Established in August, 1977
Rookery Bay Aquatic Preserve is east of Cape Romano - Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve. It is near two urban
areas, Naples to the north and Marco Island to the west.
The lagoonal bays that comprise Rookery Bay, Dollar Bay and Johnson Bay within the preserve are part of an interconnected system
that once extended all the way up the western Florida coast to near Tampa Bay. The barrier islands in the vicinity of Rookery Bay
have either coalesced into incipient (Marco Island) or actual (Naples area) headlands. The barrier islands extend south to
Cape Romano, which is within Rookery Bay Aquatic Preserve.
The preserve is part of an estuarine system with numerous inflows of freshwater to mix with the waters of the Gulf. The largest
source of freshwater is Henderson Creek, but the Lely and Lely Manor canals are also significant sources of freshwater inflow.
A substantial amount of freshwater also comes as sheetflow.