Speaker: Dr. Gary Schmelz, Paleontologist and Author
About Dr. Gary Schmelz, Paleontologist and Author
The Ten Thousand Islands were used and occupied by Native Americans for thousands of years. Evidence of former living sites can be found under as much as four feet of water. A number of shell rings and other shell complexes have been identified in or adjacent to the Ten Thousand Islands. The Horr's Island archaeological site at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands was occupied year-round 3,500 years ago, and other sites are presumed to have been inundated by a rise in sea level. The material culture of the Indians living in the Ten Thousand Islands was distinctive enough to be classified as, at least, a sub-area of the Glades culture area.
Today it attracts anglers, paddlers, birders and anyone interested in a pristine natural setting. The inshore rivers among the mangroves and the offshore shallows are home to a world of gamefish: tarpon, permit, snook and redfish. And sailing above the water - or nesting on channel markers - you're apt to see any of the Islands' winged denizens: roseate spoonbills, heron, white ibis, snowy egrets, black skimmers, bald eagles.
Share some of the fantastic adventures Dr. Gary Schmelz and his father have experienced while exploring and studying the marine life of Southwest Florida's Ten Thousand Islands. At the first glow of dawn in the coastal mangrove islands you will plunge into the shallow grass flats surrounding these spectacular forests and discover the secrets of some of south Florida's most unusual creatures and the important role they play in this environment.