Owl Count: It’s Down

It is late in the year for the final count of the Island’s Burrowing Owl population, but it is better late than never. Typically, for the last ten years of monitoring, nesting behavior of this species is seen as early as November and continues through January. First the pairing up of the adult owls; then new burrows may be dug, ... Read More »

Florida’s Mascot: The West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus)

Averaging ten feet in length and between 800 and 1,200 pounds as an adult, the West Indian Manatee, commonly see in the Marco Island canals, Marco River, the bays, inlets and Gulf of Mexico, is closely related to an elephant.  Scientists believe this mammal could have evolved from wading, plant eating mammals. One could almost see that, with the gray ... Read More »

Our beaches are free of oil

  Residents and visitors enjoy southwest Florida beaches. The following is an excerpt of an email message Coastal Breeze News received from Vip Grover, President of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce: “As you are all aware, the Deep Horizon Oil Spill is an event that MAY have an adverse affect on the ecological and physical beauty of our ... Read More »

Shorebird steward volunteers

Many of Florida’s beach-nesting shorebirds and sea birds have experienced decline as a result of habitat loss and excessive disturbance at nests and colonies. In response, locally, a volunteer program has been initiated via Audubon, Rookery Bay and the City of Marco Island, to help protect shorebirds and their vulnerable habitats, both in the increasing beach pressures and in the ... Read More »

Marco Island fire department keeps an eye on our shoreline

Marco Island Fire Department patrols the beach twice every day ready to respond to emergencies. Shown here, Sergio DeLeon drives a new RTV recently acquired by the department through a government grant for this purpose. Among other duties, fire personnel monitor the beach looking for any signs of oil that wash up along the shore. Orange flagged markers have been installed along the beach. These pipes are ... Read More »

What is an Agave plant?

I recently received a call from a local resident on Marco Island, who was wondering what type of cactus he had in his front yard and would it be possible for me to identify it. Well Mr Hubbard you are the proud parent of an Agave Americana (Century Plant). Over 300 species of Agave have been described, but only about 200 are ... Read More »

Is the Coast Clear?

The commencement of Hurricane Season and especially an imminent threat of a hurricane have always added an environmental dimension of high anxiety and urgency to protect the coast – its beaches, inlets, and estuaries and all the species that depend on these fragile environments. The southwest coast of Florida is diverse, complicated and dynamic as one travels from Tampa Bay ... Read More »

Leading the way in landscaping to conserve our water resources

Landscaping with Water Conservation is top priority in Demonstration Project at City Hall. The Water Symposium of Florida Inc., in partnership with the City of Marco Island and Big Cypress Basin, held a Ribbon Cutting for the Florida Friendly Landscape Median Demonstration Project at the Marco Island City Hall campus on Monday, May 17.  The City, with the participation of ... Read More »

Florida Actively Coordinating and Responding to the Deepwater Horizon Incident

With 110,000 acres of sensitive mangroves, estuaries and fish hatcheries to protect, the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is paying close attention to the developments related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Here, the Friends of Rookery Bay provides a brief overview of plans, how you can help, and where to get more information. ... Read More »

Sea Turtles return to nest on our beaches

Changes in latitude, changes in attitude: May is typically a month of changes on our Island – reduction in traffic congestion, weather is variable, and many of our busy schedules just slow down. It is also the month the protected Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) will soon begin to return to our beach. Adult female sea turtles will begin nesting ... Read More »

Summer is coming . . .

Well, summer is on its way and the Florida heat is coming upon us, so now is a good time to get some key landscaping chores out of the way. Start by cutting back any leggy or overgrown plants, and remove dead or dying branches from trees and shrubs. If you haven’t fertilized your lawn yet, do it now (following ... Read More »

Temporary Posting of Shorebird Nesting Locations

The City of Marco Island is part of the Florida Shorebird Alliance, a partnership that includes Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), City of Naples, Collier County Government. and Sherriff’s Office, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR), Sea Grant, The Conservancy of SW FL, Inc., Friends of Tigertail and Collier Audubon Society. The goal of this Alliance is ... Read More »

Florida Friendly Landscape Demonstration Garden

Landscaping the Florida-Friendly way means using low maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices that also can save money. South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the University of Florida (UF-IFAS) are leading the effort in the State of Florida to incorporate Florida Friendly Landscaping (FFL) to protect natural resources, specifically ground and surface water ... Read More »

These beachcombers pick up more than shells…

By Joe Giannone, Jr. Are you ready to plant a tree or clean a sandy beautiful beach on Earth Day? Earth Day is coming soon, on April 20th, and organizations from all around the country are taking part in a National cause to raise awareness about sustaining the environment and taking part in beach, bay, and various other environmental clean-ups. ... Read More »

Pesky Woodpeckers Could Be Knocking

Out of the twenty-three woodpecker species listed in my Field Guide to the Birds of North America, eight of these species are seen in southwest Florida. Some are more common than others. Belonging to the scientific Family of Picidae, these birds have strong claws (tow toes forward, one toe back), short legs, and stiff tail feathers for tree trunk climbing ... Read More »

Simple Rules to care for your Bougainvillea

Light & Temperature Bougainvilleas are tropical plants, being native to Brazil, that thrive in areas outdoors with low rainfall and intense heat. For maximum blooming, they need direct sunlight for at least 5 hours per day. Bougainvillea thrives in hardiness zones 9 and up (Marco Island is a perfect setting for just that). For you seasonal residents, Bougainvillea can be ... Read More »

Push Poling or Everything Old is New Again

There are many ways to see and experience the wonder and beauty of the south Florida everglades and coastal islands and I have been fortunate in the variety and richness of the opportunities that have come my way. As a nature photographer I have ridden and trekked the glades, gingerly stepping into the unknown, sporting my genuine Kevlar lined Chippewah ... Read More »

Eagle Eyes Over Marco Island

Conservation works and it is working in our back yards. One of the most beloved and symbolic birds in America was saved due to past and current conservation efforts. Conservation efforts that banned the use of certain chemicals, used habitat protection and regulation over development allowed the American Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) to regain its glory and repopulate its native ... Read More »

Earning an Eagle Scout Merit Badge

The Boy Scouts of Troop 234 on Marco Island traveled to Sarasota’s Mote Marine Laboratory to obtain their required Eagle Scout merit badge for Environmental Science on March 14, 2010. We camped in Arcadia on Friday night after driving through a torrential rain storm. The boys toughed it out and set up camp in the darkness. The scouts rose early on Saturday, prepared a ... Read More »

GreenFest Expo at Edison State College

Dr. Kirk Otto of Marco Island is leading the way to more sustainable solutions for our community. He is one of the organizers of GreenFest Expo at Edison State College, Collier Campus. The Saturday March 27 event, located on the college campus just off SR 951 on Lely Cultural Parkway will feature demonstrations by local businesses, government agencies and experts ... Read More »