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INSIDE

Fall 2012

D e d i c at e d

2013 Activities Book

Update

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a l l

t h o s e

w h o

c a r e

a b o u t

p r o t e c t i n g

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q u a l i t y

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l i f e .

Open for Business

Members first to preview phase one of the renovated Conservancy Nature Center.

Dennis Goodman

While the dust was still settling, Conservancy members received a sneak preview of the “new” Conservancy Nature Center in October. Electric boats were cruising from Lew and Dawn Allyn Family Lagoon & Dock and the Dalton Discovery Center was open for self-guided tours of the new exhibits - including a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle! Members also explored the Shotwell Wavering Family Filter marsh and the Christopher B. Smith Preserve. The Conservancy Nature Center opened to the public in November, along with the new entrance from Goodlette-Frank Road, Smith Preserve Way. Days and hours of operation are Monday – Saturday, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM. See conservancy.org for details.

Young visitors enjoy the touch tank in the Dalton Discovery Center. The touch tank is a gift from Jonathan & Nancy Hammill and is located in the Susanne Geier and Family Sandy Beach Gallery.

Frank Jackalone, Sierra Club; David Guest, Earthjustice; Jennifer Hecker and Andrew McElwaine, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, during recent White House visit to push for clean water.

Two Times to Washington

Conservancy and conservation partners urge EPA to reject Florida’s proposed “Dirty Water Rules.” Freshwater springs, rivers, and lakes all around Florida are being overpumped and polluted until they are slime-covered pools of their former selves. Sewage, fertilizer and other forms of nutrient pollution continue to spew into our waters causing three foot tall piles of algae along the shore, fish kills, closed water treatment plants, and other harmful environmental and human health impacts. Without quantifiable limits on the amount of “nutrient” pollution coming from sewage, manure and fertilizer, our waters may never recover. Conservancy of Southwest Florida and other conservation partners have traveled to Washington twice to petition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject Florida’s proposed “Dirty Water Rules.” The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has drafted a substitute for EPA’s rules that would typically require pollution controls only after waters have been severely degraded, causing expensive clean-up at taxpayer expense. These industry-friendly standards will allow unsafe pollution levels rather than following the common-sense, measureable limits SEE WASHINGTON, page 8.


Development

Believe in Magic

Message from the President directors

Chairman Robert L. Heidrick Vice Chairman Andrew D.W. Hill President & CEO Andrew McElwaine Treasurer George Gibson Secretary Sue Dalton BOARD of directors Dawn Allyn Dennis C. Brown Joseph R. Catti Ted Corbin Paul Corddry John D. Fumagalli Thomas R. Gibson John Hall Lois Kelley Kenneth Krier Lisa Merritt

Jane Pearsall Patsy Schroeder Lynne Shotwell Lynn Slabaugh Jeannie M. Smith Anne Drackett Thomas Jay Tompkins Tucker Tyler Nancy G. White Gene Windfeldt Ian Wright

Update is published by the Conservancy Marketing and Communications team. Marketing Director & Editor Barbara J. Wilson Graphic Designer Kate Kintz Photography Ralph Arwood Jim Bigelow Dennis Goodman We welcome comments and suggestions from readers and ideas for future issues. Please send feedback to info@conservancy.org or mail your input: Conservancy of Southwest Florida 1450 Merrihue Drive, Naples, FL 34102

INFORMATION Conservancy Information 239.262.0304 von Arx Wildlife Hospital 239.262.CARE (2273) Membership Information 239.403.4207 Volunteer Information 239.403.4212 www.conservancy.org

Andrew McElwaine

A wonderful friend used to tell me, “The difference between development and exploitation is this: development enhances the value of its surroundings. Exploitation detracts from it” The economy of southwest Florida is starting to grow. And that’s good news for a community which suffered during the Great Recession. Although good-faith efforts have been made to diversify our economy away from the cyclical nature of home building, mining and row crop agriculture, not enough has been accomplished. Instead, as Yogi Berra once said, “it’s déjà vu all over again.” Growth in our region is inevitable, but the question is how. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida wants to see growth in locations where roads and infrastructure are available to support it, while avoiding sprawling growth in wetlands and wildlife habitat. To that end, the Conservancy and other organizations recently settled a long running dispute over the Mirasol development in northern Collier County. And while we can take some satisfaction that 1,100 acres of wetlands are being preserved, and still more restored off site, the agreement still allows hundreds of acres to be destroyed for new homes. Much as we wish we could, we cannot save them all At times we have to make difficult compromises or risk losing everything if a judge rules against us. At the same time, a plethora of proposed rock and sand mining is yet another sign of economic return, but an economy of exploitation, not development. These mines provide material for roadbed and fill. With limited opportunity for new mining in Miami’s Lake Belt District, miners have been coming to Collier and Lee with a vengeance. Two mines have been proposed in the immediate vicinity of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, in the middle of habitat for numerous endangered species. Still others are seeking to mine next to the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem and Watershed (CREW) preserve in southeast Lee County. With both these preserves dependent on a reliable flow of clean water, these mines threaten environmental havoc. In Lee County, the Conservancy has partnered with local government and civic organizations to create defined locations for new mines. In this way, mining ventures still have access to rock and sand and natural resources can be protected. Unfortunately in Collier County, landowners and developers have successfully prevented any such limitation in its rural lands and mining can take place almost anywhere. That struggle will continue. Southwest Florida deserves better. Without a diverse economy we are at the mercy of highly cyclical, low wage and often environmentally-destructive businesses. The region should look to value added strategies that emphasize “eds and meds,” meaning universities such as FGCU and medical businesses such as Arthrex and others. That way we can have development, not exploitation. Best, Andrew McElwaine

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Since 2005, Magic Under the Mangroves™ has generated over $3.4 million net income to support the Conservancy of Southwest Florida mission and is recognized as one of the top fundraisers in the area. The eco-chic event returns to the Conservancy Nature Center Thursday March 7, 2013. The 2013 Magic Chair, Jeannie Smith, expects to exceed the $783,000 net income record and keep the tradition of growing the magic. For 2013, the fundraiser goes “wild” with a theme “inspired by our amazing native wildlife.” For 2013, the fundraiser goes “wild” with a theme “inspired by our amazing native wildlife.” The evening begins with a reception and silent auction. A seated dinner, created by renowned “Windows Catering” follows. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida will present its coveted “Eagle” award. This year, in keeping with the wildlife theme, local veterinarians who have volunteered their time, talent and facilities to help the injured wildlife treated at the former Conservancy Wildlife Clinic will be honored - Drs. Damien

Lin, Tonya Loreman, Erik Madison, Jeffrey Noble, Frank Ogden and Christi Warren. The enchanted evening will close with a live auction, featuring unique, one-of-a-kind items. The exclusive Magic Patron Party, will return to the historic, private Keewaydin Club on Keewaydin Island on Sunday February 10, 2013. Music, cocktails, and an assortment of “island style” foods combine to provide the perfect informal setting for celebrating nature. Community support is a large part of Magic’s success. Back for the fifth consecutive year is presenting sponsor Northern Trust. Betty Maclean Travel, Inc. returns as our Magic travel partner, and our media sponsors also return: Comcast, Florida Weekly, Gulfshore Life and NBC-2. Sabadell Bank & Trust is the presenting co-sponsor of the patron party for the second year. Patron packages beginning at $3,500 go on sale mid-November. A limited quantity of individual tickets may be available January 2, 2013. Patron support helps ensure that the magic continues long after the party is over. The money funds programs that protect our water, our land, our wildlife…and our future.

SAVE THE DATE Thursday, March 7, 2013

2012 Magic Under the Mangroves™

www.conservancy.org/magic

2012 Magic Under the Mangroves™ Patron Party on Keewaydin Island.

Sponsors

Protecting Southwest Florida’s unique natural environment and quality of life ... now and forever.

Magic Under the Mangroves™: a $3.4 million fundraiser.

Supporting Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

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Development

Planned Giving

Morgan Stanley’s Wayne Meland

Hooked on the cause. Well Done! Great leadership, sound judgment, unquestionable support of the Conservancy mission, outstanding interpersonal skills and an infectious passion for making a difference are just a few of Rob Moher’s traits that earned him the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Everglades Chapter 2012 Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award. Rob’s nomination was made by Board member Tucker Tyler with letters of support from past Conservancy of Southwest Florida Board Chair, Dolph von Arx and Conservancy of Southwest Florida President, Andrew McElwaine. “Rob is the quintessential fundraiser and one of the key leaders responsible for the successful completion of the $38.8 million ‘Saving Southwest Florida’ campaign, a major milestone for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida,” said Tyler. The award was presented at the AFP National Philanthropy Day celebration on November 13, 2012.

Vice President, Development and Marketing Rob Moher

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Once again, Wayne Meland at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management was the presenting sponsor for the 2012 RedSnook event held Nov. 2-4. Wayne and Morgan Stanley have been involved with the RedSnook Tournament since 2007. “With recreational fishing in Florida generating over $7.5 billion in revenue and supporting nearly 76,000 full-time jobs, the work of the Conservancy to protect our waters and sport fishing habitat is important to all of us,” said Wayne Meland, Senior Vice President, Morgan Stanley. This year’s RedSnook event helped fund the water quality programs and sport fishing habitat research undertaken by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Look for event results at www.conservancy.org/redsnook.

Year-End Gift 2

Double your impact with matching gift challenge.

Throughout this newsletter, highlights of our projects, some of which have continued for multiple years, demonstrate the power of your philanthropy at work. Your generous annual support helps us keep the lights on to work on your behalf and to continue our initiatives to protect our water, land and wildlife. Watch your mail for the year-end appeal and please send in your generous gift as soon as possible. Thanks to two generous supporters, all gifts of $100 and above will be matched up to $100,000, so you can double the impact of your gift!

Raise the Roof The Conservancy of Southwest Florida would like to give a big thank you to Atlantis Roofing of Naples, Inc. on Pine Ridge Rd. for their generous contribution of materials, time and services to reconstruct the roof on the front entrance gazebo at the Nature Center. The gazebo will become the main admissions area for members and guests. Atlantis Roofing is a family owned and operated local roofing company in Southwest Florida providing quality residential and commercial roof installation including some green options such as Enviroshake and Green Eco-Roofing.

2012 Year-End Tax Planning By Christopher P. Bray, JD, CPA By now you’ve likely heard about the “fiscal cliff.” Basically, the phrase is a euphemism for big tax hikes scheduled to take place in 2013. Absent a change in federal legislation before the end of the year, the top federal income tax rate for dividend income will jump from 15 percent to 39.6 percent. The top tax rate for long-term capital gains will jump from 15 percent to 20 percent and the top rate for ordinary income will jump from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. In addition, the new 3.8 percent Medicare surtax related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will take effect in 2013. This new tax is assessed on net investment income for married couples filing jointly with income in excess of $250,000. Federal estate and gift taxes will increase as well. The current top rate of 35 percent will jump to 55 percent and the current $5 million exemption amount will drop to $1 million in 2013. As you might surmise, the advent of the fiscal cliff makes year-end tax planning for 2012 more important than ever. Keep in mind that many of these strategies also involve important investment and other non-tax decisions. Any smart tax planner will always counsel their client – “don’t let the tax tail wag the dog.” Here are 10 strategies to consider implementing this year to protect your finances from the impact of the fiscal cliff. 1. Utilize the $5 million gift tax exemption before it drops to $1 million. 2. Increase the tax-exempt municipal bond allocation in investment portfolios. 3. Decrease the dividend yielding equity allocation in investment portfolios. 4. Accelerate recognition of capital gains. 5. Defer recognition of capital losses. 6. Make charitable contributions of appreciated assets. 7. Convert a regular IRA to a Roth IRA. 8. Maximize employer 401(k) contributions. 9. Direct $13,000 annual exclusion gifts to Section 529 plans. 10. Maximize employer health flexible spending account contributions. Christopher P. Bray is Managing Director – Florida, Willow Street Advisors, LLC and is a member of Conservancy of Southwest Florida Planned Giving Committee.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Members Only! Annual Meeting

Sponsored by

Grand Reopening Weekend Festival

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center

Earth Day Weekend April 20-21, 2013 Earth Day Weekend

Visit the all-new 21 acre April 20-21,Nature 2013 Center, Conservancy for the grand reopening weekend festival. Nature fun for all ages to celebrate our water, land, wildlife and future. • Family fun • Activities • Entertainment • Food • Guest speakers • Exhibitors Supporting Sponsors

January 16, 2013 Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts Hayes Hall 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Includes Board of Directors annual report to the members, Board elections and special guest speakers Carlton Ward, Jr. and Elam Stoltzfus. RSVP by January 10, 2013 to 239.403.4228.

Presents Presents

For more information: 239.430.2466 www.conservancy.org Carlton Ward Jr.

Elam Stoltzfus

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E n v i r o n m e n ta l e d u c at i o n

Dalton Discovery Center Now Open

Dennis Goodman

E n v i r o n m e n ta l e d u c at i o n

“We are honored to have our name associated with this multi-sensory and immersive educational experience and believe it will generate even further interest in the mission of the Conservancy.” - Sue & BIll Dalton

Members enjoy the new 5,000 gallon tank, home to a loggerhead turtle and dozens more aquatic species. Turtle tank is a gift from Kermit and Jenny Sutton.

Over 120 live animals on display. The Dalton Discovery Center showcases southwest Florida’s diverse ecosystems, the creatures that live within and an overview of the work conducted by Conservancy of Southwest Florida. This worldclass experience was made possible through a generous lead gift from Sue and Bill Dalton with the support of over 40 additional donors. “Bill and I are thrilled that the Conservancy has created this state of the art interpretive facility. We are honored to have our name associated with this multi-sensory and immersive educational experience and believe it will generate even further interest in the mission of the Conservancy,” said Sue Dalton. The sun-drenched Sandy Beach Gallery includes a 500 gallon touch tank, made possible through a lead gift from Susanne Geier and family and other generous donors such 6

as Larry and Barbara Wilson. The Sandy Beach Gallery’s touch tank is full of creatures that can be found in Florida’s near-shore waters. “Florida sands are not just for beach goers - they are teeming with life,” said Larry Wilson. “The creatures found in the Sandy Beach Gallery use the beaches as their home, for breeding or for protection,” added Barbara Wilson. Continuing to demonstrate their generous support for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, John and Donna Hall funded the Living Ocean Gallery, home to the “star of the show,” a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle. “The Living Ocean Gallery provides a close-up encounter with marine life where guests are inspired to help protect our fragile ecosystem. Education is the key,” said John Hall. “People of all ages

can make a difference through donations and by keeping our waters clean.” “John and I have supported sea turtle research and monitoring efforts at the Conservancy for

For more information on the Dalton Discovery Center, visit www.conservancy.org.

2012 Winter Camp Register today!

Southwest Florida winters are one of the best times of year to experience the great outdoors. So while schools are out for winter break, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida is offering three days of eco-adventures. Winter Camp 2012 runs Dec. 26-28 for students in grades 2-5. Each day offers a different field trip, focused on exploring Florida’s water, land and wildlife. December 26 Epic Everglades December 27 Wondrous Wildlife December 28 Cool Coastlines Register at www.conservancy.org/camp. Dennis Goodman

John & Donna Hall Ocean Gallery

several years. We have a greater understanding and appreciation for the protection of marine life,” said Donna Hall. “The Living Ocean Gallery experience will encourage others to become involved with the Conservancy. The public can support marine life protection by purchasing a sea turtle tracking tag, volunteering, or making a donation. Support of these efforts will ensure the wonder and beauty of the undersea experience for years to come.” “The Dalton Discovery Center opens doors to educating others about the past, present and future of our unique environment,” says Bill Dalton. “Sue and I hope that visitors will be inspired to make their own personal commitment to protect our water, our land, our wildlife, our future.”

Taking it to the Streets Grants allow Conservancy to double education impact. Thanks to support from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Arthrex, the Frances Pew Hayes Foundation and PNC, the Conservancy aims to double the number of students participating in its Learning Adventures programs with area schools. Through field trips and outreach programs, Conservancy environmental education experts reached more than 5,000 children in 2011-2012. The goal for 20122013, if fully funded, is to reach 10,000 kids. An additional naturalist and a vehicle donated by Subaru will help assist the education team with expanded programming. “We now offer student-led, inquiry-based learning programs. We begin with questions from the kids, then adapt our activities to reflect their interests,” says David Webb, education programs manager at Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “Our goal is to create future conservationists in a fun, participative and impactful way.” For more information or to register online, visit www.conservancy.org/fieldtrips

Susanne Geier & Family Sandy Beach Gallery Members and their families explore the touch tank, donated by Jonathan and Nancy Hamill.

Frances Pew Hayes Foundation

®

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E n v i r o n m e n ta l p o l i c y

EYE on the ISSUES Everglades Restoration in the Spotlight

Good for the environment, economy… and people. Saving the Everglades is often seen only as an extensive environmental restoration project to restore wetlands and revive habitats for more than 60 endangered and threatened species. However, restoration efforts also benefit our freshwater supplies. One in three Floridians, more than 5 million people, get their drinking water from the Everglades. Everglades restoration also preserves south Florida’s economy. A recent study conducted by the Everglades Foundation found that every dollar invested in restoration results in four dollars of direct economic benefits to south Floridians. “What we’re talking about here is an economic engine that generates millions of tourists to Florida ....” 

- Vice President Biden

Vice President Biden recently visited the Everglades and put a muchneeded spotlight on protecting the Everglades including the economic benefits to Floridians. “What we’re talking about here is an economic engine that generates millions of tourists to Florida who are renting hotel rooms, buying food, renting autos, taking out airboats and everything else you can imagine that goes along with it,” Biden said. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has been actively involved in 8

Director of Natural Resource Policy Jennifer Hecker with Vice President Biden.

Everglades restoration, tracing all the way back to 1985, when it assisted the state in buying back more than 17,000 lots in the environmentally-sensitive southern Golden Gate Estates area – now part of the Picayune Everglades restoration project. The Conservancy has since stayed involved in the scientific monitoring of the restoration and is currently involved in advocacy efforts to help restore the Everglades. Director of Natural Resource Policy Jennifer Hecker currently cochairs the 57-organizational member Everglades Coalition and acts as the Everglades representative on the board of the national Great Waters Coalition. In these roles, the Conservancy supports the Congressional authorizations and funding needed to keep Everglades projects going, and highlights the vital needs of protecting the Western Everglades for southwest Florida.

E n v i r o n m e n ta l p o l i c y

EYE on the ISSUES ball fields. Therefore, our organizations continued to submit data and analysis to the Corps of Engineers (Corps), the federal agency responsible for permitting wetland impacts. Fortunately, good science and appropriate application of the law prevailed. In 2011, the Corps denied the permit for Harbour Pointe, citing, among other reasons, the developer’s inability to demonstrate that they had no other option but to build their project in mangroves - and that the developer had alternative sites which would not have impacted mangrove wetlands. The developer appealed this decision and after further review, in mid-2012, the Corps upheld the denial.

WASHINGTON FROM PAGE 1. set by the U.S. EPA under the Clean Water Act. The Conservancy supports EPA standards since they prevent severe degradation of our waters and require pollution to be better contained and treated at its source. Conservancy of Southwest Florida President Andrew McElwaine stated, “We are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country, but how will our economy fare if our waters keep getting covered in green slime and algae?” The quality of Florida’s water puts our tourism, fishing and real estate values at risk. These are the backbone of our economy, and without them we may never see a sustainable economic recovery. “The EPA’s Clean Water Act standards will not only protect our health and our environment - they will help us restore the reason people want to live, visit and invest here,” summarizes Andrew McElwaine, Conservancy president. Conservancy Director of Natural Resource Policy Jennifer Hecker explains, “We are facing unprecedented opposition from industry. With continued support from our members and donors, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida will continue the fight to restore Florida’s fresh waters - so our children can enjoy swimming, fishing, and all the other great water activities that are part of our heritage as Floridians.”

Captiva Island Mangroves Protected Corps of Engineers denies permit for Harbour Pointe development.

Over the past eight years, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida partnered with Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and the Captiva Civic Association (CCA) to vigorously oppose a proposed residential development called Harbour Pointe, located within the South Seas Resort at the north tip of Captiva Island. The Harbour Pointe site consists of approximately 78 acres, of which 77 acres are primarily mangrove wetlands. At the time of the permit application in 2004, the property already had authorization to construct condominiums within the

1.3 acres of uplands on site, which would have no direct impacts to mangroves. Unfortunately, once the developer proposed increasing the number of units, building larger units and adding amenities, approximately five acres of mangroves would have been impacted. Through the permitting process, and litigation at the State level, SCCF and CCA, with Conservancy intervention on their behalf, were successful in achieving a reduction in mangrove impacts. However, these insufficient reductions would still destroy 2.61 acres of mangroves – the size of two foot-

these insufficient reductions would still destroy 2.61 acres of mangroves – the size of two football fields. According to Conservancy Director of Governmental Relations, Nicole Johnson, “This decision by the Corps clearly demonstrates the importance of balancing the needs of property owners with the public’s interest and analyzing the economic values attached to healthy, intact ecosystems. Any negative impacts resulting from the development would have been detrimental to the ecosystem and our southwest Florida community. The location of this proposed development is within the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary and the Pine Island Aquatic Preserve Outstanding Florida Waters, and its close proximity to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.” 9


E n v i r o n m e n ta l p o l i c y

Conservancy happenings

EYE on the ISSUES Lee County Mine Unacceptable

Conservancy files legal brief to deny mine.

Mining, and its compatibility with protection of natural resources, continues to be a central issue for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Mining is an extremely intensive land use and its effects are felt far beyond the actual project footprint. The Conservancy was one of many organizations that opposed a proposal by Troyer Brothers to mine approximately 770 acres within Lee County’s Density Reduction/ Groundwater Resource (DR/GR) area - a land use category which only allows mining if such activity is deemed compatible with surrounding land uses. Since the property contains important natural resource attributes, such as wetlands and panther habitat, and is adjacent to public conservation lands, the Conservancy believes mining is an incompatible use. According to Conservancy Director of Governmental Relations, Nicole Johnson, “The Conservancy testified before the Lee County Commission that the proposal would create unacceptable impacts to roads, was not necessary to satisfy demand for future aggregate supply and would result in detrimental impacts to water resources and listed species.” The Commission denied the application and Troyer appealed the decision to Circuit Court. The Conservancy, partnering with the Estero Council of Community Leaders, Phil Douglas and Kevin Hill, supported Lee County’s decision to deny the mine and we were granted our motion to file an amicus brief to support the denial. Our brief was prepared and submitted to the Court and the case is still pending as of this publication.

Making a Difference Sign up today to take action. Protect our water, land and wildlife by making your voice heard by decision makers. Go to www.conservancy.org/takeaction and... 1. Sign up to receive Conservancy Action Alerts via email. (We respect your privacy and do not share our email lists or any other information.) 2. Visit the Legislative Action Center to read about any current issues that require your attention. You will be able to instantly email your message to the appropriate decision-makers with one click. 3. You can also read through several present and past Policy Action Alerts on the same page for more detail on the issues. 10

Tidbits

Celebrating people, places, events of note. UPS on the Go

Cleaning Up Our Waters Punta Gorda adopts effective fertilizer measures.

In June, the City of Punta Gorda in Charlotte County joined its neighboring Gulf Coast communities by adopting a protective and effective fertilizer ordinance. The ordinance puts measures into place to minimize nutrient pollution – which will help control harmful algae blooms and fish kills. Many southwest Florida municipalities, including Lee County and the City of Naples, have strong ordinances in place to help protect their waterways. Important measures for these ordinances to be effective include a 10 foot buffer to waterbodies where no fertilizer is applied, use of slow release nitrogen and zero phosphorous products, and a ban on applying fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorous in the summer rainy season. “The Conservancy of Southwest Florida and our partners encourage other communities that do not have protective ordinances in place - such as the City of Marco Island and unincorporated Collier County - to protect our regional waters by adopting a strong fertilizer ordinance,” said Amber Crooks, Conservancy natural resources specialist. Protective ordinances provide protection to southwest Florida’s sensitive aquatic resources, central to our tourism economy and quality of life, and can also save tax dollars by preventing pollution that, many times, requires costly clean up.

Training Marathon

The Conservancy received a $10,000 grant from the UPS Foundation to support our water conservation initiatives. This grant builds off of previous ones received from the UPS Foundation for our core programmatic efforts. Members of the regional Southwest Florida UPS team have also pitched in to assist with other volunteer projects. Mr. Brian Conner and Mr. Raul Simons, Area Human Resources Manager, both of UPS, visited with Rob Moher to announce this latest grant from the UPS Foundation .

2012 Turtle Season Mia DeAgostino, Judy Ossola, Joanna Forszpaniak and Lucy Wistreich.

Record Year The Conservancy of Southwest Florida Upscale Resale Furniture and More store reached a major milestone this fiscal year - just one sales day shy of achieving one million dollars in gross sales! Kudos to assistant store Manager Amy Dupree, sales associate Patricia DeVito, volunteer coordinator Ian Wright and the countless number of volunteers who work in the store. Thanks also to those who donated new or gently used furniture and accessories (tax deductible, of course!) to support the water, land and wildlife initiatives at the Conservancy.

Olga Byrne, Ian Wright, Marriet Daigle and Patricia Devito.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Education Manager David Webb and Docent Volunteer Coordinator Carole Talkowski have been working for months on an extensive docent training program for the new Dalton Discovery Center. The initial trainings occurred in September and October, and will continue monthly through January as docents return from up north.

Turtle Ladies

More nests. Less hatchlings.

Tropical Storm Debby was the worst single event to impact sea turtles in the 23 years the Conservancy has monitored Keewaydin Island - more nests than ever, but fewer hatchlings due to T.S. Debby nest destruction. Keewaydin ISLAND Nests

Hatchlings to Gulf

2012

262

4,304

2011

 253

12,304

Naples City Beach

A group of friends from Bay Colony began gathering eight years ago at the Turtle Club for dinner and to discuss the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the turtles. Thus, the ‘Bay Colony Turtle Ladies’ group was formed. The group, started by Elaine Cole, has outgrown the Turtle Club and meets now at various restaurants once each season to discuss the turtle situation. This past season, they made a $1,000 donation to the Dalton Discovery Center to help feed our juvenile sea turtle.

Nests

Hatchlings to Gulf

2012

143

3,578

2011

60

4,063

Dave Addison, who has been running the program for the Conservancy for 23 years, stated that this year’s results should not have any effects on hatchling production over time. “The number of nests noted on both Naples and Keewaydin beaches were some of the highest we have seen in recent years. The effects of Mother Nature are cyclical. The decrease in the number of hatchlings is a direct result of the nest damage from Tropical Storm Debby. Overall, we are hopeful about the trends over time.” 11


W i l d l i f e h o s p i ta l

W i l d l i f e H o s p i ta l

Do Not Try this at Home

“Patient” Profiles

“At-home” care detrimental to wildlife.

A young grey squirrel is syringe fed while being raised at the old Conservancy Wildlife Clinic. The squirrel was found on the ground with no adult squirrel tending to it.

Robin Rhoads

Orphans Need Special Care

Karen Macartney

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Wildlife Specialist Ana Sosa offers a fish to a rehabilitating juvenile bald eagle. It had recently moved to an outdoor recovery enclosure after rehabilitating for two weeks inside the facility.

A young marsh rabbit is offered a fresh diet of natural grasses. The rabbit was ravenous and dehydrated after being kept by the “rescuer” for three days.

Three young redbellied woodpeckers are hand fed every half hour. Two of the woodpeckers were orphaned after their tree nest was cut during landscaping activities; the third, unrelated baby woodpecker fell from its nest and was unable to be re-nested. 12

This year, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Team has seen more cases than usual with people attempting to care for injured wildlife themselves. No matter how well-intentioned, at-home injured or orphaned wildlife care generally results in a decline in the animal’s health – sometimes to the point that it is too late for a visit to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital for recovery, rehabilitation and release. Most of the time, the “rescuer” is not well versed in diagnosing and treating the actual injury. For example, an injured blue jay was kept at home for over a week before being brought to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. The person had no idea of the extent of its injury, so the poor creature suffered in pain from a missing eye which ultimately grew infected and painful over the course of the week. Orphaned animals have specific nutritional requirements, especially during their growth period. These young orphans are extremely delicate, and an improper diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies, diarrhea, severe dehydration, and even death. If you find an injured or orphaned animal, keep it warm in a quiet, secure container and transport it to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida immediately. The Hospital is open seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM. 239.262.CARE

“Patients” Need Your Help Donations of everyday items help support wildlife care and treatment.

Next time you’re out and about shopping, please think about these items that can be donated to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. Drop off anytime between 8 AM and 9 PM. Thanks! Gift and Gas Cards

Purified Water

Large Laundry Baskets

Unscented Paper Towels

Bug Spray

Towels in Good Condition (all sizes)

Tape (Duct and Masking)

Antibacterial Hand Soap

Small Mirrors ( 5” – 10”)

Unscented Bleach

Quick Dry Nail Polish

Liquid Dish Washing Detergent

Scissors, 3” Fiskers

Powder Laundry Detergent

Wild Bird Seed

Q-Tips

Unsalted nuts - unshelled (peanuts and walnuts)

Cotton Balls

Fruit Baby Food – no custard flavors

Dish Scrubbers

Meat Baby Food – meat in meat broth only Powdered Egg Whites

Band-Aids & Gauze Trash Bags (15 and 33 gallon)

It’s Official

New von Arx Wildlife Hospital is open for business. A red-bellied turtle was the first of four patients admitted on the day of the move from the old Conservancy Wildlife Clinic into the state of the art von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The low number of new patients admitted on moving day made it slightly easier for the wildlife team to concentrate on moving all of the existing patients into the new facility. The old Clinic was very small, so people on the wildlife team were never more then 15 feet away from each other while working in the building. The von Arx Wildlife Hospital is more than three times the size and has three separate wings - an area for birds, another for mammals and another for reptiles. The specially designed nursery contains one way glass so the public can view the care of baby wild animals without disturbing them.

Arx and the other generous donors who made the new Wildlife Hospital a reality. The move itself relied on the help of amazing volunteers. Working long days and extra shifts, no task was too dirty or tiring – they

packed boxes, scrubbed cages, and shopped for supplies to help organize the Hospital. Less stress on the animals will mean better recovery rates and more releases into the wild.

“N

ew

Conservancy volunteer Sheila Demkovich organizes her work station in preparation to start morning feedings for all of the orphans housed in the nursery of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. Each animal intensive care unit contains a litter of baby grey squirrels.

One of the most important

features of the new hospital is the surgery suite which enables our vet to perform surgery on site.

One of the most important features of the new hospital is the surgery suite which enables our vet to perform surgery on site. Prior to having the new Hospital, we relied on the amazing generosity of local volunteer vets such as Dr. Noble and Dr. Lin at St. Francis Animal Clinic and Dr. Tonya Loreman at Sabal Palm Animal Hospital to perform surgeries and provide advanced medical care. We are incredibly grateful for all they have done over the many, many years. The move involved a tremendous amount of effort. First, we are thankful to Sharon and Dolph von

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Bottom left: Dr. PJ Deitschel checks the patient board in the old Wildlife Clinic to ensure every animal has been transferred to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. Dr. Deitschel performed a check up on all critical patients prior to moving them to the hospital. Bottom right: Once all of the patients were moved into the newly opened von Arx Wildlife Hospital, volunteer Sue Santangelo gathered heat lights and other equipment for use in the new facility.

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E n v i r o n m e n ta l S c i e n c e

Volunteer services

You are What You Eat

Mangrove Restoration Begins The mangrove forests lining San Marco Road (SR-92) near Goodland began to visibly die in 1992. Certain areas are now as barren as a moonscape. Conservancy Director of Science Kathy Worley began studying the mangroves in 2000 and determined the die-off was worsening and caused by altered hydrology. Restoring tidal flow to natural conditions will allow better flushing of the mangroves. “The goal is to correct the flows to drain off some of the water to allow for normal tidal flushing,” said Worley. “Mangroves do need water – but not that much.” Phase one construction began in late summer. Channels cut into the die-off area from an existing tidal canal on the north side of SR-92 now allows natural tidal flow in and out of the area. Small but encouraging signs of life are present as a few baby mangroves have sprouted. “Only time will tell,” Worley commented. Project participants include Coastal Resources Group, Inc., Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, City of Marco, J.R. Evans Engineering and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. 14

portions of the estuary where the water may be impacted by agricultural/municiple waste.” Schmid summarized, “The Caloosahatchee River is the primary source of freshwater in the lower Charlotte Harbor estuary and its watershed is impacted by nutrient loading (phosphorus and nitrogen pollution) and alterations in its flow. Those fluctuations influence the chemical composition of the food web. This is one of the first and most comprehensive investigations into the trophic ecology of Kemp’s ridleys and more detailed stud-

Volunteer News JoAnn Johansen, Conservancy Intern & Volunteer Manager Ian M. Wright, Volunteer Connection President

JoAnn Johansen

Applications are available in our Nature Store, Upscale Resale store and on line at conservancy.org/ volunteerapplication or by contacting JoAnn Johansen at joannj@conservancy.org.

Dr. Jeff Schmid and Dr. Tony Tucker with Kemp’s Ridleys.

ies are needed to understand the patterns of stable isotopes in their estuarine feeding grounds.” Dr. Schmid’s prior research on Kemp’s ridley habitat helped determine that southwest Florida waters provided the perfect habitat to release Kemp’s impacted by the BP oil spill in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Research efforts for this project and Keewaydin sea turtle satellite tracking were funded in part by grants from the Sea Turtle Grants Program which is supported by proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate.

Volunteer of the Month George Knight began sailing in the mid-80s in Canada, but didn’t start racing full-time until moving to Naples in 2008 when he joined the Gulf Coast Sailing Club. George crews on board a 30’ boat captained by Dave Huntington in local regattas - including the Naples Porsche Cup held off Naples Pier each March. His primary responsibility is setting the spinnaker on the foredeck. He is also an avid kayaker. George joined the Conservancy of Southwest Florida as a Boat Captain volunteer in 2009 and also serves on the boat maintenance team.

Celebrating 34 Years with Barbara Conklin

Ian Wright

Good news! As you have read, members took advantage of the sneak previews of the Conservancy Nature Center in October. And since early November, we’ve opened the new main entrance, Smith Preserve Way, from Goodlette-Frank Road. We refer to this time as our “soft” opening leading up to a Grand Reopening Weekend Festival in April. Until then, we will not be promoting the new Conservancy Nature Center, which will allow us to grow organically and deliver an excellent visitor experience. We know visitor traffic will increase during this “soft” opening time and we need more volunteers, especially full-time residents. There is so much work to do here! Please encourage your friends, neighbors and acquaintances to volunteer. If you’re reading this and you’re not a volunteer please consider joining the team. It’s a good place to make new and lasting friendships with like-minded people, and do something for our environment.

Volunteer TIDBITS

Recently dug channel within the mangrove restoration die-off area in Goodland. One of the project monitoring plots is seen in the background.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Research Manager Dr. Jeff Schmid, Dr. Tony Tucker of Mote Marine Laboratory and Dr. Jeff Seminoff with the National Marine Fisheries Service have shed new light on the feeding ecology of the Kemp’s ridley turtle. Understanding its feeding habits and position in the estuarine food web helps determine how habitat change can affect the protection of this most endangered sea turtle. The chemical composition of animals and plants is derived from its diet. Researchers compared the chemical composition of Kemp’s ridleys, their prey, and habitat components (seagrass, drift algae, and sessile invertebrates.) This created an understanding of the food web in the Charlotte Harbor estuary. Carbon and sulfur isotopes are useful for identifying the source or location of nutrients in an ecosystem, while the concentration of nitrogen isotope establishes the creature’s position in a food chain. Kemp’s ridleys were the top predator and had been primarily eating spider crabs. Higher levels of sulfur isotopes in larger turtles suggested they may also feed in offshore waters. Dr. Schmid commented, “Our ongoing satellite tracking program also supports that Kemp’s feed in offshore waters.” “We also determined that spider crabs and some habitat components demonstrate a wet/dry seasonal pattern for carbon isotopes,” Schmid continued. “Blue crabs exhibited a pattern of increasing levels of nitrogen isotopes and decreasing carbon isotopes - suggesting they came from the upper

November 2012 Aaron Abend

Aaron began his Conservancy of Southwest Florida volunteer career when he retired in 2009. He has been volunteering as an office assistant working on grant writing and public relations for our Marketing and Development department. His exceptional organizational skills and extensive background as a financial analyst and controller has been an invaluable asset to the Conservancy. Aaron donates three full days of his time each week.

Barbara Conklin joined the Conservancy of Southwest Florida on June 7, 1978 along with her late husband William P. Conklin. While Bill served as Executive Director and Treasurer of the Conservancy for many years, Barbara became an active volunteer. Over the years she has served on many special events including acting as chair of the Fish Fry, on the mailing team, and as a greeter at our entry gazebo. Barbara has also been an invaluable asset in the Volunteer Office every week by tabulating the hours of all volunteers serving on our Nature Center campus, reviewing publications and pulling articles pertaining to the Conservancy for our Marketing Director, and bringing in treats for staff and volunteers to enjoy. While Barbara is retiring as a full time volunteer effective November 30th, we will still enjoy her sunny smile, warm greetings and hugs at some of our small, but very important, special events. Thank you, Barbara, for all you have done for the Conservancy and for brightening our lives! 15


1450 Merrihue Dr. Naples, FL 34102 www.conservancy.org

Keep slime out of our waters. You can help.

www.conservancy.org/annualgift

New Employees Marriet Daigle Marriet Daigle has joined the Conservancy of Southwest Florida as General Manager of the Upscale Resale Furniture and More store. She brings over 35 years of experience in retail management and is now responsible for all store operations and product acquisition.

Lynn Mariotti Lynn Mariotti has joined the Conservancy of Southwest Florida as Guest Relations Manager. Lynn’s five years of customer service expertise will ensure that Nature Center guests have a pleasant experience. Lynn will also manage the Conservancy Nature Store.

Vanessa Green Vanessa Green is working part time for the Conservancy Environmental Science Department as a field technician to assist biologists in all areas of field work while Melinda Schumann is on maternity leave. Vanessa received a B.S. degree in environmental studies from Central Michigan University and previously worked as a Conservancy volunteer and intern.

Hope Gorman Hope Gorman has joined the development team as a part-time events assistant. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a B.A.S. in Public Relations. During college she assisted in the promotional development and coordination of special events for the Improvement District of Downtown Jacksonville. She also works full time as a Customer Service Representative at NCH.

NEW Interns: Environmental Education

Hannah Blanke, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI Colleen Cosgrove, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI Jamie Nist, University of Georgia Athens, GA Ben Postema, Eckerd College Saint Petersburg, FL Adrienne Savrin, University of Vermont Burlington, VT Rebecca Wallace, Florida International University, Miami, FL

Wildlife Rehabilitation

Olivia “Livvy” Jones, Washington University St. Louis, MO Sarah Englebert, Texas A&M University Corpus Christie, TX

Environmental Policy

Alyssa Anderson, University of Iowa Iowa City, IA


Fall 2012 UPDATE Newsletter