Ryan Young has successfully melded his background in environmental stewardship with a business that offers customers a way to get up close and personal with nature.

After graduating from Florida State University and Florida Gulf Coast University, where he studied environmental science in graduate school, Young became a biological scientist with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. There, he monitored water quality around the region by accessing biological communities in local water bodies and conducted research.

In 2016, decided to take his love for the natural environment and apply it to create Rising Tide Explorers (RTE), a science-based ecotour company in Naples and Marco Island providing kayak tours, kayak rentals and other unique excursions.

Young started with his last $50 and no equipment. Working at local eateries by night, he supported himself with tips alone in order to begin growing his fleet of kayaks to provide these unique experiences to as many as possible.

Young grew Rising Tide Explorers into the No.1 ranked tour in Naples.

His tip for success: “Have an understanding of what you’re good at (and what you’re not good at), learn as much as you can, and surround yourself with others who share your vision.”

Young enjoys kayaking both for work, and in his spare time exploring new areas of Southwest Florida and about any other outdoor activity. Biking, hiking and photography are some of Young’s favorite things to do.