ACADEMY OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Lee County’s first Academy of Natural Resources, located within Island Coast High School, is a career academy with a thematic focus on environmental studies and sustainability. The program is highlighted by an Aquaculture and Hydroponic laboratory program that integrates Agriscience, aquaculture, and general environmental issues, as well as alternative energies.

The Academy offers a science-rich general course of studies that can lead to either college or career specialties, and will appeal to a broad range of interests - industrial, art, education or research science, enviromental fields, wild life and fishery management etc.

Aquaculture will engage students in the science and industry of the production of fish and crustaceans. An on-site, state of the art laboratory provides an opportunity to apply what has been taught in the classroom. Students research, produce, and market a variety of species including tilapia and fresh water prawns, crawfish and bait fish in over 35,000 gallons of water. Combining science, math, business, and agriscience skills, the Aquaculture curriculum is hands-on oriented with opportunities for students to work in the field design and build systems as well as investigate various science projects. In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in work-release, volunteer, and internship programs.

In the hydroponics portion of the program, students will produce ornamental and edible crops, as well as environmental restoration crops to aid in sustainability projects.

The academy of natural resources aquaponics facility, combines both aquaculture and hydroponics to produce fish and vegetables. The vegetables are natural filtration systems for the fish effluent and can produce as much as 200 heds of lettuce a week in one system alone.

With the world’s attention becoming more focused on environmental issues, career opportunities in environmental science are opening up rapidly. The Academy of Natural Resources will provide a foundation for students planning to pursue a career in the environmental job market. Florida offers a wealth of additional training and education through vocational/technical schools, junior colleges, and college degree programs. All of the state universities now have some kind of Environmental Studies program as part of their curriculum in which students can earn a B.S., M.S. or Ph.D. Locally, the Florida Gulf Coast University, Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences offers a range of programs and activities including undergraduate majors in Environmental Studies, Marine Science, Anthropology, and an M. S. in Environmental Science.

Environmental Science is a booming industry that accommodates an incredible variety of academic and technical skills. Students interested in the environment in any number of ways, including political, industrial, commercial, art, educational or research science, should consider applying to the Academy of Natural Resources.

Enrollment is limited to 150 students in this unique program.

Aquaculture at Island Coast High

Natalie, Nicole and Jaden go fishing at Island Coast High in Cape Coral, with Mr. Joe Mallon, a teacher who has students learning all about sustainable living. The school's efficient aquaculture operation runs on solar energy, uses plants to clean and conserve water and provides plenty of fish for the ...