Enjoy a naturalist led, covered pontoon boat cruise around Tarpon Bay. Learn about Tarpon Bay’s rich Mangrove Estuary ecosystem and get an up-close look at wildlife. The first half hour includes Touch Tank aquariums. You will hold and learn about wildlife living at the bottom of the estuary – including sea stars, horseshoe crabs, oysters, live shells and much more! Then spend an hour boating around Tarpon Bay. Possible sightings include manatees, dolphins, birds and fish! The naturalists will help you spot wildlife, and are able to answer any questions from wildlife biology and ecology to even the history of Sanibel and the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED (CALL 239-472-8900)
Did You Know?
Both dolphins and manatees frequent the shallow water of Tarpon Bay. Coastal bottlenose dolphins grow to an average length of 6-10 feet and can weigh 400-1,000 pounds. To maintain their body temperature and metabolism, an adult dolphin eats 4-5% of their body weight in fish and squid each day. Manatees are like nothing you’ll ever see. Averaging 8-10 feet long and weighing between 1,000-3,000 pounds, they are big, slow, but powerful animals. They are also one of nature’s most gentle creatures, with only about 6,000 left in the wild. Federal laws prohibit hunting, capturing, killing or harassing both dolphins and manatees. In 1978, the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act established Florida as a sanctuary for manatees.