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National Estuaries Day at Rookery Bay
Get a “fish eye” view of Rookery Bay through on-the-water experiences during National Estuaries Day on the last Saturday in September each year.
The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve annually celebrates the estuary from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help people learn about and enjoy Collier County’s beautiful coastal ecosystem.
There will be live music, food (for purchase), marine life touch tank, research lab tours, films, and other activities for the entire family. Clyde Butcher's Living Waters photo exhibition is on display in the art gallery. Also this year, as part of our Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center designation, we are expecting some extra-special activities and exhibits brought to us by our new federal partners with Coastal America.
Outdoor activities include naturalist-led half-hour boat tours. Learn about coastal plants and animals including oysters, fish and wading birds on this cruise through the shallow waters of Henderson Creek and Hall Bay. Participants must be 48 inches or taller to get on the boats. Transportation is provided from the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center to and from the boats.
From the Environmental Learning Center’s backyard, half-hour guided kayak trips are offered on Henderson Creek. Kayak trips offer an intimate connection with the water, mangroves, and other habitat. These mini-tours are an ideal way for guests to try kayaking and decide if they would like to register for Rookery Bay’s two-hour trips offered year-round. Participants must be age 12 or older, and anyone under 18 must register and paddle with an adult. There is a weight limit of 250 lbs.
Paddleboarding demoAlso out back at the center guests are invited to hop on a paddleboard and try the newest sports craze. The boards are 12-feet long and stable, but just like getting into and out of kayaks, feet will likely get wet. There aren’t any size or weight restrictions for participants, but parents must sign waivers for youth under 18.
(Rookery Bay in Naples)