May 18, 2022
Trustees Go into the Field to Learn More About SCCF's Mission-Driven Work
Under the leadership of Board of Trustees President Don Rice and CEO James Evans, board members have been getting their feet wet and their hands dirty as they learn more about SCCF’s mission-driven work. Instead of sitting in the boardroom or meeting via Zoom, they’ve gone deep into terrestrial turtle habitat and out on the water to restore mangroves and oyster beds at a rookery island in Pine Island Sound. READ MORE
First Sea Turtle Nest Marked on East End; 62 Total
Now that we are in middle of May, sea turtle nesting activity has started to pick up with a total of 62 loggerhead (Caretta caretta) nests on our beaches.  Long-time volunteers Nancy Riley, left, who is a designated east end permittee, and Gwenda Hiett-Clements are pictured here marking the first nest on the east end on May 4. SCCF staff and volunteers are working hard each morning to survey the beaches looking nests and crawls. READ MORE
Florida Must Reduce Human Impacts on Red Tide
SCCF Environmental Policy Director Matt DePaolis explains why Gov. DeSantis's recent approval of nearly $14 million for red tide mitigation is a good start, but will not solve the issue. The funding will be spread across the state for monitoring, research, prevention, control, and mitigation efforts. "While reacting to red tide is imperative, recent research has proven that by allowing nutrients to flow into our waterways, we are exacerbating these blooms. To truly mitigate this constant threat the state must also work to reduce nutrient inputs into our waters," he writes. READ MORE
Hundreds of School Kids Learn to Love the Ocean
Sanibel Sea School recently hosted 185 third grade students from Treeline Elementary. They surfed to learn about the physics of waves, dissected squid to explore animal anatomy and behavior, and seined in the seagrass to better understand ecosystem dynamics. Sanibel Sea School will explore the ocean with close to 600 more students from Lee County schools through the end of the academic year.
Join Sanibel FlyFishers in Funding Marine Lab Interns!
Sanibel FlyFishers is contributing $15,000 of monies raised during its "Fishin' with a Mission" online auction to fund research internships at the SCCF Marine Lab. Beyond that generous contribution, Mike Marston, a FlyFishers member, has pledged another $8,500 as a challenge grant to raise even more funds for SCCF interns. Over the next five years, the club has agreed to support research internships. READ MORE
Curious about the Island's Freshwater Game Fish?
One of the resources that makes Sanibel unique is our freshwater bodies. As a result, many wildlife species on the island thrive due to water availability. In June 1961, at least two species of freshwater game fish were released on the island at separate locations from a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service fish hatchery. Today, four Florida native freshwater game fish species exist throughout the island in freshwater bodies, plus at least three exotic species, including the Mayan cichlid, pictured here. It is now the most common “large” freshwater fish species in the Sanibel River. READ MORE
Donors Revive 'After 9 it's Turtle Time' Window Clings
Thanks to Jackie and John Fischer, pictured here with SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan, the popular window clings that were originally created as part of the ‘After 9, It’s Turtle Time’ campaign by the City of Sanibel in partnership with SCCF are now being distributed on Captiva as well as Sanibel. The campaign educates residents and visitors to keep light from shining on the beach after dark. 
WATCH: Powering Our Green Energy Future
If you missed the panel discussion about embracing renewable energy to prepare for the impacts of climate change co-hosted by SCCF and the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce on May 9, you can watch the recorded live stream. Moderated by SCCF CEO James Evans, the goal of the community forum was to explore the opportunities that a greater reliance on green energy can provide.
Please Fill in Your Holes!
Our sea turtle team is finding large holes on the beach during morning patrols. Sea turtles, especially hatchlings due to their size, can become trapped in holes dug in the sand. Please fill in your holes before you leave the beach. We also ask that you remove obstacles from the sand. Sea turtles can’t move in reverse, so it’s important to flatten sandcastles and remove all chairs, tents, gear, and toys from the beach at the end of the day.
Meet the Natives:
Jamaica Caper
A must have in the landscape, the Jamaica caper (Quadrella cynophallophora) is a versatile shrub that can be used in many ways; it can be used as a buffer shrub or hedge, it can be an accent shrub, or it can be trimmed to be more of a specimen tree. Its wispy, showy flowers start out white, quickly turn to pink and are a nectar source for pollinators. The flowers are followed by brown pods that open up to seeds that birds like to eat. Its shiny green leaves with a bronze underside make it an attractive shrub year-round. The Jamaica caper gets 15-20’ tall, tolerates a variety of conditions from full sun to fairly deep shade, dry to moist soils and can tolerate salt spray.
Native Landscapes & Garden Center Seeks Intern
The SCCF Native Landscapes & Garden Center is looking for an energetic and hardworking intern to assist in day-to-day garden and nursery operations. The internship offers the opportunity to obtain in-depth knowledge about South Florida native plants and to gain firsthand experience in all aspects of an environmentally friendly garden, nursery, and landscaping business. Applicants should have a strong interest in plants and conservation, preferably possessing a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, biology, environmental science, ecology, or a related field. The intern should also be able to lift 50 pounds and be prepared to work outdoors in subtropical conditions, including hot temperatures, humidity, and insects. 
Join SCCF at the Mighty Mussels' Conservation Night!
SCCF invites you to come join us in support of the Mighty Mussels’ Conservation Night on Friday, June 3. Tickets for the game against the Tampa Tarpons are $10 and half the ticket price will benefit these six environmental non-profits: SCCF, C.R.O.W. (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife), the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, Keep Lee County Beautiful, and Calusa Waterkeeper. The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are a Minor League Baseball team of the Florida State League and the Single-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. In 2020, the Fort Myers Miracle became the Mighty Mussels. Gates at Hammond Stadium open at 6pm, with the game starting at 7pm, followed by fireworks.
Do you have a Sanibel wildlife photo to share?

Thanks to Elaynee Polentes for sending this shot of an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

Please send your photos to to be featured here in an upcoming issue.
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