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Keith Laakkonen

NERRA President & Manager

 

 

 

 


As vice president of the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, Keith is a strong advocate for estuaries and our Reserve System. As director of the Rookery Bay Reserve in Naples, Florida, he is responsible for administration and supervision of the 110,000-acres and more than 30 employees involved in research, education, and coastal stewardship. Keith also serves as the state’s regional administrator for aquatic preserves in Southwest Florida, with oversight for field offices and staff in Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor and Estero Bay.

Keith’s interests include watershed management and restoration, species management, wildlife ecology, prescribed fire management, hydrologic restoration, exotic plant and animal management, and environmental education and outreach. He began his career as an intern conducting research on American alligators with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit in Gainesville.

With 20 years of experience, Keith worked for the Town of Fort Myers Beach, Charlotte Harbor State Buffer Preserve, St. Martin’s Marsh Aquatic and Buffer Preserve, and Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve. He was also the Stewardship Coordinator at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve from 2005 to 2007. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida in 1998 and recently completed his Master’s Degree at Florida Gulf Coast University with a focus on environmental policy. Keith is also an avid birder and fisherman.

Phone: 239-530-5942
Email: keith.laakkonen@dep.state.fl.us
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Executive CommitteeKeith Laakkonen