About This Reserve
This Florida reserve is a prime example of a nearly pristine subtropical, mangrove forested estuary. Located south of Naples on the Florida Gulf coast, the total estimated surface area of open waters within the boundary is 70,000 acres--64 percent of the reserve. The remaining 40,000 acres are primarily mangroves, fresh to brackish water marshes, and upland habitats. A myriad of wildlife thrive in this estuarine environment and surrounding uplands.
The Rookery Bay Reserve is one of 30 areas in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The site is protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. Daily management is provided by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection with assistance from local partners. NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management provides funding, national guidance, and technical assistance.