ACES 2008 will feature three (3) optional Educational Tours on Thursday, December 11, 2008 after the conference concludes. Indicate your desire to participate in one of the tours when you register online. Note: Limited space is available on each tour, so register early to ensure your first option.
The tours include lunch, refreshments and transportation. Outdoor travel is involved with most tours, remember dress comfortably and be prepared for the weather.
Advance registration by November 14th is required. Since seating space is limited, if you need to cancel your registration, please notify us no later than 14-days prior to the educational tour so that another registrant may fill your seat.
EDUCATIONAL TOUR FEE:
The fee is $50.00 for each tour which includes lunch, transportation, and refreshments.
Tour 2 -- Big Cypress National Preserve
– Limited to 20 ppl.
The freshwater of the Big Cypress Swamp, essential to the health of the neighboring Everglades, supports the rich marine estuaries along Florida’s southwest coast. Protecting over 720,000 acres of this vast swamp, Big Cypress National Preserve contains a mix of tropical and temperate plant communities and a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther. During the winter months the Preserve is a vital feeding spot for flocks of migratory wading birds. Be prepared to get wet, wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt. Lace-up shoes are a must. Waders of any kind are not suggested. We also recommend a hat, sunglasses and water. Be sure to bring a change of clothes, including shoes and socks.
Tour 3 -- Florida Panther Conservation Bank
– Limited to 15 ppl.
The Florida Panther Conservation Bank is the first Fish and Wildlife Service certified conservation bank in Florida. In accordance with the Endangered Species Act, the bank compensates for habitat lost to development. The project’s 1,930 acres are predominantly forested. This project is an excellent example of how planning and economic incentives can combine to conserve an imperiled species. Participants will ride swamp buggies while touring the area.
PLEASE NOTE: Travel time to the tour location is estimated at 1 ½ hours each way (3 hours total). Participants are expected to return to the hotel at 7pm. Late afternoon snacks will be provided. Participants must be physically able to load the swamp buggy with a step up of about 2 ½ - 3ft. Participants are urged to bring sunscreen, hat, laced up shoes and attire that they don’t mind getting muddy.
Tour 4 -- U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge – Limited to 11 ppl.
Tour the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge by Swamp Buggy. Just a short distance from downtown Naples, you will see lands set aside for protecting of one of the most endangered species. In addition to panthers, many black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkey and many species of rare orchids and bromeliads are also found on the refuge. The tour will traverse wet prairies, pine flatwoods, tropical hardwood hammocks and cypress swamps. Time permitting, Jane’s Scenic Drive will also be included.
PLEASE NOTE: Participants must be physically able to load the swamp buggy with a step up of about 2 ½ - 3ft. Participants are urged to bring sunscreen, hat, laced up shoes and attire that they don’t mind getting muddy.
Photo credit: USFWS, Larry Richardson