Research currently conducted by our scientists includes: (1) understanding of the function and restoration of marine, estuarine and near freshwater habitats (2) determining the effects of human activities including regulated freshwater discharges on these habitats (3) characterizing nearshore water quality and (4) improving the condition of barrier island lakes and the Sanibel River Slough. All research conducted at the lab is enhanced by the River Estuary Coastal Observing Network (RECON), an instrument array composed of eight near real-time sensors deployed throughout the Caloosahatchee Estuary and Pine Island Sound.
Research at the laboratory is often driven by critical management questions concerning water quality, estuary health, and the restoration of these resources. With our research partners, the scientific investigation of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge complex and the status of the urbanized Caloosahatchee Estuary is the basis of environmental policy recommendations and fact-based advocacy. Data collected by the Marine Laboratory is also used to better understand the current state of the waters and marine life surrounding Sanibel and Captiva and to make informed decisions about future of the estuary.