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CREW Wildlife and Environmental Area

Managed in cooperation with the South Florida Water Management District.

CREW WEA spans more than 28,000 acres of the 60,000+ acre Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) land acquisition project. It is owned and maintained by the South Florida Water Management District (SWFMD) and co-managed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). These agencies, along with the non-profit CREW Land & Water Trust, partner to preserve and protect CREW.

CREW straddles Lee and Collier counties and provides natural flood protection, water filtration and vital aquifer recharge. It also serves as an important wildlife corridor and as an environmental education field-classroom for all ages. With many distinctive natural communities—including marsh, cypress and maple swamp, oak hammock and pine flatwoods—CREW provides crucial habitat for many of Florida’s native wildlife, including the swallow-tailed kite, black bear, and Florida panther.

Four trail systems provide over 30 miles of recreational opportunities: the CREW Marsh Trails, Cypress Dome Trails, Bird Rookery Swamp and Flint Pen Strand. Each trail is unique and may provide glimpses of alligators, wading birds, bald eagles, otters, wildflowers and more. Hiking and biking are the most popular ways to traverse the trails. Horseback riding is permitted on designated trails at the Cypress Dome Trails and in Flint Pen Strand with a Special-Use License from the SFWMD. Dogs are allowed but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Off-road vehicles are strictly prohibited, except some off-road vehicles may be used by hunters with a valid quota permit during quota hunts.

Hunting with a quota permit is allowed in designated areas of CREW during the established archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small game (non-quota) and spring turkey seasons. Fishing is permitted year-round with a freshwater fishing license. For more information, please refer to FWC’s regulations summary brochure for CREW.

Camping is allowed only at the two designated primitive campsites in the Corkscrew Marsh Unit. A Special-Use License must be obtained via the SFWMD website.

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