become the food chain for oysters, mussels and small
fish like tarpon, snook and sea bass that live around
“Once rooted, the mangroves form barriers to
keep the larger fish out and allow the smaller ones
to thrive without being preyed upon” Longo said.
The ranger will provide nets, buckets for the sea
creatures and magnifying viewfinders.
After spending about 30 minutes in the water,
attendees will gather at the shore to view all of the
marine creatures separately and learn facts about
each one of them.
Once everyone has had a chance to view the sea
life, the ranger will safely place the creatures back into
the water near the seagrass beds where they were
found, so they have a good chance of survival.
Longo said learning about nature helps inspire the
preservation of our precious native treasures and
Manatee grass and turtle grass are commonly
found in the nets while dipping and exploring
during the wading tours. Small fish, shrimp and
crabs live in the grass.
Because it is an estuary system, most of the
creatures you will find on the tours are less than
one inch in size. While they are small, most of
them are various hues of green and brown in
color, so they’re naturally camouflaged from
During the wading adventure, you can expect
to find hermit crabs, pinfish and perhaps even a
pipefish, which are related to the seahorse family.
Other creatures you may spot include hermit
crabs and lightning whelk.