VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Erik Moore loves being on the water. He believes others will love scenic views of local waterways.
"This is environmental wonderland - it's unbelievably pretty and there are over 50 rare and endangered or threatened species in these waters," he said.
Moore is eager to share that experience with guided tours leaving out of the Pungo Ferry Landing Boat Ramp in Virginia Beach thanks to his ecotourism company, Moore To See Photo Expeditions. News 3's Kurt Williams went along for sneak peek cruise.
For $100 an hour, Moore will take up to four people along the North Landing River, the Back Bay and just over the state line to Monkey Island, which Moore points out with a smile.
"Yeah, there are no monkeys; there are only birds. This is a rookery and the name Monkey Island actually came from the Pamonkey Indians who used this as a summer fishing and hunting camp during colonial times and before that."
It's indeed a bird sanctuary, and they flock to this tiny island in the Currituck Sound, dotting the trees like decorations.
But it's not just birds here. We stumbled upon a huge snake feeding on a bird carcass, dragging it along the beach.
Moore adds that the sight isn't a surprise.
"There are some snakes. There are moccasins here and water snakes, but the moccasins live on the island and from what I'm told, they are opportunists and will wait for chicks to fall out of the nests and they eat those chicks," he said.
Those are just some of the sights off Monkey Island. Meanwhile, back on the North Landing River, we passed osprey in their huge nests, and Moore took us where he believed we'd see more sights.
"There is lots of wildlife - especially ospreys - and most of the time bald eagles; there are river otters and raccoons," Moore said.
And speaking of bald eagles, we spotted one perched up high on an extremely tall tree overlooking the North Landing River.
"Well, you never know what you're going to run into, but most importantly, it is just a beautiful place to spend a morning or an afternoon," he said.
And he's not just trying to reach out to tourists.
"Oh, I am sure there are many locals who have never been on this river - [they have] no idea what's back here!" he said.
Moore is hoping to change that.