Aug. 23, 2023

Sea Turtle Nesting Winding Down

As Hatchlings Emerge

Nesting season is officially slowing down, with only three new loggerhead nests laid across Sanibel and Captiva in the last two weeks (and just six in August). SCCF expects to see additional crawls and nests from green sea turtles, as their nesting season continues through September. 

To date, 441 nests have hatched, and 24,899 total hatchlings have emerged and headed towards the Gulf. Of these, 353 have been green sea turtles. Despite having record numbers of overall nests laid this year, the islands' hatch success rate has been lower than usual.


Wintering Sandwich & Royal Terns Arrive with Young

With the extreme Florida heat, it’s hard to imagine that winter is just around the corner, but Sanibel and Captiva’s wintering shorebirds and seabirds are here to remind us! Sandwich terns and royal terns are a few of the species the SCCF shorebird team is sighting in higher numbers — many of them with their newly fledged young.


Still Waiting for Wet Season to Freshen Up Habitats

August is nearly over, and we aren't seeing the usual standing water in ditches on the side of the road, nor temporary wetlands filled with calling frogs and wading birds. Will we get a much-needed wet season to alleviate high salinities in freshwater habitats?



Protect Captiva & Sanibel at County Workshop Next Week

Come listen to the discussion as Lee County's five county commissioners are briefed on public input gathered over the summer on proposed land-use changes on Captiva on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 1:30 p.m. No public comment will be allowed, but your attendance will help show our united opposition. Our petition will be submitted to the commissioners this week.

The workshop will be held at the Administration East Building, Conference Room 118, 2201 Second St. in downtown Fort Myers, or you can watch live on LeeTV.



Bank of the Islands Named Watch Party

Corporate Presenting Sponsor

SCCF is pleased to announce that Bank of the Islands is returning as the lead sponsor for The Watch Party on Friday, Sept. 29.

The Watch Party — which benefits SCCF’s Coastal Watch — was scheduled to premiere last year before being cancelled due to Hurricane Ian, and SCCF is excited to finally launch the inaugural event. Individual ticket sales begin Sept. 1!


Volunteers Needed!

International Coastal Cleanup: Saturday, Sept. 16

Join SCCF Coastal Watch in the Ocean Conservancy’s Annual International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 8-11 a.m. Volunteers will be collecting trash from both Sanibel and Captiva beaches as an effort to maintain coastal habitat and lead to cleaner, healthier waters. After the event, volunteers are encouraged to come to the SCCF Bailey Homestead for lunch provided by Bank of the Islands

Questions regarding the cleanup can be sent to 


Build Sea Turtle Nest Cages at Home (Supplies Provided)

We are looking for volunteers to take on some homework to help construct wire cages to help prevent sea turtle nest predation. The cages will be placed over existing and future nests on Sanibel and Captiva by SCCF staff. 

If you are interested in constructing these cages at home, please email to arrange a supply pickup and receive emailed instructions.


A Chance to ‘Sea’:

Connecting Kids with Ocean

As part of its outreach efforts, Sanibel Sea School regularly offers free ocean-based programming to students from Child Care of Southwest Florida, which provides affordable education to children whose parents can’t pay full tuition.

Field trips this summer included seining, learning about sea turtles, and exploring the sand and Gulf. 


Sanibel Sea School Visitor Campaign Kicks Off

We've launched a new campaign to increase overall visitor awareness of Sanibel Sea School and its lesser-known family, corporate, and other group programs. Thanks to an Attractions Marketing grant from Lee County's Tourist Development Council, we were able to hire Sanibel-based Outlier Brands to develop the catchy campaign. The above ad is one of five that are now live in the SanCap Chamber lobby's digital display to catch the eye of visitors. Outlier also created a targeted digital ad campaign that is now live on social media channels and has already reached more than 61,000 individuals in less than a week. The grant also funded the hiring of Blackbaud, which specializes in non-profit digital platforms, to design a new website for Sanibel Sea School that will launch next month.

SCCF Designs Native Landscape for Shell Museum

SCCF designed a native landscape plan for our partners at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum to aid their post-Hurricane Ian replanting efforts. Our Garden Center staff and volunteers from other nonprofits helped install over 800 native plants on their property last week!


Meet the Natives:

Coral Bean

Coral bean (Erythrina herbacea) is a multi-trunk tree that grows about 15 feet high. The leaves fall off in the winter and return in early spring along with a showy spike of red tubular flowers. Coral bean leaves have two lobs that come to a point in the middle and seem to come in sets of three on a single long petiole. Seed pods are about four inches long and open to bright red with red seeds. This tree sometimes forms a wide base or stump at ground level. It grows best in full sun to part shade and in moist soils. It can handle salt spray but not salt water.

Buy coral bean at SCCF’s Native Landscapes & Garden Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Connecting Rainy Seasons & Algal Bloom Trends

SCCF Environmental Policy Intern Tricia McCormack explains how blue-green algae, Lake Okeechobee releases, red tide, hurricanes, and El Niño are interconnected. 


In the News

Take a Deep Dive into RECON's Vital Role

The Environmental Monitor took a deep dive into our Marine Lab's River, Estuary, and Coastal Observing Network (RECON) and assessed its recent upgrade. 

"The success of the RECON project and its popularity with the public is evidenced by the investment made to update the water quality sensor system with NexSens Technology equipment. With NexSens, SCCF continues to use its RECON program to protect the beautiful and indispensable Caloosahatchee Estuary, surrounding water, and islands. The data collected from continual monitoring bolsters SCCF’s public advocacy for conservation, engaging both citizens and elected officials about the importance of conserving southwest Florida’s marine ecosystems."


New SCCF Nutrient Sensor Deployed by Shell Point

Learn how our Marine Lab's new autonomous nutrient sensor named WIZ (Water Insitu AnalyZer) is helping monitor water quality. WINK News featured a deployment of the WIZ at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee last week. 


Sanibel Sea School Hiring Two Positions

SCCF’s Sanibel Sea School is currently looking for a Marine Science Educator and a Client Services Coordinator. 



SCCF is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) founded

in 1967 on Sanibel Island, Florida

EIN 59-1205087


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