February 23, 2022
Marine Lab Conducting Tests for Treating Algae in Sanibel Lakes
Many lakes on Sanibel are at the point where they have continuous blooms of harmful algae. SCCF Marine Laboratory is currently conducting jar tests on water samples from several lakes experiencing harmful algae blooms. These tests involve taking small samples from the lakes and adding different treatment chemicals to multiple samples to determine if nutrients are reduced and the harmful algae blooms dissipate without adding additional harmful residuals to the water. READ MORE
SCCF Annual Everglades Update Program
Join us Thursday, March 10, at 6pm for our Annual Everglades Update Program at the historic Bailey Homestead. This event is being held in partnership with The Everglades Foundation. Learn more about the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and the critical projects needed to restore America’s Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, and our coastal estuaries. The in-depth discussion on the science and politics of Everglades restoration with Everglades Foundation Chief Science Officer Steve Davis, Ph.D., and SCCF Paul Julian, Ph.D., hydrological modeler for both SCCF and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, will be moderated by SCCF CEO James Evans. There will be a Q&A with the panelists. Register today to attend: In Person Or Virtually
Marine Lab Specialist Takes National TV Spotlight in Wasteland
SCCF Marine Lab Research Associate Mark Thompson and his son Yuan Bonhayag, 12, were interviewed in June 2020 for the third episode of Wasteland, a four-part series on the impact of waste and garbage on the nation’s waterways. It is produced and hosted by CBS News Correspondent Adam Yamaguchi. The series starts streaming on Paramount+ on Thursday, Feb. 24, and will livestream on CBSN on April 22 (Earth Day). Thompson, a Sanibel resident, is the Marine Lab's freshwater specialist. Here's a link to the trailer.
Windmill Garden at Bailey Homestead Takes Root
In December, Native Landscapes and Garden Center staff, interns, and volunteers worked together to install a new native planting that surrounds the Bailey Homestead windmill. The Windmill Garden is located directly inside of the Shipley Trail gate and is the SCCF’s second planting project supported by the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration grant. The site’s variable growing conditions allows approximately 40 species of native shrubs and wildflowers to be showcased. READ MORE
SCCF Volunteers and Biologists Temporarily Relocate Florida Box Turtles
Participants of the Terrestrial & Freshwater Turtle Volunteer Group helped survey a private parcel on Sanibel to move Florida box turtles (Terrapene carolina bauri) out of the way of restoration work (debris and exotics removal and replanting) and process unmarked turtles under the SCCF Florida Box Turtle Project research protocol. SCCF began research on this species in 2002 with a mark-recapture study that has become one of our top wildlife research projects on the island. READ MORE
Welcome, Snowy Plover Nesting Season
February 15 marked the official start of snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus) nesting season in the state of Florida; however, Sanibel plovers that didn’t check their calendars were resting in a small group by the lighthouse that morning rather than pairing up to establish nesting territories. Typically, on Sanibel, the first nests are located in late March or early April. Learn more about how you can help protect our beach nesting birds: Be A Life Saver
Learn How to Identify Shorebirds
Spring is an exciting time to get out on the beaches of Southwest Florida to look for shorebirds and seabirds, but identification can be tricky as many of these birds are still in their non-breeding plumage. Learn how to identify Southwest Florida shorebirds through a virtual classroom session and a guided beach walk. READ MORE to learn about the course and register for your spot.
Online Plant Database Class
Are you interested in learning how to use an online tool to identify plants? Come to a Q&A session about Weeds 'n' Seeds’ new online database known as Airtable. Join us on Monday, March 7, at 2pm or Tuesday, March 22, at 2pm at the Bailey Homestead pavilion to learn how to navigate the database, what kinds of information you can find, and how it will help you to learn more about Florida plants. Bring your own device(s). Register here.
2022 Legislative Session
With three full weeks left until the end of the 2022 session, SCCF is tracking several bills. Please review SCCF’s 2022 Legislative Priorities for an overview of significant environmental issues at stake. For the latest developments, check out our constantly updated Legislative Tracker to see what's happening with specific bills and sign up for Action Alerts to help us advocate for a healthier tomorrow. 
Second Season of Pine Island Sounds a Success
SCCF is pleased to announce it has wrapped up the second season of floating concerts known as Pine Island Sounds. This season’s performing artists included Elizabeth Cook, The 502s, and Twisted Pine. Sailing aboard the Lady Chadwick, guests were treated to great performances, treats from Catering by Leslie Adams, and “First Drinks on Us” cards from Janie Howland and Jack Thomas. SCCF Event Producer Jeff Siwicke extends sincere thanks to partners Captiva Cruises and Todd and Leanne Marcum for making these concert cruises a successful fundraising series benefiting SCCF’s water quality work in and around the islands of Captiva and Sanibel.
Weekly Nature and Botanical Walks
Lace up your walking shoes for naturalist-guided immersions in nature.
Welcome Walkabout: Island Ecology for New Residents
Are you a new property owner on Sanibel or Captiva? Or would you simply like to learn about what makes our islands special? Join SCCF on a walking tour to learn about unique plants and animals, the island’s steeped conservation history, and current challenges in keeping the islands as a sanctuary. The next one is Tuesday, March 1st at 10am. Regular Welcome Walkabouts will occur every two weeks so check the schedule here; a $5 donation is suggested.
Weeds ‘n’ Seeds Walks
Join a group of amateur botanists who look for and identify native plants on the island. Each walk visits a different location on Sanibel, lasts for two hours, and is guided by a knowledgeable leader. Detailed information about the upcoming walk is listed below, and pre-registration is required.

Feb. 28: Bailey Beach Park
Join us at the historic Bailey Beach Park, on Monday, Feb. 28, at 9am to go in search of some plants we haven’t seen yet on other Weeds ‘n’ Seeds walks this year, due to the unique mixture of habitats and plantings to stabilize the fragile beach. Registration today. Register here
Mar. 7: Indigo Trail
The walk on Monday, March 7, at 9 am takes us to Indigo Trail at J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This trail goes through a mangrove estuary habitat with fresh and brackish water. In addition to plants, we hope to see river otters, alligators, and roseate spoonbills and other birds. Registration opens on Tuesday, March 1st at 8am. Register here
Lindblad Preserve Trail
Participants get an up-close look at the Sanibel Slough and rare plants each Tuesday & Thursday at 10am. No registration is required; a $5 donation is suggested.
Bailey Homestead Preserve Shipley Trail
Learn about SCCF’s mission-driven work on the historic property, along with stories about its history each Wednesday and Thursday at 10am. No registration is required; a $5 donation is suggested.
Burrowing Owl Festival
Join SCCF on Saturday, Feb.26, as we participate in the 20th Annual Burrowing Owl Festival at Rotary Park in Cape Coral, sponsored by the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife. This family-fun event celebrates the start of burrowing owl nesting season, and features environmental and wildlife organizations, educational exhibits, live animals, presentations, and kids’ activities. LEARN MORE
Wildlife Photos to Share

Thank you, Lynn and Beth Eikenberry, for submitting this photo of an Eastern coachwhip snake they observed along the northern Bowman’s Beach dirt road that parallels the shoreline. They estimate the inquisitive coachwhip was between five and a half and six feet long.

Do you have wildlife photos to share?

Please send your photos to
info@sccf.org to be featured in an upcoming issue.
Click here to subscribe to Connecting You to SCCF and other SCCF mailing lists.
Stay Connected!