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TBE welcomes new staff members

By Staff | Oct 24, 2019


Tarpon Bay Explorers, the official concession to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, recently welcomed three new staff members to its working family. In an effort to provide excellent customer service, it filled the additional positions, which include two naturalists and a boat captain.

– Naturalist Gabby Pearl is a born and raised Fort Myers native. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in environmental science and policy, and she currently resides in Fort Myers. Pearl has grown to love all of what Florida has to offer and is thankful she has only had to experience snow three times in life thus far. She is excited to refer to her “office” as Tarpon Bay and is looking forward to pointing out the ample wildlife the bay has to offer for all visitors.

– Naturalist Cathy Loyola is another born and raised Floridan. She grew up in Jacksonville then attended the University of West Florida where she majored in biology. Loyola moved to Fort Myers in 1999 to work for the Charlotte Habor Aquatic and State Buffer Preserve as a land manager. Her love and passion for the outdoors was fostered by regular walks with her granddaddy since the age of 3. Her passion continues to be reflected by her outdoor hobbies such as kayaking, hiking and gardening.

– Capt. George Balis hails from New York City, but has resided in Punta Gorda going on five years. The lure of outdoor life and boating brought him down to Florida. Even in his spare time Balis enjoys exploring Southwest Florida via boat, but he also enjoys landlubber activities such as tennis or going to the movies on a rainy day. Balis is excited to promote Tarpon Bay’s commitment to the “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the wildlife in which it protects.

Open seven days a week, Tarpon Bay Explorers is at 900 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel.


For more information, visit www.tarponbayexplorers.com or call 239-472-8900.

PHOTO PROVIDED Capt. George Balis