Keewaydin Island is one of southwest Florida’s largest un-bridged barrier islands, popular for its pristine beaches and excellent fishing. The island is also the site of the Rookery Bay Research Reserve, which includes one of the largest and most pristine subtropical mangrove estuaries in the world. More than 100 species of birds and many threatened and endangered animals thrive in the estuarine environment, as well as the surrounding upland hammocks and scrub.
In March 2012, The Trust for Public Land conserved a 4.6-acre property adjacent to the reserve. The purchase protects nesting grounds and habitat for many species, including Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle, indigo snake, and gopher tortoise.