Students enjoy discovery time spent on one of the grandest beaches along the Florida gulf coast – Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs. The Barefoot Beach Preserve is 342 acres of natural land, one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast.
This beach park is an excellent example of the shifts in habitat that can occur on Florida’s barrier islands. 8,200 feet of beach and sand dunes support the growth of sea oats, providing nesting sites for sea turtles during the summer months. The park also maintains a tropical coastal hammock of sabal palm, gumbo-limbo and sea grape trees among many others. The site is also home to the protected gopher tortoise.
Did you know:
- Separating this barrier island from the mainland is the estuarine mangrove forest. Estuaries, where fresh and salt water meet and mix, are some of the most productive communities on earth.
- There are five distinct habitats within the preserve: beach or littoral zone, dune zone, coastal strand, maritime hammock, and estuarine mangrove forest.