Research staff at Rookery Bay Reserve monitor water, weather and wildlife to detect short-term events and long-term change. Like watchdogs for wildlife and wild places, researchers can detect differences before they become problems for the environment, community or local businesses.
The System-Wide Monitoring Program, the research department's flagship program, has three components: abiotic, biotic and habitat monitoring. In addition, reserve staff and volunteers monitor wildlife such as birds, fish and sea turtles, as well as shoreline changes and vegetation.
Staff at the reserve work with visiting scientists to take advantage of this living laboratory to increase collective understanding of what is happening within the 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters protected within the Rookery Bay Reserve.
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.