DEP's Florida Coastal Office Celebrates National Estuaries Day

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DEP's Florida Coastal Office Celebrates National Estuaries Day

~Events Offered at DEP’s Apalachicola and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserves~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is celebrating National Estuaries Day, held on Sept. 29, 2018, with special events at Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, focusing on the importance of Florida’s estuaries – the valuable natural environment where rivers meet the sea.

“DEP’s Florida Coastal Office is excited to host events at ANERR and Rookery Bay in celebration of Estuaries Day to give visitors an opportunity to learn about Florida’s valuable estuarine ecosystems and what Florida’s residents can do to help protect them,” said Florida Coastal Office Director Kevin Claridge.

Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve is hosting a National Estuaries Day celebration on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, from 1:30 to 6:00 p.m. Activities include marine animal touch tanks and estuary-themed games. Visitors are invited to tour the reserve’s Nature Center and visit its three large aquariums featuring local estuarine and marine life. The first 600 visitors will receive a free T-shirt.

In recognition of National Estuaries Day and Rookery Bay Research Reserve's 40th anniversary, visitors are invited to join the community with free admission at Rookery Bay's Environmental Learning Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29. Attendees can enjoy staff-narrated boat tours, 30-minute kayaking trips, stand-up paddleboarding demos, junior scientist lab activities and more. Additionally, the reserve will preview scenes from its 40th anniversary documentary, which is currently being filmed and provides a retrospective of four decades of coastal stewardship.

The country’s 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves, including the three reserves located in Florida and managed by DEP's Florida Coastal Office, celebrate National Estuaries Day each year to bring attention to these beautiful coastal environments. Among the most productive ecosystems on earth, estuaries serve as nurseries for fish and shellfish and provide vital nesting and feeding grounds for coastal birds, sea turtles and marine mammals.

Learn more about DEP’s Florida Coastal Office