From the Canopy to the Key: Ecology Along Florida’s Gulf Coast
Immerse yourself in the ecological wonders of Florida’s Gulf Coast as you learn about marine life with naturalists along sandy beaches, mangrove forests and the stunning Myakka River.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19469RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

In the beautiful and culturally-rich city of Sarasota, on the shore of Lake Osprey in the nationally renowned Lakewood Ranch stands an idyllic retreat – the perfect home-base for this one-of-a-kind learning opportunity. Explore the sandy beaches of Longboat Key and Emerson Point Park in search of rare shells and marine life. Stroll through the treetops along a canopy walk for stunning views of the Myakka River basin, and head down to the river for an airboat ride to learn about Florida’s unique river ecology from a local naturalist.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to a mile over uneven terrain.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Visit the 135-gallon shark habitat of Mote Marine Aquarium and Laboratory for an insider’s look at how sharks and other species figure in to cutting-edge cancer research.
  • At Emerson Point Park, explore the shoreline and mangrove forest with a naturalist for up-close views of native coastal plants and a hands-on demonstration with Native American tools.
  • Witness a play at the Florida State University Asolo Theater to learn why Sarasota is known as the “Cultural Capital of Florida.”
Featured Expert
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Shawn Carper
Shawn Carper has a Masters in Marine Botany from University of Hawaii – she can answer your estuary questions! She worked as a field biologist for the National Park Service in Hawaii doing lots of snorkeling, diving and identifying. Since 2003 she has owned and operated Kumon NW Bradenton Math and Reading Center tutoring students of all ages and before that she substituted in the Manatee County School system for 9 years. She loves getting wet with Around the Bend!
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Shawn Carper
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Kat Giguere
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Carol Mae
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Lynn Jakubowicz
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Stuart Wilson
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Mary Foster
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