With over 140,000 acres and 43 miles of barrier island sanctuaries available to explore,

Canaveral Wildlife Tours offers a sweat-free, eco-tourism excursion that brings YOU to the wildlife. Coastal dunes, saltwater marshes, pinewood flats and hardwood hammocks are just some of the habitats that make up the Canaveral National Seashore, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Indian River. Tour founders Gerry and Shelley Parker were inspired by a desire to merge personal interests with work interests. Gerry Parker’s knowledge of Florida ecosystems, along with his love for the region, provide guests an experience like no other. As a lifelong teacher, Shelley Parker engages with observers to educate them about the display of Florida’s natural beauty.

Gerry Parker’s love for the history of the Space Center and the local area brings in additional information that adds a richness to the experience.

Canaveral Wildlife Tours plans and provides everything that you will need for your trip. Pick-up and drop-off transportation, itineraries, lunch, water and snacks are all included, thus eliminating the stress and sweat of a DIY tour. This effort also limits the impact on the environment that would occur with self-planned excursions. The tours are equipped with everything that they will need, and then all of the waste produced is brought back for proper disposal.

“This self-contained tour is an effort to prevent litter contamination and habitat destruction by controlling the most important factors,” Gerry Parker says. The Parkers are well aware of the issues and dangers the habitats are facing. Discussions on how to care for the lands helps educate visitors on the impacts they make. Controlled observation allows guests to view these diverse landscapes without the threat of habitat destruction.

“Protection of these lands helps to maintain and improve these vital treasures to the Space Coast,” Parker says.

“Providing all-encompassing tours ensures that we don’t damage the habitats of these animals and organisms,” Parker says.

Ride along in the air-conditioned Mercedes Sprinter Coach, which accommodates parties of up to ten, as you sightsee and learn about some of the 500 species of wildlife and 1,000 species of plant life around the Space Center. Tour maps and identification charts are provided to aid in your observation of the “natural residents.” The various ecosystems surround the Kennedy Space Center and NASA facilities, providing protected habitats for migratory birds, wildlife, and 21 endangered and threatened species. Sustaining and improving the surrounding areas are vital to the growth and regeneration of numerous species.

In association with the Lighthouse Foundation, Canaveral Wildlife Tours began offering new Lighthouse Tours in February of this year. These excursions explore The Canaveral Lighthouse and the historic spaceflight launch complexes, allowing visitors to gain an aerial view of the rich landscape. Along with this new tour opportunity, a trip to the visitors center provides observers with exhibits, movies, and visual resources that aid in the education of the local ecosystems and their inhabitants.

The wonderful natural diversity of the region, along with the history and thrill of the Space Center, generates interest and knowledge about the need to protect this vital treasure that is our Florida wildlife.

Matt Weinstein

A student at the Florida Institute of Technology, Matthew Weinstein is wrapping up his final semester, where he will earn his B.S. Business Administration degree in May of 2019. Along with earning placement on the Academic Honor Roll during each of his semesters, Weinstein is also a student athlete, playing four years of varsity lacrosse with the Florida Institute of Technology DII Men's Lacrosse Program. Originally from Maryland, Weinstein ventured down to Florida to further his education and explore everything that the Space Coast has to offer.