Naples Manatee Eco-Tours

March 3, 2022


Naples Florida is a paradise for natural wildlife and home to some of the most unique ecosystems in the United States. Located on the Southwest portion of Florida, Naples has a great number of natural visitors, from alligators and big game fish to all kinds of aquatic wildlife. The real attraction is our resident manatees, as Southwest Florida is home to the one of the largest concentration of manatee in North America. We are also one of the only places in Florida where manatees are found year round!

Our eco-tours are designed to be a view of some of the world’s most beautiful natural habitats, with direct access to the beautiful creatures of the region. We take great care to preserve the natural beauty of the Naples, Florida coast that surrounds us, and our manatee population is no exception.

Come by and let us take you on a boat tour to see our family of Florida manatees. We have boats and tours leaving every day and our guides will take you to the manatees in the area, where you can see them playing and swimming in their natural habitat.

Ecotourism offers an opportunity for an increase in education and activism among travelers, making them more effective supporters of conservation.

We offer an informative 90-minute tour that will allow you to see manatees in their natural habitat. It is very likely to also see other types of wildlife, such as alligators, egrets, dolphins, sea turtles and other animals that are indigenous to the area during the tours. The tours take you and your group to the Faka Union Canal, which is part of the Port of the islands and the 10,000 islands.

For more information about the Eco-Tours and manatee sightseeing tours available, please call us today.

Marine Life of Southwest Florida

February 2, 2022

Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline and over 30,000 lakes throughout the state.

The Florida marine life is diverse with hundreds of native and non-native species.

One could spend an afternoon in Southwest Florida sailing alongside dolphins and manatees. The winding rivers etched with forests, preserves, keys, and the vast ocean is an eco-tourists dream destination.

All the more reason to visit Southwest Florida beaches.

What can you expect below the surface, soaring through the sky, and burrowing in the sandy beach dunes?

Many planning a trip to Southwest Florida will find delight in knowing they are in walking distance from warm, sunny beaches. reefs and rivers.

You will find a mix of gulls, crabs, and fish. Those seeking a journey into mother nature may come across alligators and freshwater turtles. Plus, our beautiful sea cows: manatees.

Others to look out for include:

  • Echinoderms: Sand dollars, sea cucumber, sea urchin
  • Crabs: Ghost crab, hermit crab, leopard crab
  • Reptiles: Alligators, gopher tortoise, American alligator
  • Fish: Pufferfish, smalltooth sawfish, rays
  • Birds: Pelicans, egret, spoonbill
  • Others: Octopus, jellyfish, sea worms, coral

Be sure to pack a camera — these are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see incredible Florida marine life found nowhere else!

The Florida marine life may be beautiful and welcoming but do understand that many are endangered and protected.

This includes:

  • Manatees
  • Alligators
  • Sea turtles
  • Waterfowl

We ask you to look but not touch – not only for their well-being, but to prevent dangers to yourself and hefty fines.

We have protections to prevent overfishing, too, so please make sure to check those out prior to fishing.

Visit us for an eco-tour to see manatees when you are in town. We would love to show you the real side of Florida — one rich in marine life that’s found nowhere else in the world!

See Manatees in Naples Florida

January 1, 2022

Manatees roam the waters of southeast Florida from April through October—but when things get a bit chilly, they head to places like freshwater Florida springs, where the temperatures remain constant throughout the year.

It may not seem warm when you jump into a freshwater spring, but the water temperatures remain around 70 degrees, which is perfect for manatees in Florida who need that kind of warmth to survive.

Seeing a large number of Florida manatees in one place is an amazing experience, but just remember these gentle sea cows are there for survival. Whether you’re on a solo kayaking trip or a manatee swim tour, always mind your “Manatee Manners”— look, but don’t touch.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has produced several videos on interacting with manatees, whether it’s by swimming/snorkeling, boating or kayaking. There’s even information that’s specifically for photographers and videographers.

Remember to respect these precious creatures and the environment in which they live. Naples provides one of the best places to see manatees in their environment. We offer manatee eco-tours and an experienced staff who will take you to see the manatees, while offering important information regarding manatees and their habitat.

Keeping Manatees Safe in Florida Waters

January 1, 2022

Living in harmony with the natural environment is a challenge in Florida, which has undergone more growth in human population and infrastructure than the majority of other regions throughout the United States. For several decades this growth has impacted indigenous plant and animal life through habitat loss or alteration, decreased water quality, increases in airborne pollutants, and introduction of invasive species. In the case of Florida manatees, habitat alteration has included harmful algal blooms such as red tide that have resulted in hundreds of sick and dead manatees. These blooms may be exacerbated by groundwater runoffs high in nitrates and phosphorus that are often caused by human activities including septic tank leakage and the use of manufactured fertilizers.

Manatees in Florida deal with motorized boat traffic throughout much of their range. Florida has about 2000 miles of complex coastline involving the Intracoastal Waterway, numerous rivers, creeks, canals, bays, lagoons, inlets, lakes, and coastal islands. Manatees are found in each of these habitats because they feed on a wide variety of aquatic vegetation. The number of registered boats in Florida has increased significantly along with the expanding human population, and is directly correlated with increasing manatee mortality from strikes by boats.

Studies of manatee hearing have been done on wild and captive manatees. In controlled experiments, manatees have been observed to detect and avoid single boats traveling at a variety of speeds, as long as they have adequate time to respond. However, the presence of many boats in one area generates a complicated mixture of sounds that make it difficult if not impossible to detect a specific boat that may pose a threat.

Reduced speed zones have been implemented at designated locations in 18 Florida counties, focused on areas where manatees are known to be abundant. They include portions of over 20 major rivers, but constitute only a very small fraction of the total amount of navigable waterways used by manatees in Florida.  Depending upon the specific location, restrictions include no entry, idle speed, slow speed, and 25, 30 or 35 mph limits. Some restrictions apply year-round, others during specific months.

The premise of establishing slow boat speed zones for manatee protection is that vessels moving at slower speeds allow both the vessel operator and the manatee more time to respond to avoid a collision. In the event that a collision occurs, less severe injuries occur if a vessel is moving at a slower speed. Even moderate reductions in the speed at which an impact occurs can dramatically lessen the potential for injuries or death since the resultant force of impact is reduced.

Several studies have found that only about 60% of boaters comply with posted slow speeds. Not surprisingly, the presence of law enforcement results in greater compliance. However, the number of marine patrol officers is very low compared to what would be needed to have a widespread effect on boater compliance. For now, low boater compliance and an increasing number of boats are two factors that contribute to sustained high numbers of manatees killed by boat strikes. Technological solutions have been proposed, including warning lights to notify boaters of manatees in an area, and sound beacons on boats to warn manatees of boaters in an area.

While traveling waterways known to have manatees it is important to follow speed limits and lookout for these majestic creatures. Have a dedicated spotter on board and looking for large shadows and circular wave patterns left on the surface of the water by the manatee’s tail. Polarized sunglasses help.

One of the pleasures of being in Florida is seeing manatees in their natural habitat, either from your boat, by kayak tour, or on a snorkeling trip. We are a responsible eco tour company that works to ensure that all human/manatee interaction is conducted in a safe, non-stressful, and considerate manner and we believe that we can increase safety for manatees by sharing our knowledge and sharing the beauty of the majestic manatees with you.

The Importance of Ocean Preservation

November 11, 2021

Ocean preservation stretches beyond what it implies, as it is a way of supporting a number of other environmental goals at the same time. Wildlife conservation, fighting global climate change, and maintaining natural resources are all intertwined with ocean preservation and conservation. Many of the ways that people affect the natural world also affect the ocean specifically.

The oceans have mistakenly been perceived as a boundless area that could be pulled from for supplies indefinitely. This is a very incorrect perception, which is thankfully being transformed as people are beginning to recognize and act with regard to ocean preservation. Ocean conservation is a key in resisting global climate change, which is one of the most prevalent environmental concerns today. According to the Worldwatch Institute, ocean vegetation, coral and algae hold as much as 93 percent of carbon dioxide. Industry experts indicate that the ocean holds a large quantity of the excess greenhouse gases that humans produce, and that global climate change would be significantly worse if it did not. Industry experts also indicate that the ocean may not be able to keep up with the increase in carbon dioxide emissions throughout the world. All facts point to the fact that it is crucial to pay attention to ocean conservation and preservation and act on behalf of our oceans.

Saving plant and animal species, as well as marine food sources, is also important as marine ecosystems contain more than 50 percent of the world’s total species and all could be negatively impacted by insufficient ocean conservation efforts. These conservation efforts include the protection of manatees, sea turtles, salmon, whales and various seabirds.

The loss of ocean life translates into loss of animal protein, loss of jobs linked to the ocean, loss of ability to use marine wildlife for medical testing and research, and the loss of the ocean as an important symbol in many cultures.

Marine ecosystems are extremely valuable on many levels. This approach needs to be adopted on many levels and action must be taken to collectively support the preservation and conservation of our world’s seas.

What are Eco-Tours?

October 10, 2021


Our team at Manatee Eco-Tours out of Naples, Florida works diligently to create and offer well-planned, interactive learning experiences that introduce small groups of travelers to manatees and their environment, while supporting conservation efforts and encouraging an overall respect for the environment. We are a local, year-round family run operation devoted to sharing our knowledge of manatees and other wildlife that share their environment.

Some fun facts we share regarding manatees include:

  • Manatees feed on more than 60 species of plants, which include turtle grass, manatee grass, shoal grass, and mangrove leaves.
  • On average, one manatee is born to a mama manatee every two to five years. Also, it is very rare for twin manatees to be born, but it does occur.
  • With regard to the number of manatees currently in Florida, for the third straight year, spotters have counted more than 6,000 manatees navigating through Florida’s beautiful and warm waters.
  • There are three species of manatees, including the Amazonian manatee, the West Indian manatee and the West African manatee.

Knowledge of manatees and their gentle and slow-moving nature, eating habits, resting habits, and mating habits, is key in understanding them and participating in protecting them and their habitat. Manatees have no known natural enemies and these beautiful creatures are a wonderful sight to see and observe.

Manatee Eco-tours out of Naples, Florida is a must on your to-do list when visiting the Naples area. We will take the entire family and/or group of friends on an exciting 1 ½ hour personal boat tour into a remote everglades manatee hideout, where you are sure to see manatees at very close range and enjoy their magnificence. Our eco-adventure tour is fun for all ages, with no high speeds and no rough waters to navigate. The boats are fully covered for comfort and safety.

Enjoy a Manatee Eco Tour Out of Naples Florida

September 9, 2021


Florida’s state marine mammal, the Florida manatee, is related to the elephant. These grayish brown gentle animals use their front flippers to steer and their flat tails to help them move forward through the water. Manatees playing an extremely important part with regard to plant growth in shallow rivers, estuaries, bays and coastal waters where they live. Getting up close enough to see them is a special treat for visitors to the Sunshine state, as well as residents.

Manatees are herbivores and mostly feed on sea grasses and freshwater plants. They can be found in warmer waters and are rarely found in waters under 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Manatees live in Florida’s coastal waters during the winter season, though some migrate as far north as the Carolinas or as far west as Louisiana during the summer months. During the last few years, some manatees have been spotted as far north as Massachusetts.

Manatees are well known for their slow-cruising, gentle nature and have also been known to body surf when they are feeling a bit playful. They communicate through the use of squealing sounds under water, to convey feelings of excitement or fear. Baby manatees are born weighing approximately 60 to 70 pounds and measuring 3 to 4 feet in length and they nurse underwater.

When in the Naples, Florida area, taking a manatee sightseeing eco tour is a great way to enjoy a close view of Florida wildlife. Manatee Eco-Tours out of Naples is the only sightseeing tour company in the world that offers and stands by it’s NO SEE-NO PAY guarantee. We offer an informative 90-minute tour that will allow you to see manatees in their natural habitat. It is very likely to also see other types of wildlife, such as alligators, egrets, dolphins, sea turtles and other animals that are indigenous to the area during the tours. The tours take you and your group to the Faka Union Canal, which is part of the Port of the islands and the 10,000 islands.