FGCU Alert

FGCU continues work on Blue Pole/call box outage. Do not use these devices. In an emergency, dial 911/UPD @ 239-590-1900 or Guardian Eagle App.


Our Mission: of the Gophers@Barefoot Project is to restore and enhance the habitat for Gopher tortoises at the Barefoot Beach Preserve.  

We accomplish this by simulating fire,  research, preparing educational material and resources for visitors to understand and value the role of Gopher tortoises at Barefoot Beach Preserve.

Gopher tortoises live many years.  They are listed  as a “threatened” species in Florida primarily due to loss of habitat.  They are in direct competition with humans since they use  the same habitat to live as we do to build.

Gophers@Barefoot live at a world premiere destination for humans.  The Barefoot Beach Preserve  has been named second best on Dr. Beach’s Top Ten Beaches of 2014.

The Preserve is located just off Bonita Beach Road at the end of the Barefoot Beach Blvd.  (You drive about 2.5 miles on cobblestone road through an area with multi-million dollar homes first).

Collier County Parks manages the preserve.
View the Management Plan.

Learn even more about Gophers, visit the Gopher tortoise council.

If you have questions, or want to become more involved, contact us at ndemers@fgcu.edu or (239) 590-7211.

Project Details

History (Reverse Chronology)


The project continues to flourish with the help of a number of partners:

Dolphin LogoWildflower LogoSandhill Logo


Here are several amazing you tube videos, filmed on-location, prepared by Jill Kusba, a DVM who frequents the Preserve.