The crowning event of the Big Calusa week-long Clean-Up and Celebration of our Waterways is the BIG CALUSA DAY, a day of recreation on Saturday, April 27th, starting with ACA-Sanctioned Kayak and Paddleboard races at 8:30 am, followed by a full roster of activities for children families and sports enthusiasts from 10am-4pm at North Shore Park in North Fort Myers.
Activities for tots, young kids, families and sports enthusiasts include:
Fossil hunting with our paleontologists (appropriate for children ages 4-12)– kids will love finding fossil treasures, that can be 1 million years old, and were found on the banks and beaches of our local shores. (our sand “digs” will be pre-planted with fossils, so kids are likely to find some treasure…. They may even find some old rare coins)
10 am FOSSIL
“YEMAYA,” the real-life mermaid (appropriate for children ages 4-8) will tell stories from the deep sea about how her friends cope with a sometimes-dirty ocean.
“THE LITTLE TOOT” (appropriate for children ages 4-8) the magic tugboat pays a visit at noon and her skipper, Captain Christopher Robin, regales children with valuable life lessons about caring, compassion and how it’s fine to be a little bit different.
Fishing Camp with “best practices” fishing safety techniques provided by CHNEP (appropriate for children ages 10-16). Young people who go through the 40-minute tutorial will be awarded a quality fishing pole (for the first 90 attendees)
A “LAND TO RIVER TO ESTUARY: CONNECTIONS FOR LIFE” (appropriate for children ages 4-12) Booth including an Estuary Aquarium teaching kids how to do water sampling, watershed run-off modeling,
Sailboat Rides (appropriate for children of all ages) – EDISON SAILING CENTER takes groups of 4 at a time on their four Hobie Cat Sailboats, starting at 10am and lasting till 4pm.
Master Naturalist Laboratory (appropriate for children of all ages) – Master Naturalists, Captain John Cookman and Kathy Cookman, owners of MANATEE & ECO RIVER TOURS, welcome visitors onto the 42-foot “River Queen” ir 42-foot floating laboratory to teach one an all about the natural wonders of our region. At 2:30pm the first forty-two to register will be treated to a 1.5-hour tour of the River with Nature Talk.
The “ABC’s of Boating Safety” (appropriate for adolescents and adults) a 45-minute tutorial on boating safety basics provided by the FORT MYERS POWER SQUADRON.
“BURN THE BRIDGES: RACE FOR CLEAN WATER.” (appropriate for adult competitors) Big Calusa hosts the first annual ACA-sanctioned Kayak & Paddle Board Races Starting at 8:30 am and running till 2pm, race takes competitors through a 3-mile course under two bridges spanning the Caloosahatchee River and back to home base at North Shore Park. Public is welcome to view the race from the beach or from their boats.
Plus, musical entertainment by Collier County-based Electric Acoustic Guitar duo, ROOTS 2 VINE.
CALUSA CLEAN-UP (appropriate for families) Just 1 ½ miles Away, at the Moody’s Boat Ramp, the public is welcome to participate in a Kayak Clean-up of Hancock Creek, organized by KLCB. Bring your paddle craft and join dozens of others in cleaning up our local waterways
Food is available all day long at Three Fishermen Restaurant next door, as well as IHOP and Che Tito's Steak House