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cocoa beach

WILDLIFE
For any questions feel free to contact us, or read our blog!
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We do not advertise different tours such as a ”Manatee or Dolphin specific tours”. This is due to the fact that we do not have caged animals, yet we take you into the wild to view these amazing animals in their natural habitat.

We offer a relaxing 2 hour ECO kayak expedition where we hope to find all of the inhabitants of our lagoon, from birds of all types, mangrove canopies where fish hatcheries exist, to the manatee and bottlenose dolphin.

But alas they are wild…Sometimes we see them sometimes we don’t.

REMEMBER – MANATEES ARE OUT OF SEASON FROM NOVEMBER 15 TO MARCH 15.

The moment we set out there are opportunities to experience the wildlife in the lagoon. Your expedition is in one of the few key Manatee habitats in North America. Manatee, Dolphins, Osprey, Egret, Herons and Raptors are just a sample of what you may encounter

Discover Unlimited Beauty

Bottlenose Dolphin

Wild dolphins live 30 to 35 years and due to their territorial nature, the individuals we see may have been around for quite some time. Imagine a dolphin you saw as a child can still be seen today. Imagine a dolphin your child sees today could be seen when he or she is a adult. A complex network of intelligent marine mammals right at our door (dock) step. Fin Expeditions Wild Dolphin sighting techniques introduces you to these marine mammals of Cocoa Beach.
Dolphins live their life in the Banana River Lagoon and have specific areas they call home. Unlike the wild dolphins in the coastal regions or open ocean, the lagoon dolphins are territorial and spend their time frequenting specific open areas in the Banana River Lagoon and mangroves of Cocoa Beach’s Thousand Islands.
The connection from observing and photographing wild dolphin behavior is quite different than what you might get in a aquarium setting. The activities that Fin Expeditions provides will give you an appreciation of the uniqueness of Dolphins in the wild.

Watching dolphins in their natural environment is exciting & enjoyable.

However, without due care watching dolphins may disturb or harm dolphins by introducing underwater noise, pollution or even causing physical injury, like the dolphin we call “Notch” (See Above). Undue stress to the dolphins can result in disruptions to their behavioral patterns. When considering the fact that these dolphins have a specific areas of habitat in the Lagoon, Fin Expeditions feels it is essential and a necessary requirement, that dolphin watching in Banana River Lagoon follows Viewing Guidelines established by;

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS),  the U.S. federal agency responsible for administering the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, for the conservation and management of whales, dolphins and porpoises. These guidelines describe a cautious way to watch dolphins without disturbing them.
Level A Harassment means any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild.
Level B Harassment means any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering but which does not have the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild.

Fin Expeditions makes it our business to place you in a position to view and enjoy these dolphins in a way that ensures their wildness remains. We admire from a distance…for their safety and protection.

These guys are very, very, mobile.They travel and have specific areas they hunt . These guys cover a lot of ground during their day. When we set out on expeditions we wait for them to come to us.
It is amazing watching a 300lb+ wild dolphin feeding in 18″ of water. Watching a adolescent calf practicing bubble screening is so cool to see.

West Indian Manatee

“Out of season November 15 thru March 15

We are a ” Do Not Disturb Ecotour”
Fin Expeditions principles are best decribed by Arrdvark’s Florida Kayak Company on Florida’s West Coast Establishing and producing the “Best” Guidelines for Ethical Ecotourism

When a Manatee approaches our group we remain silent and enjoy these rare and endangered marine mammals. When observing their behavior you will see definite personalities associated with these individuals, Enjoy these pictures and make some time to go out and see for yourself.

An ecotour will among other things always:
* Minimize impact,
* Emphasize passive observation,
* Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect,
* Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts,
* Provide direct financial benefits for conservation,
* Raise sensitivity to the host area’s political environment, and social climate.

An ecotour will never encourage you to intrude on wildlife and never, ever encourage you to pet or feed wild animals.

At Fin expeditions, we are founded on the core principles of Environmental Ethics and Sustainability.
We believe that true ecotourism is an ethic, not just a marketing tool. Keeping with the principles of true ecotourism, our encounters feature passive observation and a hands off
approach.
Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals “love” them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let
them live normal lives, love them more.” (Edwin Way Teale)

As with the Wild Dolphins we follow viewing guidelines that protect the Manatee.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS),
the U.S. federal agency responsible for administering the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972,Level A
Harassment means any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which
has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild.
Level B
Harassment means any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which
has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in
the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not
limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering but
which does not have the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine
mammal stock in the wild.

Birds and Mangroves

During your expeditions you will see many more species of birds than you see here. We update these photos on a continual basis as it is impossible to show all. Our photos will provide a virtual Eco exploration, however the splash of the Brown Pelican, the cries of the hunting Osprey and the wind flowing through the mangroves can only be heard by going on a expedition into the lagoon Hopefully you can find the time to come with us and experience these sites and sounds.

 This Big Blue was discovered and named
“Blue Nick”
by Christianne, one of our astute young explorers.

Thanks to
Banana River Aquatic Preserve for the information regarding our Mangroves
Mangroves are one of Florida’s true natives. They thrive in salty environments because they are able to obtain freshwater from saltwater. Some secrete excess salt through their leaves, others block absorption of salt at their roots. Florida’s estimated 469,000 acres of mangrove forests contribute to the overall health of the state’s southern coastal zone. This ecosystem traps and cycles various organic materials, chemical elements, and important nutrients. Mangrove roots act not only as physical traps but provide attachment surfaces for various marine organisms. Many of these attached organisms filter water through their bodies and, in turn, trap and cycle nutrients. The relationship between mangroves and their associated marine life cannot be overemphasized. Mangroves provide protected nursery areas for fishes, crustaceans, and shellfish. They also provide food for a multitude of marine species such as snook, snapper, tarpon, jack, sheepshead, red drum, oyster, and shrimp. Florida’s important recreational and commercial fisheries will drastically decline without healthy mangrove forests. Many animals find shelter either in the roots or branches of mangroves. Mangrove branches are rookeries, or nesting areas, for beautiful coastal birds such as brown pelicans and roseate spoonbills.

Worldwide, more than 50 species of mangroves exist. Of the three species found in Florida, the red mangrove is probably the most well-known. It typically grows along the water’s edge. The red mangrove is easily identified by its tangled, reddish roots called “prop-roots”. These roots have earned mangroves the title, “walking trees”. This mangrove, in particular, appears to be standing or walking on the surface of the water.
This plant usually occupies slightly higher elevations upland from the red mangrove. The black mangrove can be identified by numerous finger-like projections, called pneumatophores, that protrude from the soil around the tree’s trunk Honey can be produce from the nectar the blossoms produce.
White mangroves have no visible aerial root system like red and black mangroves. The easiest way to identify white mangroves is by the leaves. The leaves are up to 3 inches long, elliptical (rounded at both ends), yellowish in color, and have two distinguishing glands at the base of each leaf blade where the stem begins. White mangroves are usually located in elevations higher and farther upland than either the red or black mangroves.
Sushi in the talons: Ospreys are difficult to photo, This one is just launching with White Mangrove in the background.
Subtle adjustments of wings controls the bird while dropping. Just before the splash, head is thrust forward and wings are tucked back towards the tail. So cool to watch the dive and hear the splash of a flock over and over again. If they dive next to you in your Kayak and you are not expecting it, you will be very surprised.

A Look Inside the world

Exclusive Offer

Discount offered for Military, Police, Fire, Nurses, and Teachers.

Daytime tours start at $49 per person. (Includes photos of your tour)

Sunset Tours start at $54 per person (Includes photos of your tour)

Bioluminescent tours start at $69 per person.

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