Dip a net and see
what you get!
When wading in the waters of the
Charlotte Harbor, you’re sharing it
with dozens of different kinds of tiny
marine creatures, many of which are barely visible
to the naked eye.
The Barrier Island Parks Society along with
Florida State Parks offers educational programs
throughout the year, where everyone is invited
to come and learn about the history and
inhabitants of our local parks and waterways.
Wading adventures are one of the most
popular events during season in Boca Grande.
Florida State Park rangers guide attendees at the
programs held at Gasparilla Island State Park,
Don Pedro State Park, Cayo Costa and Stump
On this exciting adventure, you’ll learn about
local habitats and environments, shells, seagrasses
and various marine creatures.
Guests will wade, carefully collecting local
marine life using dip nets, and then view each
creature through a waterproof magnifying glass
as a ranger explains fascinating facts about each
By Sue Erwin
Photos by Dusty Hopkins, Christine Cunningham and BIPS
Each netful brings to light new sea creatures and
Charlotte Harbor is at the juncture of the
Peace River and the Myakka River, which flow out
into the Gulf of Mexico through the Boca
The estuary system, where the saltwater and
freshwater merge, is also referred to as the
“We get a vast amount of wildlife growing in
these areas,” said Gasparilla Island State Park
Ranger Bobby Longo. “All around Charlotte
Harbor, the mangrove trees have propagules
(seeds) which become fully mature plants before
dropping off the parent tree.”
The seeds are dispersed by water until
eventually embedding in the shallows. Habitats
will form wherever they land. These areas