Located at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands on the Gulf Coast of Florida, the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve includes one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. The Rookery Bay reserve is managed by DEP's Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and includes two aquatic preserves: Rookery Bay Aquatic Preserve and Cape Romano-Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve.
An amazing world exists within the 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forest, uplands and protected waters of Rookery Bay. 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 of the reserve.
Rookery Bay Reserve is located adjacent to Naples, one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the state, and is ideally suited as a regional hub for education and research on estuaries. The mission of the Rookery Bay Reserve is to provide a basis for informed coastal decisions, working in partnership with local communities to promote coastal stewardship.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.