management plan. All research and land management initiatives that include ground-disturbing activities would undergo a cultural resources assessment using BMPs as defined by the Florida Department of State Division of Historic Resources.
  • Land Use Impacts
    Changes in the land use of watersheds and adjacent coastal lands and waters has resulted in significant environmental changes within RBNERR. Urban development and agricultural land use within RBNERR's watersheds, and their associated impacts on freshwater inflows to the Rookery Bay and Ten Thousand Islands estuaries, remain one of the most significant threats to the ecological integrity of RBNERR.
People planting a tree
  • Informed Community and Individual Action
    With the population of Collier County and other coastal areas in southwest Florida experiencing tremendous growth during the last 20 years, the challenge of providing for an informed and actively engaged community has increased significantly. No single agency or organization within the region, including RBNERR, has the resources to effectively reach all segments of the southwest Florida population. Public awareness and involvement in the long-term management and conservation of coastal resources is fundamental to natural resource protection.
  • Global and Regional Change Events
    Global and regional change events, both natural and human induced, have the potential for significant impacts to the ecologic integrity of RBNERR. Analysis of climate data worldwide and trends in global temperatures indicate that accelerated changes in climate are occurring. The most significant impact on RBNERR associated with climate change will be sea level rise. In addition to long-term sea level rise, short-term catastrophic events such as periodic hurricanes and harmful algal blooms, including red tide events, could impact natural resources within RBNERR.

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

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Last updated: April 06, 2015

  3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235 Tallahassee, Florida 32399 850-245-2094
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