Rookery Bay Reserve to Unveil New Film May 10

NAPLES – Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve today premiered the new feature film, “Rookery Bay – The Place to Be,” to be shown in the auditorium of its Environmental Learning Center.

The new 10-minute film, shot and directed by Elam Stoltzfus with Live Oak Production Group in Blountstown, will replace Stoltzfus’ earlier film that has been shown in the center since 2004. Music and score were composed by J. Robert Houghtaling of Marco Island and includes narration by Peter Thomas, who also worked with Stoltzfus on the original project.

Shot from land, water and sky, the film takes viewers on a virtual tour of the 110,000-acre reserve, shining a spotlight on the natural beauty and amazing wildlife protected within the NERR’s boundaries. The film demonstrates the various ways people connect with this coastal environment and features cameo appearances from Clyde Butcher, Fabien Cousteau and Guy Harvey.

“We are very excited to work with Elam on this and other projects for Rookery Bay and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection,” said Rookery Bay Reserve Director Gary Lytton. “Elam has an excellent sense of this place and what makes it special, and is a great storyteller,” he added.

Stoltzfus is a producer/cinematographer and director of film documentaries and educational programs featuring environmental issues, educational/corporate training programs, and developing projects utilizing various formats of media such as DVD, web design, social media. He has won dozens of awards for his productions and is known for “Living Waters – Aquatic Preserves of Florida,” “Big Cypress Swamp: Western Everglades” and his most recent work on the Florida Wildlife Corridor Project.

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, located at 300 Tower Road between Naples and Marco Island, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  It serves as an outdoor classroom and laboratory for students and scientists from around the world.

To view the video online on the Friends of Rookery Bay YouTube channel, click here.

For more information about Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, visit

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