October 28, 2021
Water Surrounding Sanibel and Captiva Classified as Impaired by the State
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) 2020-2022 Biennial Assessment Draft classifies the waters in Pine Island Sound, San Carlos Bay, and the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge as “verified impaired” because they exceed nitrogen and chlorophyll a standards designed to support a healthy ecosystem. SCCF provided data to the DEP, which was analyzed in 2020 and played a role in this assessment. SCCF continues monitoring local waterbodies, including the Gulf of Mexico, for nutrient pollution. READ MORE
A Restructuring of Environmental Education at SCCF
Through the leadership of Ryan Orgera and the SCCF Board of Trustees, SCCF begins the 2021-22 season with a restructured education department. The department now consists of Sanibel Sea School, Coastal Watch, Native Landscapes and Garden Center, Ocean Tribe Paddlers, traditional SCCF programs, and various adult environmental courses and lectures. The ultimate goal is to bring people closer to nature in order to inspire change. Mason Goss, Ed.D., Senior Director of Education, explains the renewed focus.
Be Part of the Solution with Coastal Watch

Coastal Watch has a new role in the SCCF family: a mission to identify and lead local conservation initiatives that improve the island’s natural resources and honor our coastal heritage. Coastal Watch evolved from the Sanibel-Captiva chapter of START (Solutions to Avoid Red Tide), followed by Coastal Keepers. Today, it is focused on reaching community members who want to assist with local conservation initiatives designed for all interests and physical abilities. READ MORE
SCCF Sea Turtle Volunteers are Island Stewards

Sea turtle nesting surveys are done for the season, though three final green (Chelonia mydas) nests are being checked daily by volunteers. Now that standardized nesting surveys are finished, SCCF staff will start analyzing the data collected from another successful season. The success of SCCF’s program wouldn’t be possible without invaluable volunteers, who not only locate and monitor nests, but also work hard to maintain clean, natural beaches and act as island stewards and ambassadors.
Red Knots Return to Islands for Winter

The wintering season for shorebirds is in full swing, and many species are spending their time resting and foraging on Sanibel and Captiva. While some are uncommon, beachgoers are sure to spot a common, somewhat permanent wintering species: the red knot (Calidris canutus rufa). Two red knots banded in 2007 recently returned to the islands. Find out how to identify red knots and protect migrating shorebirds.
The Gift of Discovery: Private and Family Learning Programs at Sanibel Sea School

Sanibel Sea School offers family-private programs by boat, paddle craft, or from shore in a variety of diverse barrier island habitats on Sanibel. All sessions are hands-on, customizable, and guided by the families’ needs and interests. Plan a custom experience for your winter visitors or add it to your family’s gift list. Sanibel Sea School has a catalogue of marine experiences to accommodate all participants’ interests and abilities.
Pine Island Sounds with Elizabeth Cook

SCCF, in partnership with Todd and Leanne Marcum and Captiva Cruises, is excited to welcome guests aboard its first floating concert of the season. Tickets are now on sale to see and hear country music artist Elizabeth Cook on Sunday, Nov. 7 from 4-6pm. This is a truly magical experience you will want to enjoy for all four concerts in this season’s lineup. READ MORE
Game, Set, Match for SCCF!

Grab your doubles partner and register for the 29th Annual Tennis Tournament benefitting SCCF on Nov. 13 and 14, at Beachview Tennis Club on Sanibel Island. Tournament categories are 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles. Winners and runners-up will receive Luc Century etched wine glasses. All players will receive tournament T-shirts and breakfast and lunch on both days. Sponsorship opportunities are available. The registration deadline for player entry is Wednesday, Nov. 10, so sign up today!
Everglades Stories with Authors Anne McCrary Sullivan & Holly Gentzen

Join SCCF and MacIntosh Books + Paper for stories from the Everglades with authors Anne McCrary Sullivan and Holly Gentzen on Thursday, Nov. 18, at Bailey Homestead Preserve. They will share some of the awe-inspiring, real-life stories from their latest book, The Everglades: Stories of Grit and Spirit from the Mangrove Wilderness, and sign books. Event proceeds support SCCF.
Sanibel Sea School Welcomes New Marine Science Educator

Sanibel Sea School is thrilled to welcome Kimberly Bouwkamp to its team of ocean advocates. Bouwkamp originally joined the ranks of the education team as a seasonal educator, primarily assisting with educational day courses. After Sanibel Sea School’s busy spring and summer seasons came to an end, Bouwkamp was offered a full-time position to continue delivering marine science education and working to create lasting memories for children and families. READ MORE
Meet the Natives: Muhly Grass

An exciting indicator of the arrival of cooler weather is the emergence of muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) flowers. The native range of muhly grass extends throughout the Southeast and naturally occurs in the coastal uplands and pine flatwood habitats of Florida. It is a popular addition to native landscapes in Southwest Florida because it requires little maintenance and no irrigation while providing habitat, a source of seeds for birds, and excellent groundcover.
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