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Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center


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The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forests, uplands and protected waters on the western edge of the Everglades. Where rivers and streams meet the sea, a unique habitat is formed. 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 the Reserve. The reserve operates an Environmental Learning Center for the public that features aquariums, interactive exhibits, children's exhibits, marine touch tank, live animals, nature trails with observation platforms over Henderson Creek, guided kayak trips, art gallery, lunch and evening lecture series, gift shop, picnic areas, special events and more. Learn more at and

  • Activities:
  • Birding, Boating, Canoeing
  • Amenities:
  • Baby-changing station, Bus Parking, Concessions
  • Average Visit Time:
  • 2 - 3 hours,


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South Florida Birds and Gardens photography exhibit

Now - September 23, 2015
South Florida Birds and Gardens is a selection of photographs by Kirsten Hines drawn from her two recent books, Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens and Birds of Fairchild. The exhibition aims to inspire environmentally sensitive landscaping of conservation value to South Florida’s birdlife.


National Estuaries Day Celebration

September 26, 2015
National Estuaries Day, celebrated by the 28 national estuarine research reserves across the country, recognizes the importance of the special estuarine habitat that forms where rivers meet the sea. Rookery Bay Reserve’s daylong event includes staff-narrated boat tours of the estuary, introductory 30-minute kayaking trips, paddle boarding on Henderson Creek, learning opportunities with the marine critter touch tank and other live animal presentations. A special feature will be a presentation called “Tales from the Coast.” Provided by former reserve director Gary Lytton, the presentation will recap some of the highlights from his 29-year caree ...Read More>> working in coastal management at Rookery Bay Reserve. In addition, there will be games and crafts for children, as well as behind-the-scenes tours of the science labs, films, food for purchase and more. During the event, the art gallery is hosting an exhibit of winning submissions to the Coastal America Partnership’s Ocean Art contest. The exhibit has been traveling to learning centers throughout North America since June 2014. Read Less


2nd Annual Guardian Anglers Charity Fishing Tournament

November 07, 2015
Nov. 6 and 7. Friday night: Captain's Meeting, all anglers' reception at Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Silent and live auctions, with open bar and heavy appetizers. Saturday morning: Tournament: Anglers target snook, redfish, trout. Saturday night: Awards Dinner, Open Bar, Prizes. Dinner ticket purchases are open to the public. Proceeds benefit The Friends of Rookery Bay by supporting fisheries research and habitat restoration within the 110,000 acre Rookery bay Reserve, and Coastal Conservation Association of Florida, with the mission of protecting our marine fisheries.

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