By Natalie Strom
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve celebrated National Estuaries Day in a big way on Saturday, September 29. Hundreds of all ages came to learn about the history, research, recreation and marine life of Florida’s mangrove systems; where fresh water blends with salt water.
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve manages 110,000 acres of estuary from Naples south, around Marco Island and into the Ten Thousand Islands. The Reserve hosted boat rides, kayak and paddle board tours, fly-fishing lessons, face-painting, laboratory tours, nature hikes, animal encounters and a special backcountry seminar hosted by artist and television fishing show host, Alex Suescun.
Free for children under 12, and only three dollars for adults, the event was a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy these special places where the rivers meet the sea.
Volunteer Jeanne explains the difference in the skulls of different animals including manatees, panthers, armadillos and roseate spoonbills.
Photos by Natalie Strom