May 3, 2023

First Loggerhead Nest of Season on Earth Day!

Sea turtle nesting season is off to a strong start on Sanibel and Captiva, despite weekend storms. As of today, there have been 20 documented nests between the islands, 17 of which are actively incubating.

Nest Counts

Captiva - 5

East End Sanibel - 3

West End Sanibel - 12

Please report any issues with nests, nesting turtles, or hatchlings, by calling our Sea Turtle Hotline at 978-728-3663 (978-SAVE-ONE).


First Least Terns Nests on Islands since 2020

Least terns have made their first nests on our islands since 2020! This state-threatened seabird has faced many conservation challenges over the decades, and SCCF is protecting the species through nest protection, monitoring, and public education. 


Research Seeks to Transform Red Tide Management

The SCCF Marine Lab is leading the field campaign for a water sampling effort to inform a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence transformer model to better manage the water flow from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee. Water sample analyses are incorporated into model simulations to help identify the drivers of harmful algal blooms and set targets for needed water quality improvements.  


Support New License Plate to Protect Gopher Tortoise

For this plate to be produced, a minimum of 3,000 vouchers must be sold. Vouchers are $33 each, with $25 going directly toward gopher tortoise conservation.


Monitoring Salinity in Estuary as Wet Season Starts

Freshwater inflows can dramatically alter the salinity of estuaries, impacting the health, survival, growth, and reproduction of marine life that use the estuary during part of or all of their life cycle. As we enter the wet season, SCCF researchers are monitoring freshwater flows to our estuary, particularly the releases from Lake Okeechobee.  


Join SCCF in Urging VETOES


Senate Bill 540 Will Favor Developers

The chilling effect that SB 540 has on public participation will severely harm the ability of citizens to protect their natural resources. 

"Our water quality issues will not be improved by stripping away the few tools that remain for Floridians to slow down damaging development," said SCCF Environmental Policy Director Matt DePaolis. "We hope that the Governor will see that this bill is in direct opposition to the vision of clean water and a healthy environment he laid out in his executive order, and will veto the bill." 

Click to add your voice!


SCCF Joins Call for Veto of 'Radioactive Roads' Bill

SCCF joined 33 organizations and businesses this week, to ask Gov. DeSantis to veto House Bill 1191 - Use of Phosphogypsum, which would permit the use of phosphogypsum (radioactive waste from processing phosphate into phosphoric acid for fertilizer) in Florida road construction. SCCF will be putting out an Action Alert soon so you can add your voice!


Sign Petition to Ensure Right to Clean Water in Florida

Join the movement to establish a fundamental Right to Clean Water for all Floridians by signing a petition to get a constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot. In his presentation to Sanibel City Council on April 12, SCCF’s Environmental Policy Director Matt DePaolis explained how the ballot initiative would allow citizens to sue state executive agencies for the harm caused to Florida’s waters. Watch video.

About 900,000 signatures need to be collected and verified by Nov. 30, 2023.


Sanibel Strong Shirts Benefit SCCF Through Donation

Island resident and SCCF volunteer David Finkelstein graciously donated $1,500 to SCCF with funds he raised selling ‘Sanibel Strong’ shirts after Hurricane Ian. A total of $10,000 in proceeds has gone to charitable organizations on the islands. 

“The whole effort was to support the organizations that do so much to keep Sanibel as special as it is,” Finkelstein said.


Wondering What's Poppin' Up in Your Yard?

The aftermath of Hurricane Ian has left landscapes with large, open areas of exposed soil. These exposed, sunny areas are perfect conditions for many opportunistic species to germinate. As spring progresses, homeowners are witnessing the emergence of plants they have never seen or noticed before. 

A few plants, such as moonflower (Ipomoea alba), have been observed in yards island-wide. The good news is that these species are native, useful to wildlife, and can add value and diversity to your landscape.


Presentation on Redefining the Island Aesthetic

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, join SCCF Adult Education Director Jenny Evans and Principal CO-G Architect Elle Gerdeman for a discussion about redefining island style in architecture and landscapes. 


May 17: Sanibel-Captiva Road Clean Up

SCCF’s Coastal Watch is holding a post-hurricane cleanup on Sanibel-Captiva Road on Wednesday, May 17, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. in partnership with the City of Sanibel. Cleanup gear will be provided. Spots available until filled. 


SCCF Congratulates Shell Museum on Gala Success

SCCF congratulates our conservation partners at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on their successful fundraising gala on April 24, which included the announcement of a $500,000 challenge grant from islanders Laurie and Bill Harkey. 


The gala was attended by SCCF CEO James Evans and included entertainment from Saturday Night Live alum Kevin Nealon. 

Campers Share Love of Nature in Instagram Reel

Despite being without a physical campus, SCCF’s Sanibel Sea School has continued its work connecting children to the environment through experiential education. Hear what several campers had to say about protecting nature in our latest Instagram reel. 

“While this year has been far from normal, we are thankful we have continued our mission-driven work to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time,” said Director Shannon Rivard. “Each day since the hurricane has been proof that we are resilient and better together.”



Thanks to Lynda Ryberg for reporting this mangrove salt marsh snake (Nerodia clarkii compressicauda) in a retention pond along the Shipley/Pond Apple Trail.

Please report your post-Ian wildlife sightings. SCCF is grateful for citizen science as we build an inventory of species that survived the hurricane.

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