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TBE to remain open during parking lot improvements

By TBE - | May 7, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED The recent start of construction at the Tarpon Bay recreation area will help to improve access to the Tarpon Bay. Tarpon Bay Explorers will remain open throughout the parking lot’s enhancement.

Construction recently began to build a new parking lot for the Tarpon Bay recreation area.

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge was able to set aside funding in order to complete the anticipated project, Tarpon Bay Explorers — the refuge’s recreational concession that occupies the area — reported. The current parking lot was created in the early 2000s but has endured considerable wear and tear.

“We are very excited to see the completed project,” TBE part-owner and General Manger Wendy Schnapp said. “We anticipate the new parking lot to fulfill visitors’ expectations and make navigating parking and launching vessels a more accessible experience.”

TBE will remain open while the parking lot improvements are done. However, there will be a timeframe when motorized launches will not be able to take place as the ramp to Tarpon Bay will be blocked due to construction. As of last week, the timeframe for the temporary closure had yet to be finalized, but notice will be provided to the public seven days in advance.

“An updated Tarpon Bay parking lot will enhance visitors’ experience and help the concession more successfully accomplish their mission to educate visitors about the refuge, along with the fauna and flora that inhabit it,” Southwest Florida Refuge Complex Project Leader Kevin Godsea said.

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