Inspired by local concern over a “Road to Nowhere” being proposed through pristine coastal lands in 1964, today Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve stretches across 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forest, uplands and protected waters, encompassing 40% of Collier County coastline. | Estuaries and coast | Coastal and Heartland | Indian River Lagoon | Apalachicola | Near St Augustine | Rookery Bay | Tampa and Sarasota Bays | Florida’s water districts | Water bodies | Aquifers

Intro - Paradise Coast Preserved

How a Road to Nowhere led to protecting Collier County's coast

By Robert V. Sobczak

Map of Rookery Bay NERR

If vehicles are Point A to Point B machines, when it comes to building a road it's not the destination its the journey along the way, and more specifically the development that will quickly fill in along its length. The year was 1964 when such a road was being proposed and not soon thereafter that the plan got canned. In its place was the start of what would become modern-day Rookery Bay National Estuary Research Reserve (NERR). More than just Rookery Bay, it stretches from downtown Naples to the 10,000 Islands in the Western Everglades.

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