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Winter 2011

D e d i c at e d

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2012 Activities Book

membership 4 New benefits and rewards.


Grant Awarded


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Florida’s Water at Risk

2011 not a good year for clean water.

Across Florida, certain algae produce toxins that can kill fish and cause human illness. They also discolor water and form smelly piles on beaches, lowering real estate Values and tourism revenues.

Algae blooms and fish kills have spread across Florida while agencies and legislative leaders backpedaled, undermining quantifiable pollution limits and weakening water quality standards. Nutrient pollution rules known as “numeric nutrient criteria” and the threat of changes to our region’s swimmable/ fishable water quality are in the limelight. Florida has failed to set quantifiable limits on the amount of phosphorous and nitrogen (nutrient) pollution allowed into our waterways. The current standards are vague and mostly unenforceable. The sewage, fertilizer, and other nutrient pollution that fuel algae blooms and fish kills continue to spill from a host of industries including phosphate production, paper and pulp, wastewater utilities, and agriculture. Those industries, in a rush to beat a federal deadline for enforceable nutrient pollution standards, have mounted a threepronged assault to defeat them: litigation, legislative interference and promoting weak, alternate standards. In

case those do not work, they have a fourth strategy as an end run --changing the designated use of a water body to lower pollution standards. The struggle to limit nutrient pollution is a historic moment in Florida’s history. At stake is the future of our water resources, the waters we rely upon for a robust economy and for our quality of life. The 2012 state legislative session will address proposals to privatize water and dramatically re-write 40 years of water quality rules. Our health, tourism, property values and economy are at stake. “With your ongoing support, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida can continue to be a leader, protecting water resources regionally and state-wide,” said Conservancy President Andrew McElwaine. “Our waters must remain a public resource that is protected for future generations.” Please follow this issue on our website and sign up for Action Alerts at Read more about “Water at Risk” on page 8.


Message from the President directors

Chairman Dolph von Arx Vice Chairman Andrew D.W. Hill President & CEO Andrew McElwaine Treasurer George Gibson Secretary Sue Dalton BOARD of directors Dawn Allyn Edith G. Andrew Wilson G. Bradshaw Dennis C. Brown Jennifer Cheng Ted Corbin Paul Corddry John D. Fumagalli John Hall Robert L. Heidrick Lois Kelley Kenneth Krier Maureen Lerner

Lisa Merritt Patsy Schroeder Lynne Shotwell Lynn Slabaugh Jeannie M. Smith Kermit Sutton Anne Drackett Thomas Jay Tompkins Tuck Tyler Nancy G. White Gene Windfeldt Ian Wright

Update is published by the Conservancy Marketing and Communications team.

RedSnook Reels in $110,000 Supports clean water and more fish. Andrew McElwaine

It was Yogi Berra who coined the phrase “It isn’t over ‘til it’s over.” When I am out in the community, people often stop me and ask when the new Conservancy Nature Center is opening. We share the excitement of our members, supporters and our entire community. The new facilities will be opened in stages throughout 2012. Much of this information is included in the Activities book insert, so I encourage you to read it. Separately, our Board members Jeannie Smith, Nancy White, Sue Dalton and Maureen Lerner have been busy planning a Nature Center grand reopening celebration. That event is set for November of 2012. Stay tuned for more news! The successful $38.8 million capital campaign supports more than new changes to the Conservancy Nature Center campus. Our friends and donors went above and beyond by nearly doubling our endowment for our Policy, Science, Education and Wildlife programs, increased our ability to work on ever-growing environmental issues --- especially water quality --and allowed us to purchase and protect many acres of land. We are genuinely excited about the upcoming season --- but there is no “off season” here at the Conservancy. We thank you for making our work over summer and fall possible and for giving us the resources to protect our water, land and wildlife. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Sincerely,

Marketing Director & Editor Barbara J. Wilson

Forty-five teams participated in the 2011 RedSnook Catch & Release Charity Tournament Oct. 21-23, generating a record $110,000 to support the Conservancy of Southwest Florida water quality protection and estuary and juvenile game fish initiatives. “We are appreciative of the level of support provided by the community --- the anglers, guides, sponsors, donors, the co-chairs Wayne Meland and Lloyd Liggett and the RedSnook Committee,” said Conservancy President Andrew McElwaine. Although not able to attend the event due to a previous commitment, Roland Martin, legendary angler and television host of the “Fishing with Roland Martin Show,” was honorary chair of the Tournament for the fifth consecutive year. Tournament Co-Chair Wayne Meland explained his reason for supporting the event. “The tournament has helped the angling community better understand the role the Conservancy plays in keeping our

waters and our fisheries healthy.” “More sponsors supported the tournament than ever before and the united forces and energy of all the people involved helped make this event a huge success,” stated Lloyd Liggett, Tournament Co-Chair. The presenting sponsor of the Tournament was The Johnson Meland Group of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Northern Trust and Naples Yacht Club were cosponsors. Century Link was the apparel sponsor with Arthrex sponsoring the angler awards. Other generous sponsors included RGM Capital, Comcast, Betty Maclean Travel, Naples Harbour Yacht Club, Florida Weekly, CRS Technologies, Heatherwood Construction, Outback Steakhouse, Whole Foods and SW Technology. Allen Systems group sponsored the “Stars and Stripes” team of servicemen Dustin Chisum, Corey James, Matthew Badger and Dario Henaro.

Event winners, photos and more are available at www.conservancy. org/redsnook.

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


presents Conservancy of Southwest Florida

RedSnook Top Winners Guided Bait: William Sullivan and Chris Crossin guided by Capt. Bruce Jackmack Unguided Bait: Larry Birt and Robbie Biles (No photo) Guided Artificial Bait: Keith Sullivan and Andrew Dolwick guided by Capt. Bill Faulkner Unguided Artificial: Jeff Ball and Derek Pruitt Fly: Aaron Adams and Steve Leisman guided by Capt. Kevin Mihailoff

Supporting Next-Generation Environmental Leaders Edward and Edith “Edie’’ Andrew, part-time Naples residents and long-time Conservancy supporters, fund a unique environmental education partnership between the Conservancy and Florida Edie & Ed Andrew Gulf Coast University (FGCU.) Their capital campaign leadership gift seeds an endowment to support the appointment of Dr. Marguerite Forest, a professor of environmental science at FGCU, with a joint appointment to the Conservancy. The program helps identify and coordinate “K to Gray” environmental education programs and identifies opportunities to provide better programming and environmental education access across the region. “Our land, water and wildlife are endangered in Southwest Florida,” says Edie Andrew. “If not protected, all could be wiped away if we don’t do our part. Teaching more students about our environment helps prepare them to make a difference for tomorrow.”

The Johnson Meland Group at

First place Guided Bait division: Angler Chris Crossin, Guide Bruce Jackmack, angler Bill Sullivan.

First place Unguided Artificial Bait: Angler Derek Pruitt, Co-Chair Lloyd Liggett, angler Jeff Ball.

Largest Snook: Alex Cabada guided by Capt. Vince Hemingway (41 inches.) Largest Redfish: Bruce Botts guided by Capt. Pete Root (28 inches.) Top Female Angler: Jessica Williams Top Junior Angler: Alex Zaiser guided by Capt. Roan Zumfelde

First place Fly Division: Guide Capt. Kevin Mihailoff, Co-Chair Lloyd Liggett, angler Dr. Aaron Adams. (Angler Steve Leisman not in photo.)

First place Guided Artificial Bait: Co-Chair Wayne Meland, anglers Andrew Dolwick, Guide Capt. Bill Faulkner, Co-Chair Lloyd Liggett and angler Keith Sullivan.

Top Corporate Team: Florida Weekly, (Jessica Williams and Sandy Wait guided by Capt. Joey Benko)




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Membership Rates & Benefits


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Introductory Special Join/renew before March 1, 2012.




Membership has its rewards. Join TODAY!

Free admission to Conservancy Nature Center: 2 Adults and 4 children (under 18.)

Free admission and other deals at participating nature centers across the country and at Mote Marine.

Members-only early admission with free coffee and early boat ride sign-up.

As a Conservancy member, you’ll enjoy over $450 in savings to programs and events, more value than ever from you membership investment…and incentives for upgrading your support.

10% discount in Nature Store.

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Advanced boat ride reservations.

Member reception and presentation with program director.

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Complimentary tickets for select special events each year.

Behind-the-scenes tour of Conservancy.

Gordon Campbell

• New levels • Expanded nature experiences • More benefits

Jim Bigelow

• Greater value • New attractions • Save the environment

Become a member of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and join the thousands of Southwest Florida residents who believe our natural treasures are here to be enjoyed --- and preserved for future generations. Join today and experience the wonderful new benefits of membership while you help protect the water, land and wildlife of the region. When you become a member today, you’ll enjoy the newly renovated Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center campus with over 21 acres of nature adventures --- more than ever before and free all year round for members only! The new Conservancy Nature Center will be one of the preeminent centers in the entire southeastern United States! You can renew or join today at current rates --- and receive all the enhanced benefits right away. This special offer is available only before March 1, 2012! This is a great time to upgrade your membership


Conservancy publications and e-news. Advance notice and discounts for Conservancy programs, including Summer Camp. Free admission for additional guests with each visit. Complimentary guest passes.

Recognition in Annual Report. Complimentary tickets for a select lecture.




Conservancy Club Members receive special “insider” perks and benefits.

Invitations to select private events, including “Magic Under the Mangroves.”

Complimentary invitation to Annual Recognition event.

Show your strong support and upgrade to the Conservancy Leadership Circle. Membership to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Leadership Circle begins at $1,500 and distinguishes you as a key supporter of the Conservancy mission. For information regarding levels of support and related benefits, contact Christine Kruman at 239-403-4206 or christinek@ Live out of the area? You can always become a “Friend of the Conservancy” for only $40. You’ll receive all Conservancy publications, membership decal and two guest passes to the Conservancy Nature Center.


Development & Marketing

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

Planning Ahead

Juan Bendeck

Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP

Steve Benson

Palm Coast Financial Group

Robert DiBenedetto LarsonAllen Preston Came Northern Trust Company

David L. Fenelon David L. Fenelon CPA, P.A.

John D. Gast

Brennan, Manna & Diamond

Karen R. Gudknecht, CFP®

Key Private Bank

Shane David Hall

Conservancy Chairman Dolph von Arx announced that the prestigious Conservancy Eagle Award for 2012 will be presented to the Capital Campaign Cabinet at Magic Under the Mangroves™ for their outstanding commitment to protecting our natural environment through their relentless efforts to raise over $38 million for the capital campaign. L to R seated: Patsy Schroeder, Jane Pearsall, Edie Andrew. L to R standing: Ian Wright, Andrew McElwaine, Gary Thomas, Lynne Shotwell, Tuck Tyler, Nick Penniman, Dolph von Arx, Lisa Merritt, John Hall. Not in photo: Sudie Geier, Gale Guild, Pamela C. Williams

Kim Ciccarelli Kantor, CFP® CAP™ Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc.

Kenneth D. Krier

Cummings & Christopher P. Bray Lockwood Willow Street Robert D.W. Advisors, LLC Landon, II Dunwody, White & T. Robert Bulloch Landon, P.A. Quarles & Brady LLP

2012 Eagle Award Winners Announced

David J. Slenn Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

Annual Members Meeting January 17, 2012 Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Includes Board Elections, Board of Directors’ annual report to the members and special guest speaker, Fabien Cousteau

William Slepcevich

Slepcevich Financial Group

Heidi ColgateTamblyn SunTrust Bank

Charles White

Fifth Third Bank

Keith Wickenden Grant Fridkin Pearson Athan & Crown P.A.

Fabien Cousteau has followed his grandfather’s (JacquesYves Cousteau) footsteps of ocean exploration and protecting our endangered marine habitats. A strong environmental advocate, Mr. Cousteau will share his work and passion for the environment through his presentation, “The Great Ocean Adventure.” Please RSVP before January 2, 2012 to Anita Landry Burress: 239.403.4209 or

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Each member household is permitted to reserve two seats as seating is limited.


Sponsored by

Lee expansion will reach 1,500 more students. Dennis Goodman

Leaving a legacy emphasizes your commitment to protect Southwest Florida. A planned gift can help you achieve your philanthropic goals, take advantage of many benefits, and help secure the future of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The process takes a little planning, and the Planned Giving Committee is a team of local financial and legal experts who can lend their expertise to help educate and assist you and your advisors to create a planned gift. These individuals and their affiliated companies also sponsor the annual Eagle Society Luncheon. Learn more about how you can leave a legacy and the many benefits involved by contacting Christine Kruman, director of major and planned gifts at 239-403-4206 or

Education grows

All NEW Good Fortune II Breathtaking eco-cruise through Rookery Bay on the NEW Good Fortune II.

Thanks to a generous gift from the Fortune Family Foundation and an excellent response to the “Float the Boat” challenge from Magic Under the Mangroves™ 2011 guests, the new Good Fortune II will soon be launching its 2012 season. This pontoon boat offers greater capacity, better seating and more cruise selections. Two hour eco-tours with a Coast Guard-certified captain and volunteer guide venture through the mangrove-lined channels of Rookery Bay, one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. Assorted wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds and many threatened and endangered animals, thrive in this unique environment --pelicans, eagles, wading birds and perhaps even dolphins! This is a great option for private charters for that special occasion and when friends and family come to visit.

Call 239.403.4236 to reserve your cruise today. Choose from three daily cruises. Dates and information is available in the Activities book and on www.conservancy. org. And, of course, Conservancy members enjoy special discounted rates and savings.

Boys & Girls Club Partnership Expands Nature Learning. 95% of the Boys and Girls Club students participating in Conservancy environmental educaation programs had never visited the beach --- despite living only miles away. The Conservancy is expanding its after-school programming and is now serving up to 500 students through the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County. In addition to field trips to the Conservancy Nature Center campus, the Conservancy education team is also guiding students through local parks and providing them with a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is growing its school educational program, “Learning Adventures,” to reach more students across Southwest Florida during the 2011-2012 school year. This venture is made possible by a major increase in funding by the Walmart Foundation and grants from Bank of America and The Southwest Florida Community Foundation. David Webb, education manager at the Conservancy said, “These grants enable us to reach more than 1,500 new students, exposing them to our mission and igniting their interest in environmental education.” Age-appropriate educational activities focus on land, water and wildlife and reflect the mission of the Conservancy.

Well Done! Kelly Sowers had been promoted to Conservancy Nature Center supervisor. In her new role, Sowers oversees Nature Center exhibits and works closely with volunteers on education programs. Kelly is developing crreative hands-on activities to bring a whole new dimension to the visitor experience. 7

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

Rick Solvesson

EYE on the ISSUES Water at Risk: Strategies

Opponents deploying enormous resources to fight water quality.

Polluted waters are a threat to our health, our property values, our economy and our quality of life. Yet, industries and those opposed to clean water have mounted a three-prong assault to fight efforts to limit the pollution in our waters, known as numeric nutrient water quality standards. 1. Litigation Industries are utilizing litigation to overturn the legal agreement between the Conservancy, other groups and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) This agreement required EPA to set deadlines to enact nutrient standards to comply with the federal Clean Water Act. The Conservancy and others have defeated legal challenges to date, but continue to face numerous legal challenges from these polluters. 2. Legislative Interference Secondly, the industries hired dozens of lobbyists, lawyers, public relations specialists and political action committees to gain political support at both the state and federal levels. As a result, several legislative earmarks have appeared, trying to quash EPA funding for the development and implementation of these standards. The Conservancy and its partners have been successful in stopping them, but the growing political pressure is likely to lead to more. 8

3. Proposing New Standards The industries have also convinced the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to create alternate nutrient pollution standards more to their liking. These DEP “faux” nutrient pollution standards would use similar numbers to the EPA. However, nutrient levels could be routinely exceeded without consequence – rendering them useless for protecting and improving water quality. Since the Conservancy has been successful in making some, but not all, of the changes necessary to make these regulations acceptable, we have joined other environmental groups in filing a legal administrative challenge to improve the rule. According to Conservancy Director of Natural Resource Policy Jennifer Hecker, “Clean water is the cornerstone of our economy and quality of life. We will continue to advocate for the reduction of nutrient pollution levels until our waters are safe for swimming and fishing once more.”

An End-Run Alternate way to downgrade the pollution limits in our waterbodies. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has also created an end-run around any proposed nutrient standards. DEP proposed new rules that lower the designated use of a water body. A water body designated for “full recreation” (swimming and fishing) use requires greater pollution protection than one designated as “limited recreation.” (fishing but no swimming.) (Although why DEP thinks anyone would want to eat a fish caught from waters where it was not safe to swim defies imagination.) Since most of Florida’s waterbodies are currently designed to support “full recreation,” downgrading them to “limited recreation” will also eliminate any need to meet proposed nutrient pollution limits. Florida DEP’s action requires EPA approval. The Conservancy helped persuade EPA to hold off on approving the measure, delaying it for over a year and a half. Over that time, however, more political pressure has been exerted and the EPA recently approved the lower designations, leaving the Conservancy and a handful of other groups no choice but to now challenge EPA’s decision.

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

EYE on the ISSUES Opposition Mounts to Proposed Mine in Eastern Collier County Shared concerns about our water, road safety, wildlife and neighborhoods.

Concerns about the Lost Grove Mine include core safety and quality of life issues. 1. Water, wildlife and people.

Many Lee and Collier County residents have joined the Conservancy in voicing opposition to the Lost Grove Mine, proposed for 1,382 acres between SR82 and Corkscrew Road, adjacent to Lee County. The mine is located adjacent to the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW,) the largest intact watershed in southwest Florida. Crew lands provide southwest Floridians aquifer recharge for our drinking water, natural flood protection, water purification, wildlife habitat and a beautiful space for public recreation. According to Nicole Johnson, Conservancy director of governmental relations, “Mining is, by its very nature, an extremely intensive land use. Its impacts extend far beyond the project site itself and reverberate through adjacent rural neighborhoods, wreaking havoc on local road networks and negatively affecting natural resources.”

CREW lands were purchased for the purpose of wetland protection. There are still outstanding concerns about the mine’s impacts of surface and groundwater resources, along with potential negative impacts to the wildlife that utilize the CREW lands and the visitors that enjoy recreational opportunities on the CREW trail system. These questions have yet to be sufficiently answered. Additionally, based on panther telemetry, the Lost Grove Mine site is heavily utilized by the Florida panther and this mine would directly impact both primary and secondary panther habitat.

2. Disrupting nearby neighborhoods.

The mine is located adjacent to hundreds of rural residences and is proposing to excavate within 350 feet of residential structures. This creates concerns about impacts from blasting, lighting, noise and impacts to private wells.

3. Over 400,000 additional trucks on the road annually.

The majority of the mine’s traffic would be sent into Lee County on Corkscrew Road and SR82. Such traffic on Corkscrew Road in Lee County is problematic. This road bisects a major Florida panther travel corridor and would add close to 41,000 truck trips per year on this road that currently is not used to access any lime rock mines. Directing the traffic into Lee County on SR82 would allow for over 245,000 trucks on this road, which is already congested to the point of operating below its required “Level of Service Standard.”

Lee County is so concerned about this mine that their Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to oppose the mine during the Collier County hearing process, which is ongoing. 9

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

Conservancy happenings


The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is taking an active role in monitoring Florida panther populations and their prey.


Celebrating people, places, events of note. Planning Ahead

Coexisting with Panthers

Heartland Parkway A recipe for sprawl.

In August of this year, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Anath Prasad announced his intention to fast track the Future Corridors Action Plan which was developed in 2006. This plan identifies five existing study areas and nine study areas where FDOT should work with partners to explore improving or building roadways. One of those nine study areas is the Heartland Parkway. The Heartland Parkway is a proposed toll road that would run approximately 110–150 miles, begin in Polk County, run south through Hendry County and then east to I-75 near Fort Myers. There are significant problems with reviving this plan. 2006 was a very different world for consideration of the Parkway. The housing market had not crashed, population projections showed accelerated growth and the economy appeared strong. At the time, funding for the $3-8 billion project was expected 10

to be sourced from a gasoline tax, which is unsustainable. Secretary Prasad indicated in August that other means of paying for new construction must be found --- public private partnerships for toll roads. This strategy has been disastrous in other states, and there is no reason to think that this strategy will be successful here. The proposed Heartland Parkway will: • fragment large landscapes which function as habitat for endangered and threatened species • destroy wetlands • reduce water quality • encourage sprawl Policy decisions must be based on sound fiscal policies and best available data. Necessary roads should follow carefully planned development --- development should not follow roads.

The Florida panther is restricted to less than five percent of its original range and remains one of the world’s most endangered mammals. While Florida panther population estimates range from 100 – 160, the fact is that these numbers are nowhere close to the three populations of 240 cats needed to sustain the population. Additionally, protecting the species and its habitat helps protect other wildlife and the open spaces needed to replenish our aquifers, the primary source of our drinking water. . Florida panthers depend on the quality habitat provided by many private cattle ranching operations in southwest Florida. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida recently launched a one-year pilot program to help alleviate financial hardship that some may experience due to livestock losses from Florida panther attacks. “The verified program will also provide financial assistance to build protective pens, one of the best ways to safeguard smaller livestock and domestic animals,” according to Natural Resources Specialist Amber Crooks. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida believes that it is possible for Florida panthers to successfully coexist with humans and livestock --- and this coexistence is necessary if we want to fully recover the panther from the threat of extinction. Protecting Florida panther habitat is important to sustaining Florida’s fragile ecological balance. It is our hope that these pilot compensation programs encourage coexistence between our citizens and our wildlife. For more information about the Florida Panther Pilot Compensation Program, visit pilot or call (239) 262-0304, ext. 286.

Board members Sue Dalton, Maureen Lerner, Jeannie Smith and Nancy White are working with the “Renaissance Celebration Committee” to begin planning for the 2012 Grand Reopening Celebration scheduled for November 2012. The Committee met in November on the gazebo near the Christopher B. Smith Preserve to share initial ideas to create a three day celebration. Many materials from the Delnor Auditorium will be recycled in the new Eaton Conservation Hall.

84% Did you know that 84 percent of all construction debris from the Conservancy Nature Center renovations is being re-used or taken to recycle centers? This prevents thousands of pounds of waste from entering our landfills.

What can brown do for you today?

Goodbye to a Friend

UPS is committed to sustainability and sent some volunteers from their team in November to help spruce up the Shotwell Wavering Filter Marsh, lifting and spreading mulch to improve the area’s drainage and aesthetic appeal. Dolph von Arx, Mae Wood, Andrew McElwaine

UPS staff: Bob Masters, Brian Conner, Russell Person, Mark Morig, Bob Woodmansee, Tom Vietri, Don Reed, Lidia Rojas, Chad Reber.

Mae Wood, a former Conservancy board member and huge supporter of the Wildlife Clinic, recently passed. We will remember Mae (seen second from right in the photo at her 100th birthday celebrated at the Conservancy) for her great love of wildlife and her wonderful sense of humor. She was one of a handful of Conservancy donors to tour the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic with Jane Goodall in the 1990s.

Sneak Peek Members-only “Sneak Peaks” have been filling up fast! Take a behind-the scenestour with the architect, education and others involved in creating the new sustainable Conservancy Nature Center campus. Additional January dates have been added. Please call Lisa Ball at 239.403.4228 or email Family tours also available on Saturdays through December. Call Cheryl Latif at 239.262.0304, ext. 266

Conservancy Receives over $400,000 in Grants In addition to the generosity of our individual donors, the Conservancy thanks the following organizations for their grant support over the past year and their trust in the Conservancy to get the job done. Agua Fund Andrew Family Foundation Anonymous (2) Bank of America Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation Elinor Patterson Baker Everglades Foundation Francis Pew Hayes Foundation John Ben Snow Trust PNC Foundation Sea Turtle Conservancy (2) Sidney Swensrud Foundation Sun Trust Banks Foundation SW Florida Community Foundation The Kara Foundation The Martin Foundation The Philadelphia Foundation Walmart Wells Fargo 11

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

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

Uncovering the Mysteries of the Western Everglades

Turtle Tales

Conservancy Biologists, including Ian Bartoszek, David Shindle and Melinda Schuman continue their multi-year field research study of the Western Everglades. Monitoring the “inhabitants” of the area --- and any changes --- is vital to understanding the success of Everglades restoration. If negative impacts are discovered, changes can be made to restoration mechanics to ensure a successful Everglades restoration.

2011 has been an excellent year for sea turtle protection and research on Keewaydin beach and on the water of Pine Island Sound. Science Co-Director Dave Addison reports that nesting by both loggerheads and green sea turtles increased on Keewaydin Island. (See chart on right.)

Green tree frog

Dragonfly on Florida sunflower


Meanwhile, Conservancy Research Manager Dr. Jeff Schmid expanded Kemp’s ridley satellite tracking studies in the Charlotte Harbor estuary. Despite the hightech gadgetry, the ridleys tracked thus far have provided more riddles than answers.

Loggerhead “Emily”

“Bunker” in Pine Island Sound

Biologists Melinda Schuman and Ian Bartoszek continuing field research work in the Western Everglades.

Clam Bay Habitats Conservancy Science Co-Director Kathy Worley and Conservancy Research Manager Dr. Jeff Schmid recently completed a scientific study funded by Pelican Bay Foundation, Mangrove Action Group and the Pelican Bay Homeowners Association. This study was aimed at discovering what organisms that live in, on or near the bottom sediments in Clam Bay. These bottom dwelling creatures are a vital component of the estuarine food web, providing key linkages between primary producers (like seagrasses) and higher trophic groups (like fish). They are also a good indicator of the health

of waterbody where they reside. Full report is available at

Bunker, an adult-size Kemp’s ridley turtle, remained in the estuary for two weeks before heading south, passing through the Florida Keys, and then moving up the Atlantic coast. These movements are puzzling because adult Kemp’s ridleys reside in the Gulf of Mexico and water temperatures have not decreased enough to prompt a seasonal migration.

10,000 9,500 9,000 8,500 8,000 7,500 7,000 5,000 1,000 500 400 300 216 250 200 111 100 2009 2010 2011 Nests

Here are some of this year’s turtle stories: We first met Emily in 1988. Years later in 2009, we outfitted her with a satellite tag. When she finished nesting, she migrated to the waters southeast of Andros Island, Bahamas. Emily returned to Keewaydin this year and was satellite tagged again. Once more this sage lady returned to exactly the same place as she did in 2009.

Nests or Hatchlings

Loggerheads, greens and ridley’s in the spotlight.

“Emily” on Keewaydin Island

Monitoring the “inhabitants” of the area – and any changes – is vital to understanding the success of Everglades restoration. A remote camera study has been capturing information on the Florida panther population and their primary prey. In addition to the remarkable candid photography of Florida panthers in action, results of this study will be used to guide further actions which can help determine the fate of this large cat. Amphibians are known as indicator species --- their health mirrors the health of the ecosystem in which they live. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the U.S. Geological Survey have formed a new partnership to study frogs and toads in Picayune State Forest. Recording devices have been deployed to monitor their calls and collect biological data for the Picayune Strand Restoration project. Everglades restoration is a decades-long journey. Research conducted by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida will be crucial to the overall success of restoring an entire ecosystem, a project never before undertaken.

Keewaydin Island Nesting Trends 9,895 11,930


2009 2010 2011 Hatchlings

Thanks for helping us save sea turtles. Conservancy of Southwest Florida members and donors. Dr. Chis Sasso of NOAA’s SE Fisheries Science Center

Kemp’s ridley “Bunker”

“Dorothy” in Pine Island Sound The travels of Dorothy are no less perplexing --this sub-adult remained in Pine Island Sound for a month before moving rapidly into the Gulf and then southward. A red tide event was occurring about the time Dorothy moved offshore; we lost contact with her 13 miles southwest of Sanibel Island. Her last locations corresponded to an area with moderate concentrations of the harmful algae.

Kemp’s ridley “Dorothy”

“Erin” in Captiva Erin is the smallest ridley tracked thus far and her satellite tag attachment was specially designed for a fast growing turtle. She moved in and out of inlets through Captiva Islands, perhaps searching for waters free of red tide, and then rounded Sanibel to San Carlos Bay where the algae has not been detected. Her satellite tag was specially designed for a growing turtle. Kemp’s ridley “Erin” Dr. Jeff Schmid conducting research in Clam Bay.

Follow the movements of these and other turtles by visiting the Charlotte Harbor-Kemp’s ridleys and Keewaydin Island Turtle Tracking projects on

We were pleased to continue assisting PhD candidates from the Universities of Georgia of Central Florida with their doctoral research.



A r x W i l d l i f e h o s p i ta l

Power Play Wildlife volunteer Tim Thompson crusaded for a new generator for us after he inspected the old one --- rusted, with flat tires and in generally bad condition. Home Depot, Malibu West Interiors, and the Turner family donated funds for a new and more powerful generator. It was truly inspiring and not at all expected. It shows that just a few people can make such a big difference.

VO l u n t e e r S e r v i c e s

Wish List

Wildlife Hospital needs supplies.

Conservancy Wildlife Hospital Director, Joanna Fitzgerald and her team are looking forward to moving into the new von Arx Wildlife Hospital within the next several weeks. The 5,000 square foot facility will be a showcase for modern wildlife care. Since the Hospital will allow the wildlife team to treat many more patients, additional operational supplies are needed. (Estimated costs reflect price per item.) (2) (20) (16) (3) (2) (2) (2) (6) (6) (6) (7)

Culture incubators for lab work $550 Stainless steel kennel cages (various sizes) $500 Chairs with casters for use in nursery feedings $380 Bookcases for medical reference materials $360 Tables for nursery feedings $300 Larger-sized mini-refrigerators $400 Smaller-sized mini-refrigerators $260 File cabinets (2 and 4-drawer) $250 Office chairs $150 Adjustable wire shelving units $150 Dry erase boards $125

If you would like to donate an item or make a cash donation to help von Arx Wildlife Hospital operations, please contact Rob Moher at 239.403.4205.

Ralph Arwood

Norma Healy

Patient Profiles

Impatient Patient

Hunger Pangs

Rescue Ingenuity

Volunteers Ralph Arwood and Gisela Sabertsching took this red shouldered hawk for release near Everglades City. Gisela had to use a towel to open the door as the hawk pecked at her from inside the carrier. As soon as the door was partially open, he was on his way.

This orphaned grey squirrel requires five formula feedings throughout the day and night. This was one of several baby squirrels admitted after their nests were disturbed by landscaping activities.

This bobcat with a fractured leg was rescued after it was spotted in a local church courtyard. Capturing the cat proved quite tricky, involving several volunteers, multiple attempts with PVC pipe, a planter bottom, a ketch-pole and a pet carrier.


Convalescing Carnivore While this owl’s eyes were not injured as originally suspected when found in a local gated community, it had a deep laceration along its left wing and bruising along the length of its right wing. The owl is receiving electrolytes, antibiotics and pain medication.

Window Woes This bright yellow prothonotary warbler is recovering from neurological damage after hitting a window. Addressing the reflective property of the glass, such as using decals or closing blinds, can help prevent birds from striking windows.

Exciting Volunteer Field Trips Space is limited, so if you did not receive a packet please contact JoAnn at

Volunteer News

JoAnn Johansen

January 27 Collier County Recycling Center February 14 Cruise to Cayo Costa & Lunch on Cabbage Key March 15 Shark Valley, lunch at Miccosukee Restaurant & Clyde Butcher Gallery April 2 (Tour 1) Corkscrew Swamp Evening April 11(tour 2) Corkscrew Swamp EveningTour

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

Ian Wright

Welcome Back!

Calendar Events

When you return to the Conservancy Nature Center campus you’ll notice lots of progress has been made and this issue of UPDATE and the Activities book will help get you up to speed on the many changes.

• Volunteer Forum Meetings Feb. 1, Feb. 29, April 4, May 2 (subject to change) 9 AM - 12 PM • Volunteer CONNECTION meetings: 3rd Friday of each month through May in the East Classroom. 10 AM.

New Volunteer TIDBIT Section Olympian in our Midst

Captured on Film

Carvings Extraordinaire

Barb Uible is a Conservancy Upscale Resale Shop volunteer and has been swimming all her life. She competes in Masters Swimming and in State Senior Olympics to qualify for the National Senior Olympics held every other year. Barb also coaches the Seacrest Country School swim team, teaches group lessons at Golden Gate Aquatics, and gives private lessons, so if you want to learn to swim talk to Barb.

Jo Dingler, Boat Captain Scheduling Coordinator and Boat Captain, has written a book entitled “Along the Gordon River,” featuring her own beautiful photos of some of the best natural treasures in the area. We may begin integrating the book as part of Boat Captain training in the future. In the meantime, you can find Jo’s unique photo note cards for sale in the Conservancy Nature Store.

Boat Program Training Coordinator and Boat Captain Phil Reader is an award winning wood carver. Phil has won several awards for his beautiful and intricate carvings of wildlife, including first place in Rochester, NY. NOTE: Sadly, Phil passed away in November after a long illness. His passing leaves a big hole within our volunteer team and he will be missed. 15

NEW Interns: Environmental Education Kira Hefty – Northland College, Ashland, WI Sarah Leong – Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL Jenna May - University of Florida, Gainesville, FL Heather Wilcox – North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC Environmental Policy Casey Rogers – Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

1450 Merrihue Dr. Naples, FL 34102

Environmental Science Bailey Rankine - Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada Wildlife Rehabilitation Kelsey Blackburn – Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC Devin Merriman – Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL Ashley Williams – Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA Emily Wright – Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

New Employees Nikkie Dvorchak

Lily Mleczko

Nikkie Feroce Dvorchak is joining us as Events Manager from the Heinz Field and Pittsburgh Steelers organization where she was the Club Marketing Manager. There, she organized and executed over 300 special events per year and club level programs for Pittsburgh Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers games and many sold out concerts. She has an extensive background in the events, guest services and sales industries. Nikkie graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh with a BA in Performing Arts.

Lily received her undergraduate degree in ecology from Western State College of Colorado with an emphasis on habitat management, ornithology and a minor in sociology. She has worked at The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT and joined a graduate program at Fordham University focused on conservation biology. After an internship at the New York City Audubon, Lily joins us as a Naturalist with a focus on educational outreach and classroom programs.

Jack Hannings

Marissa Polgar

Jack Hannings joins us as the Director of Membership and Annual Fund with over 34 years of nonprofit fundraising and management experience. He worked for the American Heart Association for 30 years and last served with AHA as Executive Vice President for the five-state Southeast Affiliate, responsible for a $40 million annual campaign. Jack has also worked as a consultant, providing fundraising and management services to nonprofit clients.

A graduate of Miami University in Ohio, Marisa received her BA in Environmental Science and English Literature in 2008. While studying abroad, Marissa completed a capstone thesis on the environmental policy approaches of the United States and the European Union. She served as a Conservancy intern and returned as a Natural Resources Specialist in August, 2011, focusing primarily on water policy and land acquisition issues.

David Webb Formerly a Conservancy intern after graduating from FGCU, David joins us as Environmental Education Manager, responsible for developing and delivering outreach and classroom programs. David’s extensive environmental educational experience includes careers at “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Naples Botanical Garden and science teacher in local public schools.


Fall/Winter 2011 Update  

Conservancy's Fall/Winter 2011 Update