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 rookerybay.org and facebook.com/friendsofrookerybay.
Average Visit Time:
2 - 3 hours,
Average Visit Time:
2 - 3 hours
Disabled Traveler Information:
Florida Resident Discount,
Local Resident Discount,
Senior Citizen Discount,
Hours of Operation:
Dates closed federal holidays,
Hours 9 am to 4 pm,
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.
Art for Mom & Me
Now - August 05, 2015
Local artist Marjorie Pesek will lead this 1-hour workshop for children and adults at all levels of creative talent. She will share her unique art technique of Layered Imagery. Participants will be supplied with a sketch of a variety of subjects such as a pelican, a tree frog, or a sea turtle. Using photos and magazine clippings, each parent and child will team up to create a masterpiece to take home. Registration fee ($25) includes one adult, one child (age 5+), and all supplies. Come early or stay late and enjoy complimentary admission to the Environmental Learning Center with registration. www.rookerybay.org/calendar
Our popular summer program, Kids FREE Fridays, returns to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. This summer education program provides FREE admission for children ages 12 and younger who are accompanied by an adult (up to 5 children per adult). Educators will present lessons and activities following a central theme of “Skulls and Bones.” Scheduled activities include: Story Time, Naturalist Presentation, Crafts, Films, and Touch Tank. Lunch will be available for purchase from 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Registration NOT required.
Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve is offering three summer wading trips, which are now open for registration. Participants will discover firsthand why estuaries are known as “cradles of the ocean.”
The trips will take place May 6, June 4 and Aug. 20, from 9 to 11 a.m. and will be led by environmental specialists from Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve.
Participants will wade into mudflats and seagrass beds at low tide to discover many of the plants and animals that call the estuary home. Dip nets and seine nets will be provided to collect organisms such as fish, shrimp, crabs and snails, which will be placed in buckets or magnifiers to take a closer look
and learn how each animal plays an important role in the ecosystem.
Participants are required to wear closed-toed shoes that can get wet, such as old tennis shoes or diving booties and a swimsuit or shorts.
The wading trips are free, but registration is required. Call Jackie Langston at 239-463-3240to sign up and receive driving directions
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.