provided to Santiva Chronicle
Tarpon Bay Explorers will partially resume operations on Thursday, May 7. For now, the Explorers will only be providing rentals for kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards, bikes and pontoons. Their fabulous nature-themed gift shop is also open. The Explorers team is keeping their operations in tandem with the governors’ orders for Phase-1 re-opening Florida and the City of Sanibel’s proclamation. Tours and Fishing Charters will be postponed until further notice.
“Obviously health and safety for our workers and the general public is our number one priority,” explained General Manager and part owner, Wendy Schnapp.
“We are incorporating all social distancing policies. We will keep 6 feet between customers and workers whenever possible, all staff are to wear masks, sneeze guards have been installed at each customer interaction point, hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the facility, only 10 people will be allowed in the gift shop at a time, all surfaces of equipment and the facility will be continuously wiped down. We are excited to reopen but are taking precautions seriously,” reiterated Schnapp.
Tarpon Bay Explorers has been closed since March 18. All employees were furloughed but are anxious to get back to work.
“The ‘bay’ is a special place for a lot of us,” explained Assistant Manager, Adam Sauerland. “We have a lot of employees who have been here a while ranging from 5 to 17 years. We all love what we do here and are happy to have Tarpon Bay back in our routines,” elaborated Sauerland.
Tarpon Bay management has a plan to eventually phase in the company’s additional opportunities pending on the evolution of the pandemic and the permission from management of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. “We want to be as responsible and informed as possible. We want people to enjoy the Refuge but do it in a way that prioritizes the wellbeing of everyone,” stated Schnapp.
Tarpon Bay Explorers is the concession to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The company provides recreational and educational opportunities for the refuge and gives back 12% of all transactions back to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the benefit of Wildlife Refuges throughout the country. For more information about Tarpon Bay Explorers, visit their website at www.tarponbayexplorers.com or give them a call at 239-472-8900 between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.