Page 1


the New 3 Meet Chairman of the

Spring 2012








Record Numbers!






L I F E . AP Alexander



Under the Join us for the 2012 4 Magic Mangroves Generates 12 Dining for Wildlife


New Nature Center entrance, Smith Preserve Way, will open later in 2012.

Dennis Goodman

Check our website to find the latest information on opening! Phase one of the opening will be member sneak previews. Members can enjoy electric boat rides departing from the new Allyn Family Docks and Gazebo, view our new juvenile loggerhead sea turtle in the Nature Zone and pick up some great items in the Nature Store. Other openings will be phased in throughout 2012 and early 2013. Please check for opening information. The new Nature Center is just one aspect of the “Saving Southwest Florida” campaign. Inside this issue you will see the important work conducted by the Conservancy to tackle issues impacting our water, land and wildlife. These efforts will protect our quality of life for generations to come – an important return on your investment!

To the Rescue von Arx Wildlife Hospital ribbon cutting.

Witnessing the challenges and the influx of thousands of injured wildlife crammed into outdated quarters originally built to treat 600-800 animals, Sharon and Dolph von Arx, and other donors to the “Saving Southwest Florida” capital campaign, came to the rescue. Past chairman of the Conservancy board, Dolph and his wife Sharon provided the lead gift to fund the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. The new 5,000-square-foot facility will include separate recovery areas for mammals, reptiles and birds, an animal nursery, and new operating and X-ray rooms. The hospital will also feature the Sapakie Classroom, where guests can attend special wildlife programs and watch behind-the-scenes treatment via closed circuit television. Conservancy of Southwest Florida leaders, donors, volunteers and state, city and local officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in April. “Dolph and I were compelled to establish the new Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy because the organization both treats animals and educates the community about the importance of protecting wildlife,” said Sharon von Arx. “This new hospital will provide the Conservancy staff and volunteers the space and the resources to enhance the care for native wildlife.” Other major donors helping to fund the new Hospital include C.F. Moore Foundation, Susan L. Regenstein and Barry Frank, the Sapakie Family, Sue and Fred Schulte, Lety and Stephen Schwartz, Shirley B. Schwindt, Ray and Lynn Slabaugh, Deki Stephenson, and Mr. and Mrs. Edward T. Yawney. Many other donors provided additional support. Johnson Controls is providing a “smart energy system” and Arthrex announced that it will partner with the Conservancy by providing surgical products. The total cost of the new energyefficient hospital is $2.1 million.

Message from the President Dear Friends, 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

Gordon Campbell Dennis Goodman

We welcome comments and suggestions from readers and ideas for future issues. Please send feedback to 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

Andrew McElwaine

As I watch the construction team hard at work around the Conservancy Nature Center, some amazing things are happening! Interactive exhibits are being assembled in our new Dalton Discovery Center. Recovery spaces are being installed in our new von Arx Wildlife Hospital. The new Allyn Family docks and gazebo at our lagoon are nearly complete - soon our electric boats and kayaks will be available for outings on the Gordon River. We will be phasing in different openings throughout 2012 and will keep our members and the public aware of this information via our website – – and e-newsletters. Your support to the successful Saving Southwest Florida campaign is about much more than new buildings and renovations. This campaign provides resources for scientists to research the critical environmental issues affecting the entire region. It provides support for our core programs – Science, Policy, Wildlife and Education – by strengthening our endowment. It has also allowed us to purchase the land needed for a new entrance to the Conservancy Nature Center, Smith Preserve Way. This created a protected habitat for a large population of gopher tortoises and will provide a connection to Gordon River Greenway Park. Please read through this newsletter - you will gain a greater understanding of the impact of your campaign gifts, memberships and annual support. Your generosity has strengthened our resolve and commitment to protecting our home in beautiful southwest Florida. Two examples of the work your gifts support include successfully resolving several growth management and water quality issues detailed within this newsletter. After many years of litigation, we have reached a settlement with the Mirasol developer in north Naples. Working in tandem with Audubon and other groups, we successfully reduced the size of this development and minimized its wetlands impact. One never wants to litigate, but this is what it sometimes takes to reach a reasonable compromise. Second, while most states have seen the number of polluted waterways decrease over the years, Florida has gone the other way. Rather than taking action, the state has asked EPA to let them change the Impaired Waters Rule and simply declare many of these waters to be clean, even if they aren’t. The Conservancy helped Florida Clean Water Network appeal the Rule and compel the EPA to give it rigorous oversight. The successful campaign is just the beginning. Your ongoing support will be needed to continue these efforts. After all, while the Nature Center may be temporarily closed, the work goes on, whether in the Wildlife Clinic, the science labs, the classroom or the court room. Best,


Andrew McElwaine


Annual Meeting with Fabien Cousteau New chair and board members elected. Outgoing board members honored. More than 700 members attended the Conservancy of Southwest Florida annual meeting in January sponsored by PNC. The keynote speaker was Fabien Cousteau, environmental activist and grandson of ocean explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau. Outgoing board members Edie Andrew, Jenny Cheng, Eva Sugden Gomez, Maureen Lerner, and Kermit Sutton were presented with service awards from Conservancy Chair Dolph von Arx and Conservancy President Andrew McElwaine. Co-Director of Environmental Science Dave Addison received a retirement award and Nick Batos, former Chairman of The Brooks Concerned Citizens, received a leadership award for mobilizing the community to protect critical wetlands from development. McElwaine quoted Yogi Berra as he presented

outgoing Chair Dolph von Arx with an autographed Yogi Berra baseball. “Yogi said ‘when you come to a fork in the road, take it.’ Throughout Dolph’s tenure, when it came to a fork in the road, he kept the destination in focus and led the way to exceed our highest goals,” said McElwaine.

Fabien Cousteau and Nick Batos

(L) Christian Davis, Therese Plaspohl, Fabien, Bob Saltarelli, Scott Hudson, Nicholas Ayotte (R) Outgoing board members Maureen Lerner, Kermit Sutton, Jennie Cheng and Edie Andrew. (Eva Sugden Gomez not in photo)

Board Members Elected Jane Pearsall and Jay Tompkins were elected to the Conservancy Board, joining Dennis C. Brown, Anne Drackett Thomas and Nancy White, who were added to the Board in summer 2011.

MEET THE NEW CHAIRMAN: Bob Heidrick After owning his own executive recruiting firm for more than 20 years, and spending 33 years in the industry, Bob Heidrick ultimately retired from internationally known Spencer Stuart as Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Spencer Stuart’s Global Industrial Practice. While there, he dedicated more than half of his time to conducting assignments for the firm’s Board Services Practice. Bob received the 2007 McGinley Award, given annually by Spencer Stuart to the partner who exemplified the firm’s spirit of delivering the highest level of service. In 2006, the worldwide Association of Executive Search Consultants named Bob the recipient of the Eleanor H. Reynolds Award, recognizing excellence in executive search with a strong commitment to volunteerism. Bob is also Vice Chairman of the Board at Rush University Medical Center and at the Glenwood School for Boys & Girls, both in Chicago. He currently chairs or has chaired the Nominating and Governance Committee for all three. Bob is also on the Board of the Forum Club of Southwest Florida. Bob and his wife, Raynelle, have been living in Naples since 1995. They have three adult children and two recently born twin grandsons. 3


Magic Generates Record $750,000 400 people celebrate our wild spaces

UNEXPECTED GUEST Injured pelican “visits” Patron Party. As guests arrived at Keewaydin Island to the Magic Under the Mangroves™ Patron Party celebration, an unexpected “guest” dropped in – a brown pelican! Dave Addison, Conservancy of Southwest Florida biologist, spotted the distressed pelican and investigated further, discovering that fishing line wrapped around its wing and its body prevented it from flying. With assistance from Ed Wilson and Conservancy team members Joanna Fitzgerald and David Webb, the team removed three hooks and other fishing line from various parts of the animal. Joanna took the pelican to the Conservancy Wildlife Hospital for further examination and noted that a toe on its right foot had been severely injured previously. After it gained some weight and strength, Conservancy veterinarian Dr. Rachel Goldfarb conducted surgery February 21 to remove a dead toe and so far the pelican is doing well. “Since Magic Under the Mangroves™ supports the Conservancy mission to protect our water, land and wildlife, some of the guests at the Magic Patron Party got to observe first-hand how their support benefits wildlife,” said Conservancy President Andrew McElwaine. 4

On March 8, 2012, Magic Under the Mangroves™, presented by Northern Trust, returned to its original site – the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center– where 400 guests helped raise a record $750,000 net income to support Conservancy programs. Conservancy Chair Bob Heidrick and John Fumagalli, Conservancy board member and president of the West Florida Region for Northern Trust, presented the 14 members of the Capital Campaign Cabinet with Eagle Awards for their exemplary leadership. The record-breaking event was chaired by Conservancy Board

member Jeannie Smith, with Linda Diaz as auction chair. SAVE THE DATE: March 7, 2013! Read more at

Village School third-grader Ashby Beckner assisted Conservancy Biologist Ian Bartoszek during “Tortoise Time” .

Conservancy board chair Bob Heidrick, NBC-2 Kellie Burns, Dolph von Arx. Moe Kent, Sue and Fred Schulte, and Lynne Shotwell celebrate Fred’s winning bid for the trip to a privately owned retreat in Costa Rica.

2012 Eagle Award presented to: (L to R) Patsy Schroeder, Lisa Merritt, Ian Wright, Dolph von Arx, Pamela C. Williams, Edith Andrew, John Hall, Lynne Shotwell and Gary Thomas on stage with Board Chair Bob Heidrick. (Winners not pictured: Sudie Geier, Gale Guild, Jane Pearsall, Nicholas G. Penniman, Tucker Tyler.) Current and former Magic Chairs (L to R) Jeannie Smith, Nancy White, Maureen Lerner and Sue Dalton.


Good Fortune II Christening Ceremony


W. Brooks Fortune Foundation, “Magic Under the Mangroves” provide funding.

The new Good Fortune II, a 35-passenger pontoon boat which offers enhanced eco-cruise experiences through Rookery Bay, was christened on February 16, 2012. The new boat replaces the original Good Fortune cruise boat and was made possible through a gift from the W. Brooks Fortune Foundation and proceeds from the “Float the Boat” live auction portion at the 2011 Magic Under the Mangroves™ fundraising event. Over the years, the W. Brooks

Fortune Foundation has given more than $170,000 to support environmental education at the Conservancy, as well as the Good Fortune program. Recently, the Conservancy received a three-year, $90,000 grant from the W. Brooks Fortune Foundation to help fund the Good Fortune II. Three Good Fortune II cruises run each day and it is also available for private charters. Special rates for Conservancy members. Call 262.403.4236 for information and reservations

(L to R) Len Zaiser IV and Rebecca Zaiser; Conservancy staffers Kelly Sowers, David Webb, President Andrew McElwaine, Captains Jim Pittman and Meade Sommers; Conservancy volunteers Judy Hushon and Carol Haberkorn; and Rob Moher toast the christening of the Good Fortune II. Coast Guard certified boat captains Meade Sommers and Jim Pittman at the helm for the inaugural launch of the Good Fortune II.

Written by Good Fortune II Coast Guard certified boat captain, Meade Sommers. The Good Fortune II is a mighty fine boat. In Rookery Bay, it’s the very best afloat. The passengers love the wide, friendly layout, With plenty of room to move about. The Conservancy loves the new passenger count, Which can mean a nice additional dollar amount. The naturalists have more people to tell, Of the wonders that hold us all in their spell. The captains love the new controls and power. We can run it with pleasure, hour after hour. The Coast Guard likes that there is less rock, And that in an emergency, we can quickly get back to the dock. So to all who are responsible for this great feat, The Good Fortune II captains and crew think you’re really quite neat.

Thank You! Float-the-Boat Donors Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Andrew Mrs. Lori Bassano Mr. and Mrs. H. Phillip Becker Mr. and Mrs. James Bordas Mr. and Mrs. Tim Brick Mr. and Mrs. Len Bunge Mr. and Mrs. Jorge Calleja Mr. and Mrs. John Clarke Ms. Janet Cone Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Cornog Mr. and Mrs. James P. Cottingham Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Daily Mr. and Mrs. William L. Dalton Cass and Linda Diaz Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. Dinardo Mr. and Mrs. Edwin H. Eaton, Jr. Mr. Curt C. Edwards

Ms. Kerry A. Edwards Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Ellis Mr. and Mrs. Tom Everist Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Fearon, Jr. Anonymous Mr. and Mrs. Aubrey J. Ferrao Mr. and Mrs. Terrence R. Flynn Mr. and Mrs. Joseph L. Fontana, Sr. Mr. and Mrs. Dave Frescoln Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey Goss Mr. Harry Grandis Mr. and Mrs. Tate Haire John and Donna Hall Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan C. Hamill Mr. and Mrs. Scot Hamilton Mr. Rufino Hernandez Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Hester

Mr. Daniel C. Hickey and Dr. Jill V. Hickey Mr. Andrew D.W. Hill and Dr. Susan M. Liberski Mr. and Mrs. William H. Hyland Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jerabek Mr. and Mrs. James D. Jessee Mr. and Mrs. Norman J. Klym Mr. and Mrs. James Knupp Dr. and Mrs. Stephen A. Kwedar Mr. and Mrs. John Landon Mr. and Mrs. Ken Lewis Ms. Shelley K. Lund Mr. and Mrs. Ted McNally Mr. and Mrs. J. William Meek Mrs. Robin Minch Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Parisi Mr. and Mrs. William M. Pearson

Mr. and Mrs. Bernard N. Portnoy Mr. Richard G. Prebish, II Mr. and Mrs. Tony Rodriguez Mr. and Mrs. Donald Sawin Patsy Schroeder Mrs. Nancy F. Seeley Mr. and Mrs. Christopher B. Smith Mr. and Mrs. Frederick P. Stratton, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Richard Sullivan Mr. and Mrs. Vito A. Suziedelis Mr. and Mrs. Stephen D. Teaford Gary L. and Sharen A. Thomas Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Trachtenberg Ms. Judith C. Tryka Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Victor Mr. and Mrs. Augusto Villalon

Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Webster, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Wheeler Mrs. Nancy G. White Mr. and Mrs. Keith Wickenden Myra and Van Zandt Williams, Jr. Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation Mr. and Mrs. J. Lawrence Wilson Ms. Sandra G. Wilson Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wilson, III Mr. and Mrs. Gene L. Windfeldt Mr. and Mrs. Tom Windfeldt Mr. and Mrs. John F. Wolfe Mr. and Mrs. Rodney I. Woods Mr. and Mrs. Lenoir E. Zaiser Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve



Membership Rewards

Special preview events for members only! SAVE THE DATE

October 26 – 28, 2012 Presented by Johnson Meland Group at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management

Progress at the Nature Center

As a member of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, you will be among the first to experience the new Nature Center before it opens to the public. We encourage you to check for the latest information on opening dates, as information frequently changes. We’ll be phasing in various openings throughout 2012. As renovations continue, members have exclusive opportunities at the Conservancy Nature Center to enjoy the following: • Electric boat rides for members departing from the new Allyn Family Docks.

• A sneak peek inside the von Arx Wildlife Hospital nursery and new Sapakie classroom. • A Nature Zone encounter, with resident baby alligators, snakes, touch tank and juvenile loggerhead sea turtle • A preview tour of the Dalton Discovery Center in advance of public opening. • Hands-on education programs every hour.

DALTON DISCOVERY CENTER Exhibits and panels are beginning to take shape.

GEOTHERMAL Local student Abraham Lowers met with Conservancy staffers Curtis Cafiso and David Webb to complete his report on geothermal systems. Ultimately, geothermal will run throughout the Nature Center and will save over 40 percent in air conditioning costs.


• Shopping in the Nature Store.

Once open for Phase I, members can explore the secrets of the Shotwell Wavering Filter Marsh and visit baby alligators in the Nature Zone.

There has never been a better time to join or renew your membership to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida! The enclosed membership envelope includes pricing and benefits - including FREE ADMISSION to Mote Marine Aquarium and more than 147 Nature Centers across the country and in Canada. For more information on our membership opportunities, call 239403-4207. You can join online at

Please check Conservancy Nature Center hours of operation at Members will also receive a postcard notification.


Creative Solution During renovations to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center, the Conservancy education team came up with a creative solution to reach 2,500 students in Collier and Lee Counties – rerouting field trips to the schools!


“While the Nature Center is undergoing renovations, we’ve taken our field trip programs directly to the schools,” said Conservancy Education Manager David Webb. “A natural learning lab existed right on the campuses of three middle schools. It certainly proved that

environmental challenges exist in our own backyard.” After creating spotting scopes and watching videos on invasive plants and wildlife, students were led to on-campus or nearby lakes and ponds to participate in ecofriendly scavenger hunts and outdoor games. In addition, they researched native and exotic plants, discovering many invasive plants and insects that existed on or near their school campus. Their research was science based, and involved taking measurements and documenting the types of species, incorporating math, science and technology into their lesson. In addition to education grants from Walmart for “Learning Adventures,” Francis P. Hayes, Wells Fargo and PNC Bank provided education grants for these field trips.

The education team has reached 2,636 students as a result of taking field trips to the school campuses while the Nature Center is closed.

Hands-On Exploration

Members commend Conservancy for swamp field trip.

Conservancy members Jim and Kitty Shaw joined Conservancy team members Ian Bartoszek and David Webb for a Picayune Strand field trip to witness the Everglades restoration. Their experience prompted this encourging letter: “Having been there when there was nothing but a man-made wasteland and seeing the progress toward making it the way it should be, gave us great encouragement. We thank the Conservancy and its associated groups for this critically worthwhile quest. If more people could participate in excursions like this, there would be little opposition to efforts to repair and preserve our environmental treasures. People just don’t understand the connection between preserving a habitat for one species and preserving our own habitat. Keep up the great work.”

Registration forms are available online at


A new juvenile loggerhead sea turtle has made its way to a temporary home inside the Conservancy Nature Zone. This sea turtle was born on Sanibel Island and was then transferred to the Florida Atlantic University lab at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton Florida. She was part of a study monitoring the ratio of males vs. females in a typical nest. (The sex of loggerheads is determined by the temperature variances in their nests.) Kelly Sowers, Conservancy Nature Center Supervisor, is anxious for the new Dalton Discovery Center to open. “This will be the first sea turtle that will get to use our new 5,000 gallon saltwater tank in the Dalton Discovery Center.



EYE on the ISSUES State Legislative Session Wrap Up: A Mixed Bag The Conservancy of Southwest Florida worked with our partners to stop many harmful pieces of legislation this past session. The most notable was the Fertilizer Preemption Bill, which would have removed many essential elements of existing effective fertilizer regulations put in place by local governments throughout Southwest Florida. We want to thank all the people who responded strongly to the e-alerts we sent out and supported our advocacy efforts. We also commend several Southwest Florida elected leaders, including Councilwoman Teresa Heitmann from Naples and Director of Natural Commissioner Ray Judah in Lee County, who went Resource Policy Jennifer to testify against the bill before the legislature. Hecker with Representative Matt Hudson in A relative bright spot was $8.3 million in the Tallahassee, lobbying State budget to the Florida Forever state land for increased Everglades acquisition program. While not the $15 million restoration funding. requested by the Governor or the $100 million in prior administrations, it does allow continuation of the program when lands important to water supply and wildlife can be purchased at record low market values. Additionally, the $30 million for Everglades restoration in the final budget, while shy of the $100 million plus in previous years, and the $40 million in the Governor’s budget, still provides critical funding support to allow restoration activities vital to enhancing South Florida’s environmental health and water supply.

Some bad bills did pass including: • Numeric Nutrients HB 7051: the state’s severely deficient nutrient pollution standards no longer need be ratified by the legislature. This speeds up sending the deficient standards to the US Environmental Protection Agency for review - in an attempt to preempt implementation of pending stronger, more effective federal nutrient pollution standards. • Septic Tank Pre-Emption HB 1263: eliminates the statewide septic tank inspection program and would restrict all local governments (except Jacksonville-Duval) from having septic tank programs that are more protective than state minimum standards. Since inadequately placed or maintained septics are a significant source of nutrient pollution, this will make it much more difficult and expensive for taxpayers at large to improve water quality.

2012 Session Environmental Scorecard GOOD Fertilizer Preemption Bill defeated $8.3 million in budget for state land acquisition $30 million in budget for Everglades restoration

BAD Deficient nutrient standards no longer need legislative review to preempt stronger Federal standards Septic tank inspections to protect water quality were defeated 8


EYE on the ISSUES Clean Water Win The Conservancy is one of six environmental partners in the Florida Water Coalition ( collaborating on a clean water campaign. The group’s efforts are focused on establishing a set of effective water quality standards to control the nutrient pollution fouling Florida’s waters. Nutrient pollution contributes to the unsightly and unsafe green algae blooms which threaten our health, tourism based economy, environment and our quality of life. The Coalition petitioned the U.S. “THIS RULING PUTS TO REST WHETHER THERE IS A NEED FOR MEASURABLE


- Conservancy Director of Natural Resource Policy Jennifer Hecker

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set such standards, after the state had failed to do so for 11 years. As a result of our petition, the EPA developed effective

numeric nutrient standards for most of Florida’s freshwaters. These standards are now the subject of immense opposition from every major polluting industry, as well as from the State of Florida. The State has sued EPA and is now proposing its own set of deficient standards. Recently, in response to the State and dozens of polluters suing EPA to challenge their finalized freshwater nutrient water quality standards, our Coalition went to federal court to defend the EPA standards. The result was a favorable ruling, where the judge upheld major elements of the EPA standards, including: • Numeric nutrient criteria are necessary for Florida waters to meet the Clean Water Act’s requirements. • EPA’s numeric pollution criteria for lakes and springs. • EPA’s decision to adopt numeric limits upstream in order to meet downstream limits.

• EPA’s downstream protection criteria for impaired lakes. • EPA’s decision to allow site specific alternative criteria and procedures for doing so. The Judge asked EPA to provide more scientific information to address some technical elements, but all in all, the ruling was a big win for cleaning up nutrient pollution and protecting clean water. Though the struggle for sufficiently protective and effective nutrient water quality standards continues, Conservancy Director of Natural Resource Policy Jennifer Hecker says, “This ruling puts to rest whether there is a need for measurable and enforceable standards for nutrient pollution. The Conservancy will continue to work with our partners to ensure that whatever standards are ultimately implemented are adequately protective to ensure our waters are safe for swimming and fishing once more.” S AV I N G




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



Legendary angler Roland Martin believes it takes clean water to make for great fishing. He has been the honorary chair of the Conservancy RedSnook Catch and Release Tournament. The 2012 Tournament is scheduled October 26-28 and helps support clean water programs and juvenile gamefish studies.

2011 C

s Repor t

Over 97% of Florida’s estuaries are not safe for swimming and/or fishing. Learn more on how to help in the 2011 Estuaries Report Card: www. 9



EYE on the ISSUES Limerock Mining IS Harmful to People and other Living Things

Judge’s order reinforces environmental protection.

After years of legal wrangling over the new plan to protect natural resources within Lee County’s Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource area (DR/GR,) an Administrative Law Judge ruled in February that the plan is in compliance with state law. In his Recommended Order, Judge Bram D.E. Canter opined that the mining interests that challenged the amendment did not provide sufficient proof that the amendment was contrary to state law. The judge ruled in favor of Lee County and the new DR/GR plan finding that: • • •

Limerock mining does adversely affect wildlife and residents. The area designed by the county for mining is sufficient. Appropriate data and analysis was used to generate the amendment.

This plan will direct mining to the Alico Road corridor and away from groundwater wells, conservation lands and rural residential areas. The amendment also provides for a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program. TDR transfers density from more sensitive lands 10

to lands more appropriate. The result will be vibrant and sustainable mixed-use communities located with direct access to major roadways, less intensive use on lands where density has been removed and protection of agriculture and natural resources. In late March, the state’s land planning agency concurred with Judge Canter and signed the Final Order. With the new amendments fully in effect, proposed projects in the DR/GR will gain approval only if they are consistent with the amendments. The Conservancy was one of the organizations that intervened on behalf of Lee County to support the new DR/GR plan. According to Conservancy Director of Governmental Relations Nicole Johnson, “The judge’s decision confirms that Lee County has the authority to create plans that direct incompatible land uses to appropriate locations. Lee County’s innovative techniques, such as TDRs, encourage sustainable new communities. We commend Lee County for their vision to plan for the future of the DR/GR and the courage to successfully defend this plan in the court of law.”

Trading Citrus for Limerock Not a good idea for rural residents or the environment.

The Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) is considered to be Southwest Florida’s largest undisturbed watershed, providing wildlife habitat, water storage, groundwater recharge, habitat protection and exceptional public recreation opportunities. CREW spans both Collier and Lee Counties - each local government has invested significant resources to CREW acquisition. However, acquisition of land is only the first step in maintaining the integrity of the watershed. Ensuring appropriate compatible land uses adjacent to CREW is also critical. Currently, there is a proposal to convert 1,382 acres from citrus grove to limerock mining, directly across the street from CREW lands. The Conservancy believes this mine is incompatible with the valuable conservation lands and its potential negative impacts to adjacent rural residential neighborhoods. The mine also poses potential impacts to Lee County’s DR/GR, located directly west of the site. According to Conservancy Director of Governmental Relations Nicole Johnson, “Mining, by its very nature, impacts surrounding land uses. Such impacts go far beyond the project site itself, reverberating through adjacent neighborhoods and wreaking havoc on local roads.” Johnson continued, “Residents will be impacted by dust, noise and light pollution. Dust, noise and light pollution from this heavy industrial use are felt by residents living in close proximity, and residents that live along a mine’s haul route are plagued by safety concerns inherent in sharing the roadway with industrial trucks that are paid by the truckload.” Florida panthers cross Corkscrew Road to access conservation lands continued on page 15



Celebrating people, places, events of note. TV Stars

Conservancy of Southwest Florida team members David Webb, Nikkie Dvorchak, Lily Mleczko and the red tailed hawk joined FOX-4’s “Morning Blend” hosts Carly Wegner and Bill Wood (center) to promote the April 21 Earth Day Festival and Summer Camps. The segment was taped at Mercado on March 22.

Walmart Supports Education The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has received a $50,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to support its educational programs, “Learning Adventures.” This grant is the second year that Walmart has supported Conservancy education initiatives, with support totaling more than $80,000 to develop the next generation of environmental leaders in Lee and Collier Counties.

Going Green The newly constructed maintenance facility was awarded with LEED Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC.) Five other buildings are still under renovation or construction and are awaiting certifications. LEED, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The Conservancy “green team” includes Conservancy of Southwest Florida scientists, naturalists and other staff, Cambridge 7 Associates, Heatherwood Construction, Hole Montes, Keith Predmore Consulting/Neugreen LLC, L-Architecture, and JALRW Engineering Group. The late Larry Warner served as the original lead architect.

Lake Park Elementary School fifth grade students Christian Wright and Connor McIntire; back left to right: Javier Brenes, Walmart market manager; David Webb, Conservancy education manager; Larry Graham, co-manager of Walmart store #5391;and Rob Moher, Conservancy vice president of development and marketing.

FREE! The loggerhead formerly residing in the old Discovery Center was released in early April after “outgrowing” its tanks at MOTE Marine Aquarium and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

Improving Wildlife Care

Project Learning Tree

The Conservancy education team recently completed a workshop to update them on a variety of nationally-recognized methods for environmental education. The session was facilitated by Dr. Marguerite Forest, FGCU/Conservancy liaison, funded by a generous gift from Edie and Ed Andrew to the “Saving Southwest Florida” campaign.

Three members of the Wildlife Clinic team, Dr. Rachel Goldfarb, Jonee Miller and Ana Sosa just attended the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association Annual Conference where they learned the latest in wildlife rehab techniques and research. Wildlife Clinic Director Joanna Fitzgerald attended a Wildlife Forensic Workshop where she learned and practiced various forensic techniques. Workshops such as these are critical to enhancing wildlife care and are made possible by generous donors to “Fund-a-Need” at Magic Under the Mangroves™. 11


Spring has Sprung 2012 Conservancy of Southwest Florida

An easy way to support the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Wildlife Clinic!

Babies galore arriving at the Wildlife Clinic. Spring is the time of year when a variety of birds and mammals are raising their young and injured, sick and orphaned “babies” are arriving at the doorstep of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Wildlife Clinic for help. “Sometimes well-meaning rescuers actually bring in animals that are healthy,” according to Joanna Fitzgerald, Wildlife Clinic director. “For many people, the pleasure of seeing these young creatures is mixed with wanting to help them survive.” Since it’s best if the youngsters are raised by their parents, Fitzgerald offers some tips on discerning if a “baby” needs help. 1. Nestlings are baby birds that are too young to be out of the nest. If the nest is intact, gently place the bird back inside. It is not true that a “parent” will reject a baby if it was touched by a human. 2. Observe the baby animal from a distance before taking action.

Dine at participating restaurants using special “Dining for Wildlife” certificates on select dates between April 22 – May 17, 2012. 50 percent of all certificate purchases support wildlife. Questions? Email or call the Dining for Wildlife hotline 239.325.2666


3. If the animal is healthy and alert, it most likely is not orphaned. Even small young animals are often independent enough to fend for themselves. 4. M any wildlife parents leave their young alone during the day, sometimes for long periods. 5. Never attempt to feed or offer water to a baby wild animal. It can be detrimental to the animal and unsafe to the person involved. 6. Do not attempt to raise a baby wild animal. Wildlife need special diets and care provided by trained animal rehabilitators. 7. Always call the Conservancy Wildlife Clinic before intervening. Our team can assess the situation over the phone and determine the best course of action. 239.262.CARE.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE Volunteers from United Parcel Service (UPS) Naples Delivery Center help distribute 22 tons of fossil rock used as substrate in the outdoor recovery enclosures at the Conservancy Wildlife Clinic. The rock was donated by Superior Stone. Thank you!


The Deal with Dredging

Clam Pass: why, when and how much? Nature creates designs with curves that constantly change shape. Humans tend to prefer designs with straight lines that stay put. Understandably, these two forces can sometimes compete against each other, when they should work together. The constant changes to Clam Pass from shifting currents, wind, waves and storms contribute to the Pass filling in. Historically, Clam Pass moved around. It would close up in one area and blowout and create a new pass in another. Sand sometimes even built up enough to create islands (Figures 1 and 2). Today, attempts are made to corral nature and keep Clam Pass in one place. However, nature doesn’t always read the memo, so dredging becomes necessary to keep the Pass open. The 1999 Clam Bay Restoration Permit that allowed Clam Pass to be dredged periodically has expired and Collier County has applied for a new permit. While everyone agrees the Pass needs to be kept open, disagreements have risen on the dredge cut design and when to dredge.

Clam Pass contains multiple wildlife and provides habitat for marine life.

The County requested an 80 foot entrance cut, which makes little sense. The Pass will try to get back to its natural width of around 40 feet. Working with nature makes more sense - dredge a narrower template, such as performed in 2002, which worked just fine. Conservancy of Southwest Florida Science Co-Director Kathy Worley advises, “The objective of inlet maintenance should be to sustain and improve environmental resources.” Worley continued, “Dredging removes bottom dwelling creatures, which are an important part of the food chain, along with the sand. While these populations recover over time they will not reach their full potential - especially in Figure 1: Clam Pass area 1953. Note the positions of the items shown by the arrows. Figure 2: Clam Pass area areas like Clam Pass that 1995. Note the changes that have occurred. are dredged repeatedly. Therefore, removal of the the health of Clam Bay waterways least amount of sand needand the mangrove forest are at risk ed to keep the pass open is better of impairment. What we want to for the overall health of the estuary prevent is a knee-jerk reaction to not to mention our pocketbooks.” dredge based on changes in hydrolAccording to the County’s permit, ogy that nature could correct. the decision of Prior to dredging Clam Pass, ask when to dredge the following questions: is vague and 1. Is dredging absolutely based on hydronecessary to prevent further logic conditions. ecological damage within Dredging should the estuary? occur when the 2. Do benefits of dredging water exchange outweigh detriments? between the Gulf Worley summarizes, “Think of and the Clam three Ls: dredge the least amount Bay system is of sand, the least number of times, reduced to the for the least cost.” point where 13


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

With summer soon upon us, some of you will be heading to points north and cooler (really?) weather. Please encourage your friends, neighbors and acquaintances to volunteer so the Conservancy can continue to run at full speed. Once the new entrance opens from GoodletteFrank Road, Smith Preserve Way, we anticipate many new visitors to the Nature Center throughout the summer. In preparation for reopening, we encourage each Volunteer Coordinator to have a co-coordinator to share the work and be there should you decide to retire your position. Also, taking part in the monthly volunteer orientation classes will entice new volunteers to join your team – an important step in building up your teams to handle increased volunteer opportunities and duties. Because of the delay in opening, we are extending the deadline for volunteers to wear the new uniform shirts sporting the official Conservancy logo. If you’re not already wearing the new shirts, please do so by January 2013. Have a wonderful summer! For those heading north, we’ll see you in the fall. We thank our fulltime volunteers for their continued dedication during the summer – we really need you! By the way, if you’re reading this and you’re not a volunteer, please consider joining the team! Applications are available on line at or by contacting JoAnn at 14

Volunteer TIDBITS Newcomers to the Rescue

Kite in the Air

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida was in desperate need of towels for the Wildlife Clinic. Volunteer Cathie Williams, who is also president of the Naples Newcomers Club, mobilized her club members, filling her SUV with hundreds of new and gently used towels! Conservancy of Southwest Florida intern, Sarah Leong, happily transports the mountain of donated towels to the Wildlife Clinic.

While volunteering at the Conservancy Nature Center, Susan Leach Snyder captured this photo of a swallow-tailed kite. If you look closely, you can see the frog it just captured dangling from its claw.

Nimble Fingers Longtime Nature Store volunteer, Joan Stacy waited until she retired to begin quilting. In 1992 she took adult education classes in the Buffalo, NY area and now belongs to the Naples Quilters Guild where she has won several 1st Place Ribbons for her beautiful, and often intricate, creations. You can see Joan’s creations when the Guild holds its next annual show early in 2013.

Hiker Extraordinaire Ed Selby has been a Clam Pass guide since 2004 and served as coordinator from 2005-2008. He’s a hiking enthusiast having logged over 12,300 solo miles, most notably on the entire Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Coast Trail from Mexico to Canada, and the Florida Loop Trail from the Everglades to the tip of Pensacola Beach.

Calendar Events VOLUNTEER FORUMS: Resume in November. THE VOLUNTEER CONNECTION MEETINGS: 3rd Friday of the month. May 18th. Will resume in October.


Volunteers of the Month February 2012 Jim Murray

March 2012 Nancy Ferguson Seeley

April 2012 Sally G. Lam

Jim has ties to the Conservancy dating back to the 1970s. His parents worked as Conservancy volunteers helping on the first parts of Everglades restoration. They made calls to landowners, asking them to sell back their property in Golden Gate Estates to the State for conservation purposes. Currently Jim serves as a Boat Captain, is part of the electric boat maintenance team, is Vice President of the Volunteer Connection and on the Election Corps.

Nancy has ties to the Conservancy dating back over 20 years when her mother, Mildred Ferguson, was an early contributor and volunteered in the Discovery Center. Nancy began volunteering as a Docent in the Discovery Center, participated in many special events, was a member of the 2009 Magic Committee, and is currently a dock master for our electric boat program.

Sally began her Conservancy volunteer career in the Discovery Center in 2003, working every Monday afternoon. When the Discovery Center closed last summer for renovations, she joined the Wildlife Clinic team on Mondays and soon added Saturdays. She has also served aboard the Sweet Liberty and many special events including: the Jason Project, Magic Under the Mangroves, Dining for Wildlife and Earth Day.

New Employees Jeremy Frantz Jeremy holds a B.A. in Religious Studies and a B.S. in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in policy and planning from the University of Central Florida where he graduated in 2010. His areas of interest included bioregionalism and sustainability issues. He began working for the Conservancy as a Policy Intern in March of 2011 and has been hired as an Environmental Policy Specialist, responsible for reviewing growth management issues, mining issues and promoting conservation efforts in the Estero Bay Watershed.

Rachel Miner

Trading Citrus for Limrock continues from page 10 north and south of the road. Such panther activity makes this road incompatible for heavy truck traffic from mines. In March, the Collier County Planning Commission recommended denial of this mine to the Board of County Commissioners, based on incompatibility with surrounding land uses, including CREW. The Conservancy applauds the Planning Commission’s recommendation, and we will continue to actively oppose Lost Grove Mine as it proceeds to public hearing at the County Commission.

Rachel is a graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University where she received her B.A. in Marine Science with a minor in Biology. After graduating, she received her teaching certification and taught science in the public school system. Rachel has recently gained experience in animal care, sea turtle research, and summer camp programs. As a Conservancy Naturalist, Rachel focuses on educational outreach and classroom programs.


Jeannette Wright

Christine Olmeda Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

As a Pacific Northwest native, Jeannette is passionate about the environment and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. She has a B.S. in business management/marketing from Hodges University and brings over 17 years of marketing and retail experience, including launching a 10,000 Islands catamaran tour from Marco Island. Jeannette is a seasonal employee, working as the Good Fortune II Program Sales Associate. Her goal is to make this eco-cruise a “must do” attraction for all.

Environmental Science

Wildlife Rehabilitation

Shalini Babu University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA Jessica Paolello Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA Lauren Telban University of Tampa, Tampa, FL


WILL OUR SEA TURTLES SURVIVE? 1450 Merrihue Dr. Naples, FL 34102

You can help at

Absolutely Aquatic

A fun exploration of our local aquatic and marine habitats! Campers discover how filter marshes provide clean water, what it’s like to care for our loggerhead sea turtle and other ocean creatures, and help design personal aquatic exhibits of their own. Includes field trips to some of Naples’ beautiful beaches, swamps and sloughs in search of some absolutely exciting aquatic adventures. Dive into our own aquatic backyard and study Gulf and fresh water ecosystems.

Nature Explorers

For registration information, visit or call 239.262.0304 Ext. 266 Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Join our experienced team and help protect our water, land, wildlife, and future every day! Our camp participants will experience life as a junior naturalist. How do we care for the amazing animals at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida? What goes on behind the scenes at our von Arx Wildlife Hospital? Campers learn these skills and more with field trips into the wilds of Florida to see the unique ecosystems that make Florida such a remarkable place.

An easy way to support the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Wildlife Clinic! See details on page 12

2012 Spring Newsletter (Single Page Format)  

Read more about the work at the Conservancy with our spring newsletter!

2012 Spring Newsletter (Single Page Format)  

Read more about the work at the Conservancy with our spring newsletter!