Secrets of Southeast Florida: From the Ocean to the Okeechobee

Study the relationship between man, wildlife and water as you explore the marshes and waterways of Southeast Florida by boat and boardwalk. Learn about ecology, conservation and more.
Rating (4.5)
Program No. 23213RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

The Atlantic Ocean. Okeechobee Lake. The Loxahatchee River. Jupiter Intracoastal Waterway. These bodies of water have played a vital role in the culture, ecology and economy of Southeast Florida since the days if its original inhabitants: the Seminole people. Explore the ecosystems of these important waterways by boat, on marsh walks and at animal sanctuaries as you learn about local wildlife and conservation efforts. Find out how water management engineering and cattle ranching have changed the landscape, for better or for worse, and how the locals in Southeast Florida are shifting their focus on more natural waterways in response to challenges related to urban development.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Walk along boardwalk trails through a sawgrass marsh and a cypress swamp to watch for wildlife and learn about waterflows in the Northern Everglades.
  • Enjoy an eco-cruise on one of Florida’s federally and state designated “Wild Scenic Rivers” and a sunset study cruise to watch for and learn about local wildlife.
  • Take a field trip to Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park to learn about the historic battles that took place here during the Second Seminole War.

General Notes

For a similar program with an environmental focus, please see, "Our Changing Planet: The Diverse Waterways of Southeast Florida” (#23875), part of the Our Changing Planet series.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Sea Turtles of Southwest Florida
by Charles LeBuff
This book is the result of an intimate, long term, and ongoing investigation into the biology, life history, and conservation of the five species of sea turtles that occur in Southwest Florida. Although Caretta Research, Inc., a project founded and headed by the author, ended in 1991 the work continues on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida, under the auspices of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. Sea turtle biology, their ancestry, taxonomy, physiology, diet, reproductive behavior, embryological development, and survival problems are among the subjects discussed. Other chapters deal with the sea turtle's interaction with man, protection of these Endangered and Threatened Species in Florida, and the important work of the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.
A Light In The Wilderness: The Story of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and the Southeast Florida Frontier
by James D. Snyder
Although nearly 7 million people live along the southeast Florida coast, scarcely three generations ago it was a wild, lawless frontier ruled by bears, snakes and alligators. But when a lighthouse was built at Jupiter Inlet in 1860, it became the hub for hunters, surveyors, Civil War blockade runners, Union gunboats and pioneer farmers. A Light in the Wilderness, with over seventy rare photos, maps and letters, tells how southeast Florida survived the catharsis of the Civil War, how the lighthouse at Jupiter drew the first families into its orbit, and how it became a key link in the steamboat-railroad path that led people to the “Garden of Eden.”

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