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Rookery Bay Earth Day 2012

April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: The Schaefer family- Michael, Andrea, Caroline & Frank check out the live exhibits.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.

Photo by GORDON CAMPBELL

April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: The Schaefer family- Michael, Andrea, Caroline & Frank check out the live exhibits. Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.

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  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: A reconstructed mangrove shoreline wraps the large aquarium with explanations and examples of the inhabitants like this roseatte spoonbill.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: A reconstructed mangrove shoreline wraps the large aquarium with explanations and examples of the inhabitants like this white ibis.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: With rain outside the brilliantly produced environmental movies were a draw.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: 10th grade volunteer Matthew Burke feeds the fish in the big aquarium.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: Despite a drizzle the Nakon family- Rich, Audrey and David peer over the Henderson Creek bridge in hopes of a manatee sighting.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: This large hermit crab is a favorite in the touch tank. Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: Donna Mauntel of Illinois & Dave Harper of Marco take in a movie.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: Attendees had a menu of beautifully filmed environmental movies to watch.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: This black drum is reprentative of fish found in Rookery Bay and surrounding areas.   Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: Bob Gober and grandson Jonathan Blanchard look over the giant batfish replica at the learning center.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: Mike Blanchard brushes up on fishing regs via one of the many info kiosks in the learning center. Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: Mosquito control has come a long way with advanced techniques showing significant decline in damage to species like the fiddler crab.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: Several aquariums gave visitors a first hand look of estuarine species like this spotfin mojarra. Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: A replica oarfish gave participants an education on this mysterious creature reaching 35 feet in length and which has washed up on Marco beaches.   Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: The Schaefer family- Michael, Andrea, Caroline & Frank check out the live exhibits.  Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
  • April 21,2012 Rookery Bay Earth Day: Thomas Devlin poses near one of the learning center displays for his daughter.   Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.

Rain hampered but didn't totally wash out Earth Day at Rookery Bay.  While outdoor activities like hiking & kayaking were mostly a bust the sophisticated indoor learning center saved the day.  Families enjoyed everything from the touch tank and fish feeding to a series of highly produced nature movies.  Displays inside educated people on the nature and value of our estuarine and mangrove environments with replica birds, fish and informational signage too.  Later on a live snake presentation held attendees' attention. For more info on the facility including membership & activities visit  http://www.rookerybay.org/learning-center .

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