Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Florida Master Naturalist Program- Day 2:Field Trip to Keewaydin Island

Day 2 of my Florida Master Naturalist Class began with presentations on marine and estuarine environments and coastal uplands by my colleagues Renee and Sarah. We also watched a video on Florida estuarine systems. Later in the day we took our awesome Florida Master Naturalist class out to Keewaydin Island, one of the largest unbridged barrier islands in Florida. It was a great opportunity to discuss barrier island ecology and explore some of the habitats found there. We did a walking transect of the island; we first walked through a tidal creek and got up close and personal with our local mangrove species. Next we traversed through a coastal strand habitat being careful not to step on any prickly pear cacti or sand spurs! Finally, we checked out the dunes and associated vegetation and did a little self exploration on one of the most beautiful beaches in SW Florida.  It was a great trip, and am looking forward to the next one. Enjoy the pictures!

I give a brief intro to mangrove ecology and identification

Checking out a black mangrove's pneumatophores in the tidal creek
we traversed

One of my favorite parts; the mangrove tunnel

Walking through a "field" of pneumatophores

Ecotone between mangroves and coastal stand habitat

The group learns about removal of exotic Australian Pines
to preserve biodiversity on Keewaydin Island (standing in coastal strand habitat)

Making our way through the islands dune system with the
Gulf in sight

Ecotone between dune and beach environments

Beachcombing for coastal "treasures"

The class shares with one another some of the items they found during
their beachcombing experience

Renee discusses Rookery Bay's efforts to balance coastal access and management
on Keeywadin Island

A quick lesson about how Calusa 'Indians used the chemical properties
of the Jamaican Dogwood to stun and capture fish

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