The region known as “Ten Thousand Islands” is a chain of small islands and mangrove islets.
The Ten Thousand Islands region is located in southwest Florida, along Florida’s southern Gulf of Mexico coast.
The Ten Thousand Island region stretches across the boundaries of two counties, including both Collier County and Monroe County.
Parts of Ten Thousand Islands are included in national land, as well, including both Everglades National Park and the Big Cypress National Preserve.
Ecosystems in Ten Thousand Islands
The Ten Thousand Islands region includes a wide variety of islands and ecosystems. The region includes sandy beaches, mangrove swamps, and estuaries, along with other types of ecosystems.
The fragile ecosystem is protected by various agencies and forms of preservation, including
The Ten Thousand Islands region is home to a variety of wildlife, including several species of dolphins, manatees, and a very wide and diverse variety of bird species.
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Everglades National Park,
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge is an area of protected nature in southwest Florida.
The wildlife refuge covers more than 35,000 acres, and is an important part of the broader Florida Everglades ecosystem.
The wildlife refuge includes a vast chain of mangrove islands, shallow bays, islets and estuaries, and a vast array of native Florida wildlife and marine life.
Visitors can access the wildlife refuge by boat and can experience the area with natural activities, including paddling, boating, and wildlife viewing.
Various licensed tour operators in the refuge offer guided boat tours, nature tours, canoe rentals and kayak rentals to learn about the ecosystem and explore the area.
Accessing Ten Thousand Islands
Ten Thousand Islands is accessible primarily shallow-draft boat or watercraft. Canoes and kayaks offer the platforms for fishing, boating, and camping because of their shallow draft, versatility and silent operation.
By land, Ten Thousand Islands can be accessed via Marco Island, Everglades City or Chokoloskee.
Guided Tours in Ten Thousand Islands
Visitors can also take professionally guided boat tours in and around Ten Thousand Islands.
Guided tours are some of the best ways to explore the islands and learn about the local ecosystem, especially when boat crew are trained ecologists or biologists.