SCCF Call to Action
Unsolved Crime Damages 6 Turtle Nests on Captiva
A previous version mistakenly used the word "destroys" instead of "damages" above. SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan reminds us all that we won't know if there was any damage to the eggs until the nests naturally hatch. Then, an inventory will be done to assess emergence success. To date, nearly 3,800 hatchlings have safely made it to sea on Captiva this nesting season!
CLICK ABOVE TO WATCH: SCCF CEO Ryan Orgera on last night's 11pm FOX 4 Now News .
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am saddened and angered by the recent events on Captiva. In case you have not heard, someone drove a vehicle over six of our sea turtle nests — and by ours I mean yours and mine. The incident is under investigation by state and county authorities. Our wildlife is a shared responsibility and a shared gift, and we are blessed with a truly extraordinary array of wild critters on our islands.

In a time where everything seems off kilter, where angst and frustration seem to be the most common public emotions, this destructive event targeting sea turtle nests is particularly disheartening. In the midst of our collective outrage, I hope you find solace knowing that SCCF works day and night to provide a better future for our sea turtles and environment. In this midst of this senseless tragedy against nature, note how nature is once again proving to be the great unifier.

These criminal actions clearly do not represent the intent of the rest of us, and they do feel like an invasion of sorts. We have some of the most invested, dedicated communities you could ever imagine. The arrival of the sea turtles is a beloved annual event, one that Captiva and Sanibel have chosen to celebrate and protect. This upends the joy and hope that these turtles represent for us all. I urge us all to channel this outrage by aiming it toward something good. Let’s be change agents rather than just plain angry. Let’s unite in the cause of helping sea turtles survive for future generations.

The Linsmayer Family has asked me to share the action they have chosen to take to turn this devastating news into a rallying cry for continued care and monitoring of our nesting sea turtles. Linda and Nick have pledged a $1,000 gift towards our coastal wildlife monitoring costs, and hope other concerned islanders will join them. Your generosity will be a strong and positive reply to this sick and as yet unsolved crime.
Whether or not you can join this call for programmatic support, please engage in these other ways to make a difference:

  • Talk to your friends and family about their behaviors and how they affect our marine wildlife
  • Make sure that you and your neighbors respect lighting ordinances, so that the glow of our houses and cities does not endanger the hatchlings as they march to the Gulf 
  • Do NOT use flashlights/cell phone lights (very common with shellers on our islands)
  • Turn off or pull blinds over interior lights -- that includes any lights visible from the beach
  • Pick up fishing line and other plastic you see on the beach and dispose of it properly
  • Make sure you are buying sustainable seafood that does not endanger sea turtles (pole and line tuna for instance)
  • Never leave beach furniture or anything on the beach at NIGHT, when nests hatch and mamas lay nests
  • Please fill in any holes that you or others may have dug so that hatchlings don’t get stuck in their first unsteady trek to the sea

Whether sending a tax-deductible gift, or making these behavioral changes your own, you will be supporting the efforts of our tireless coastal wildlife staff and volunteers by investing in brighter futures for our sea turtles.

With 255 nests identified on Captiva’s beaches at this writing, we are witnessing a record-breaking year worthy of celebration. What a testament to our combined efforts and your invaluable support.  

Thank you for being our invaluable partners in conservation. 

All my best, 

Ryan Orgera
SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan responds to such a highly unusual occurence on our islands and speaks about concern for sea turtle eggs in the Fort Myers News-Press, the Santiva Chronicle, and on SCCF's News page .


Kelly Sloan, in charge of turtle research with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, said on Monday that the organization's top concern is that no eggs were damaged.

Sloan said Captiva is also having a record-breaking loggerhead nesting season, with 255 nests so far. The previous record was 194 nests in 2016.

Sloan, also coastal wildlife director for the SCCF, said more will be known about possible damage after they hatch and an inventory is done. Hatching dates, which are different for each nest depending on when the eggs were laid, are generally kept under wraps for security reasons. READ MORE in News-Press.

Click here to WATCH Ryan on last night's 11pm NBC-2 News .
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