Eagles Pitch In to Help Clean the Estero Bay State Preserve
Monday, April 13, 2009
Senior Courtney Gallo and Coach Stringham helped pick up trash at the Perserve.
Senior Courtney Gallo and Coach Stringham helped pick up trash at the Perserve.

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University Swimming and Diving Team, lead by sophomore Cat Silveira, went to the Estero Bay State Preserve to help clean the preserve on April 4. This effort began as a school project for Cat and her group, but turned into a joint group effort by the Lady Eagles to help the community. After meeting Saturday morning, the team hiked through the Preserve that lead to the running river close by, picking up trash and any debris they came to.

Description of Site
The Estero Bay Estuary is bordered on the west by a chain of barrier islands, which include: Estero Island, Long Key, Lovers Key, Black Island, Big Hickory Island, and Little Hickory Island, from north to south respectively. Within the estuary are hundreds of islands, many with no upland area. Mangrove trees are by far the most dominant vegetation in the bay, although extensive seagrass beds are found within the shallow bays and sounds. The climate in the region is subtropical with the majority of rainfall from June to September. The estuary is not supplied with freshwater by any major river, but rather by a number of small rivers and creeks.

The Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, comprising the northern half of Estero Bay, was dedicated in December 1966, as the state's first Aquatic Preserve. During the 1983 session of the Florida legislature, the southern half of Estero Bay down to the Lee County line was added.

The Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve is located in southwest Florida, within Lee County. It is approximately halfway between Fort Myers and Naples. Communities surrounding the preserve include South Fort Myers, the Town of Fort Myers Beach, San Carlos Park, Estero and the City of Bonita Springs.

The surface area of the preserve is over 15 square miles.