Environment

Seeing Shorebirds: From Peeps to White Pelicans

COASTAL CONNECTIONS Renee Wilson renee.wilson@dep.state.fl.us Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve was designated in 1978 and named for the bay where thousands of wading birds roost and nest on certain mangrove islands. A lot of other birds also rely on this area for survival. Reserve staff and volunteers keep tabs on these bird populations as an indicator of estuarine health. I ... Read More »

Big Cypress Bend: Beyond The Mangrove Trees

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  Big Cypress & Manatee Presentation Join ... Read More »

The Truth About Red Tide

Submitted Nothing ruins a beautiful Southwest Florida beach day like red tide. But what causes red tide and is there anything we can do to prevent it? Collier County Pollution Control wants to help the public understand the truth about Florida red tide and to debunk some of the myths that are out there about this phenomenon. Rhonda Watkins, principal ... Read More »

Turn, Turn, Turn…

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  “To everything there is a season,” ... Read More »

What’s Killing the Sea Turtles?

By Chadd Chustz A dead loggerhead sea turtle washed up on Marco Island Beach on Saturday night, February 25th. Maura Krause, Principal Environmental Specialist for Collier County estimated the female loggerhead to be 30 years old. Even more depressing, this loggerhead was one of four sea turtles that washed up on Collier County beaches. Causes of death were not yet ... Read More »

Under the Docks MIA Students Enrich Marco Canals

By Maria Lamb Ocean Habitats, Inc. of Ft. Myers has been hard at work in Marco Island installing artificial reef habitats underneath existing docks. To date, they have installed 108 habitats in Marco Island’s canals with an additional 20-plus scheduled for installation. This is great news for the health of our canals. According to David Wolff, Ocean Habitats’ president, this ... Read More »

Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling

By Samantha Husted  The Calusa Garden Club met recently to discuss the “Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling” in Collier County. Margie Hapke, Collier County recycling coordinator, led the presentation, offering her knowledge and advice on all things garbage. Hapke has been with the Department of Solid and Hazardous Waste Management since 2002. Part of her job as recycling coordinator is ... Read More »

Everglades Update: Restorations

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  Join Bob at the Marco Island ... Read More »

Finding Neverland…The Marsh Trails

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  “Second star to the right and ... Read More »

Guarding Our Planet – Are We in Trouble?

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  I am worried, truly worried, about ... Read More »

Dolphins of Marco Island

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  Everybody loves dolphins! They always seem ... Read More »

Marco Treasures . . . Under the Sea

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  May I wish each and every ... Read More »

‘Beyond the Mangrove Trees’ A pictorial look at South Florida

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Dolphins and gators and birds, oh my! Over the past several years I have had the opportunity to take many pictures of various wildlife in our area. Some of the photos are a matter of being in the right place at the right time and others, believe me, are just luck! I’ve looked for an avenue ... Read More »

Talks, Thanks, Tributes and Tears

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist       What makes it rain on Marco Island? Does the Everglades ecosystem play a part in this? Which clouds are rain makers and which are not? These questions will be answered by my guest speaker on November 16th at Rose History Auditorium. A National Park Service Ranger, Luke Gommerman has traveled to ... Read More »

Rookery Bay Unveils New Exhibit

COASTAL CONNECTIONS Renee Wilson Three new marine animals are now in residence at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center for the public to see. The new aquarium exhibit allows visitors to safely observe moon jellies that are commonly found in local waters. Dave Graff, an education specialist for Rookery Bay Research Reserve, introduced the exhibit to the Learning Center to help ... Read More »

MIA Students to Monitor Artificial Habitats

By Don Manley The artificial habitat pilot project designed to restore the cleanliness, health and aquatic diversity of the island’s canals will be aided by students from Marco Island Academy’s environmental science classes. As part of their classwork, the students will monitor the 25 habitats that were purchased earlier this year from Ocean Habitats, Inc., a small Fort Myers-based company ... Read More »

Birds Matter on Marco’s Beaches

Submitted “Birds matter because they give us wings. And because if we save the birds, we will save the world.” ~ Peter Trail, USFWS forensic anthropologist. It was a very busy summer for the shorebird stewards. According to Jayne Johnston, coordinator of the Collier County Shorebird Stewards, the summer volunteers logged 312 volunteer hours. Sixteen active stewards interacted with 219 ... Read More »

Eggs-citing Sea Turtles

  Submitted It was early Saturday in mid-October and Mary Nelson, Marco’s “Sea-Turtle Lady,” was already out on Sand Dollar Island with her ATV checking out the few remaining sea turtle nests. The nesting season is coming to a close, and there may be a few “Halloween” hatchlings. It takes sixty days for the soft shelled ping pong sized eggs ... Read More »

Happy Birthday to…Dolphins

Dolly, Halfway, Nibbles, Rangle, Sparky and Sydney…sounds like a random selection of words from a dictionary. In fact, these are the names of some adult female bottlenose dolphins seen in the Marco waters. So what do they have in common? All of the above gave birth to calves during the month of September! Baby dolphins can be born at any ... Read More »