As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship.
At first glance, the waterways within Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RB NERR) seem pristine. While I kayaked with a RB NERR tour, I traced the mangroves that border the water and create their own islands, spotted mullet leaping from the shallows and gazed through binoculars at wading birds of all shapes and colors. Other than the occasional dock, overhead airplane or quiet angler, we were surrounded only by the natural world.
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