Sept. 14, 2022

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Almost Over

Volunteers Capture Nest Boil on Video

Sea turtle nesting has nearly concluded on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, though several nests are still hatching on the beaches. 2022 saw 786 sea turtle nests on the islands, including 18 green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests. The remaining nests were laid by loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). As of this week, 35,085 sea turtle hatchlings have emerged on the islands. On Labor Day, two SCCF volunteers conducting routine monitoring checked on a nest just as hatchlings began to crawl out — called a hatchling "boil." They were able to capture the rarely witnessed event on video. Human presence impacts hatchlings’ ability to swiftly reach the sea, and these two trained and permitted volunteers made sure the turtles had a safe and clear path to begin their journey in the Gulf of Mexico. If you happen to see hatchlings emerging from a nest, please keep your distance and call the SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline at 979-728-3663.

Snowbirds Already Returning to the Islands

The end of the summer means the return of many migratory and wintering birds to Southwest Florida’s beaches. One of the smallest and most common, sanderlings (Calidris alba), are already starting to arrive. SCCF shorebird staff were pleased to sight a familiar sanderling known as P03 who has wintered on Sanibel every year since 2016. P03 will likely stay in Southwest Florida until May or so before heading north again to breed in the Arctic tundra. READ MORE

2.7K Birds Seen During Global Shorebird Counts

World Shorebirds Day occurred on Sept. 6. In tandem with the event, SCCF Shorebird staff participated in Global Shorebird Counts, documenting every bird they saw on Sanibel and Captiva beaches over one week. From Sept. 1-6, the team recorded 30 species and 2,752 birds, including 2,712 seabirds and shorebirds. This annual concentrated observation and re-sighting effort will help scientists estimate species’ abundance, distribution, and population trends. READ MORE

CLICK HERE to see them in action on Instagram.

Sea Turtle Volunteer List Opens for New Applicants

The SCCF Sea Turtle Program is accepting volunteer applications for the summer 2023 sea turtle season, which runs April through October. Please be aware that signing up is not a guarantee for participation, and that preference is given to active and returning volunteers. All volunteers must be able to commit to at least one morning beach patrol per week. 


SCCF, Conservancy of SWFL Submit LOSOM Comments

On Sept. 12, SCCF submitted technical comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Lake Okeechobee Systems Operating Manual (LOSOM). The comments were made in partnership with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. READ MORE

Experience a Day in the Life of a Coastal Watch Volunteer

SCCF’s Coastal Watch program couldn’t run without the dedicated volunteers who help make its projects possible. Follow along as a group of Coastal Watchers help restore vital mangrove habitat on Sanibel’s Woodring Road and find out how you can join the effort. Projects exist for all volunteers, regardless of their physical capabilities. READ MORE

Diamond Mangrove Necklace to Debut at The Watch Party

A diamond mangrove necklace will be the centerpiece giveaway at The Watch Party on Sept. 30. The unique pendant, designed by Congress Jewelers, is made of 14-karat gold including a Raso chain. It has a retail value of $1,300. The custom piece supports SCCF's community-based marine conservation program Coastal Watch. The inaugural fundraiser is sold out, but anyone can enter the drawing and support our mangrove and oyster reef restoration work. Tickets are $20 for one chance and $50 for three chances, and tickets also enter the buyer into the event’s 50/50 fundraiser. 



Restoration Underway at Vinca Way Preserve

Tucked away at the end of a short private road is the SCCF Vinca Way Preserve. This preserve, which is closed to the public for the benefit of wildlife, is between several developments just southeast of Tarpon Bay. SCCF Habitat Management staff have been restoring native habitat on this property over the last two weeks as unusually dry conditions lingered into the beginning of September. Many species of wildlife have been documented at various times of the year, including bobcats (Lynx rufus), coyote (Canis latrans), bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), pileated woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus), and cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus)



Mark Friday, Nov. 11, on your calendars for SCCF's signature fall event Wines in the Wild, presented by Bank of the Islands. The event will be held at the Bailey Homestead Preserve, where guests will enjoy tasting specially selected wines and foods as they stroll the grounds. Details to follow soon! 

Meet the Natives:

Bushy Bluestem Grass

A fall favorite, the bushy bluestem grass (Andropogon glomeratus) is a great addition to a more natural, relaxed landscape — particularly a wetland garden. Its striking blooms and bushy seed heads give nice color and texture mixed in with other native vegetation. Bushy bluestem grows 3 feet up to 6 feet tall when in bloom and does best in moist soil and full sun. It also provides food, shelter, and nesting material for birds and other small mammals. Some wonderful wildflowers to plant with bushy bluestem and also fall bloomers include: seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens), giant Ironweed (Vernonia gigantea), or blazing star (Liatris spicata)Stop by SCCF's Native Landscape & Garden Center for your fall planting!

Keep Up with Coastal Resilience News

Sign up for SCCF’s Coastal Resilience Newsletter written by Coastal Resilience Manager Carrie Schuman, Ph.D. The newsletter was initially started to keep some of our coastal resilience planning partners like the Captiva Erosion Prevention District and the City of Sanibel informed, but we recognize there is interest in these issues across our island community. Many of you have shown you’re already engaged or want to be more engaged in how we collectively respond to climate change and impacts like coastal flooding. READ MORE


WINK News Features Atala Butterfly at Garden Center

On today's 4pm newscast, WINK News featured Native Landscapes & Garden Center's Sue Ramos and the discovery of the Atala butterfly on Sanibel three weeks ago. 



Do you have a wildlife photo to share?

Thanks to Rich Shevalier for sending this shot of a little blue heron (Egretta caerulea) taken on Sanibel.

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

Click here to subscribe to Connecting You to SCCF and other SCCF mailing lists.
Stay Connected!
Facebook  Instagram  Youtube