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Tag Archives: Everglades

JRobert Offers Glimpse of Old Florida

JRobert and Martin play for the Florida Conservancy. Submitted Photos

By Don Manley Marco troubadour JRobert is taking audiences on a journey to Old Florida through song and spoken word with his new production, “The Florida Fiddler Show.” The longtime Marco Island musician, composer, songwriter and producer will perform what he describes as “a musical monologue,” on September 10 at The Marco Island Players, located in Marco Town Center. “Ever since I first started playing as a hobby, I’ve collected fiddle tunes and folk tunes, and I’ve kind of combined them into a show with Florida history and some of my own family history,” said the multi- instrumentalist and fourth ... Read More »

Crocodiles in South Florida

Photos by Bob McConville

STEPPING STONES Bob McConville Master Naturalist Quite often when I’m talking about dolphins on my tours someone will ask the question regarding alligator sightings. I am always happy to respond that gators primarily stay in fresh water or brackish water habitats, and then I mention that brackish and saltwater areas of South Florida are home to many crocodiles and that this area is one of the few where gators and crocs share the same habitat. Lots of visitors are unaware that we do have crocs here, but it is true. Found in Central and South America and specific areas of Mexico, ... Read More »

Aerospace and Rocketry at Camp Mackle

Submitted Photos

Submitted  Excited voices chanting, “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Launch, launch, launch!” could be heard at Camp Mackle. On July 28, 2016, Marco Island Civil Air Patrol (CAP) conducted an Aerospace Education and Rocketry Workshop at Camp Mackle for more than 60 children ages 6-12. Captain Jesse L. Baker told the campers about the services that CAP provides to the community, and its three main missions: Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services. The squadron constantly practices search and rescue exercises to always be “mission ready.” Captain Baker explained CAP’s weekly air patrols of the Wilderness ... Read More »

Paradise Reef Premier

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Has anyone noticed how much traffic there is out there? It’s as busy as during season! Sometimes we can’t even get out of the government parking lot! For the last few years the Governor has been working on growing jobs, jobs, jobs everywhere. Well, with jobs come people and cars and housing and more children. What IS the perfect world? Let’s face it – our unemployment rate is very low, so it looks like that is good for the people living here, but surely it must have also brought people who are new to the area ... Read More »

Photography by Canoe

Ron Rutledge, Kathryn Hunt, and Pat Rutledge, of the MIHS.

Submitted  Nature photographer Connie Mier told her admirers at a recent reception and lecture hosted by the Marco Island Historical Society that she “loves taking pictures of birds,” and she certainly works hard to get them. Along with a large assortment of cameras and lenses, Mier has found one other piece of equipment equally indispensable for her photographs—her canoe. Mier often spends days at a time exploring pristine estuaries in the Everglades, Biscayne Bay and other areas in Southern Florida by canoe, camping whenever necessary so as to capture just the right shot. As a result, her photographs offer unusual ... Read More »

Mier Photography Exhibit

Photo by Connie Mier

Submitted  “Wild and Remote: Photographing South Florida by Canoe,” a collection of photographs by artist Connie Mier, is currently on exhibit at the Marco Island Historical Museum through July 26, 2016. Connie Mier is a wildlife and nature photographer who derives inspiration from her canoe explorations of the Everglades and Biscayne Bay. She often spends days at a time canoeing and camping in the Everglades to photograph some of the most remote wilderness areas in Florida. As a result, her photographs offer a rare glimpse of these beautiful places, as seen from a canoe. “I have chosen to go deep into the ... Read More »

O’Neill-Freeman Art Exhibit a Hit

Jim was photographing mangroves at sunset, when he saw this summer storm developing and quickly set up for it. Jim makes forays with his sloop, living aboard, when he photographs the Ten Thousand Islands.

By Barry Gwinn This year, Tara O’Neill teamed up with Jim Freeman for her “13th Annual End O’Season Art Extravaganza” on April 16-17. Tara’s paintings and Jim’s photographs were displayed and offered for sale in the Little Bar’s Papa Ray Room. The Little Bar has hosted the event for all 13 years. Tara did this event solo for 11 years, but for the last two years has featured a guest artist. Celeste Navara, photographer, and Judy Wittwer, shell artist, appeared previously. “The reception was a great success,” Tara said, “Maybe the best ever.” As Tara and Jim talked with guests ... Read More »

Pioneering Women

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Submitted A century ago, the first woman to be mayor of a city in Florida was Marian O’Brien, who was elected in 1916 when the little town of Moore Haven, west of Lake Okeechobee, was incorporated. Included in its statutes was the right to vote for women – three years before Amendment 19 was passed in 1919. Marian was a competent businesswoman who took over her husband’s holdings in remote Florida after he suddenly passed away. She created a bank, a hotel, and other amenities for the new town. She then went on to help found Clewiston and the sugar ... Read More »

2016 Python Challenge™ Invasive Species Festival

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The 2016 Python Challenge™ is a conservation effort that includes public outreach on invasive species and a month-long competition to remove Burmese pythons from public lands in Florida. Visit PythonChallenge.org for more information about the 2016 Python Challenge™, including information on the unique Everglades ecosystem, and details about the 2016 Python Challenge™ Python Removal Competition, including competition and area rules, how to register, and training opportunities. Free in-person, hands-on trainings will be offered through Feb. 6. To report nonnative fish and wildlife, call the FWC’s Invasive Species Hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1(888-483-4681), report your sighting online at IveGot1.org or download the IveGot1 smartphone app. For more information ... Read More »

Learn how to catch a python with free hands-on training in Fort Myers, Naples

People who live in southwest Florida can learn to identify and safely capture Burmese pythons at upcoming 2016 Python Challenge™ in-person training sessions in Lee and Collier counties. Training for Lee County is on Dec. 20 at the Olga Community Center in Fort Myers, with both morning and afternoon sessions. Can’t make it to the December training? You can still sign up for training in Collier County on Jan. 19 at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples. For those who can’t make the west coast trainings, more sessions are offered in different locations throughout south Florida in December, January and February. Training ... Read More »

FWC ‘releases’ snakes throughout Florida as part of 2016 Python Challenge™

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is conducting a Virtual Snake Finding Mission, “releasing” toy snakes near popular Florida landmarks in an effort to raise awareness about nonnative species in Florida. The search for the toy snakes ? which are superimposed on pictures of Florida landmarks  ? is part of the 2016 Python Challenge™. The project allows people from all over the world to be part of this effort to reduce the negative impacts of nonnative species. Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 8, people can visit Facebook.com/MyFWC for a clue to where one of the brightly-colored toy snakes is virtually hiding. The ... Read More »

Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s 2015 RedSnook Tournament

A total of 52 teams participated in the 2015 RedSnook Catch and Release Charity Tournament that took place Oct. 23-25, generating $82,000 to benefit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s juvenile game fish studies, water quality research and estuary protection. The Beacon Group at Morgan Stanley and RGM Capital were the presenting sponsors of the 2015 RedSnook Catch and Release Charity Tournament. Wayne A. Meland of The Beacon Group at Morgan Stanley and Gary Parsons were co-chairs for the event, and fly-fisherman, Oliver White, served as the honorary chairman. “There are clearly some issues going on in the Everglades with water ... Read More »

Conservancy of Southwest Florida partners to present Florida Fracking Summit Oct. 27 and 28

Visitors and locals alike will converge in Florida’s Paradise Coast – NAPLES, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2015) – The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Natural Resource Defense Council, Earthjustice, Center for Biological Diversity, and Earthworks will present the 2015 Florida Fracking Summit to promote public awareness regarding extreme oil extraction in Florida. The Summit will be held on Oct. 27 and 28 at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport-Town Center. For more information to register, visit www.flfrackingsummit.org. Early registration is available now through Oct. 16 and cost is $30 for a one-day pass or $50 for the two-day conference. Expert speakers will address the potential ... Read More »

COLLIER COUNTY CREATES NEW COMMISSIONER PORTRAIT GALLERY

The Collier Board of County Commissioners has completed the first phase of the creation of the Collier County Commissioners’ Portrait Gallery. Under the direction of the current commissioners, county staff had 15 of 59 former Collier County Commissioners portraits reprinted, reframed and rehung in the hallway adjacent to the Board of County Commissioners’ chambers, located on the third floor of the Collier County Government Center, 3299 Tamiami Trail E., Naples, Florida 34112. The first phase of the project includes those commissioners who served from 1923 to 1953 and were elected at-large. A selection of historical events of the period, provided ... Read More »

Fire… a Necessary Function of Nature

Mobile wildlife such as deer, bear and bobcat can flee a wildfire quickly. Nesting birds such as eagles, herons, egrets and storks could be more at risk. PHOTO BY BOB MCCONVILLE

As I watch the evening news, I see that another wildfire is burning out of control somewhere across the United States. Reports proclaim that it is 40% contained, and then 60% under control. Attention is drawn to the number of structures that are at risk, then saved, because of the quick action taken by mankind’s actions. It’s good that homes are spared Mother Nature’s wrath, but is this stoppage of a natural event what was intended overall? Here in South Florida, throughout the past few weeks, I’ve left my home in the morning and I can smell smoke in the ... Read More »

Brand Names Sam’s Club, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and More, Coming Soon!

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Soon the County Commission will be in recess for six weeks, and possibly some of you have wondered why we have a summer recess while others already asked. It started back in the 90’s when unhappy residents felt the Commissioners were approving land use issues and new developments while the residents were away on vacation or back up north to their summer home. After much complaining, the then-Commissioners decided to take a recess the last week of July and the month of August, which pleased the community. That effort was extended a little further two years ago ... Read More »

“Giants of the Everglades” Dennis Goodman Exhibit at Marco Island Historical Museum

Dennis Goodman (in front of  sunset) answers questions during the reception for his show “Giants of the Everglades”.

By Steve Gimmestad On June 2, the opening reception for “Giants of the Everglades,” by photographer Dennis Goodman, was held at the Marco Island Historical Museum. The event, along with hors d’oeuvres and wine, was sponsored by the Marco Island Historical Society. Dennis Goodman is an award winning photographer, and has appeared in numerous publications throughout Florida and elsewhere. He has received accolades from many organizations for his work, and for his efforts in the preserving the Everglades. Upon entering the gallery, the “Giants” in the exhibit name not only refers to the subject matter, but also aptly describes the ... Read More »

Collier Tourism Industry Off to a Roaring Start

First Quarter Results Presented at Industry Briefing Event Prior to Southwest Florida Travel Rally Celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week  Florida’s Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades – saw big increases in tourism visitation and spending during first quarter 2015.These numbers continue the trend of strong growth in visitation, economic impact to Collier County and tourism-related employment seen in 2014. Total economic impact from visitors in first quarter 2015 (January through March) was $730,429,100, an 11.7% increase over first quarter 2014. Total visitation was 621,000, a 4.8% jump. Occupancy hit 89.7%, a 1.5% rise over 2014’s peak ... Read More »

Sugden Regional Park to host the 2015 Pro Watercross Tour World Championships

Event to be held September 19-27, 2015   The 2015 Pro Watercross Tour World Championships will be held at Sugden Regional Park in Naples from Sept. 19 – 27, 2015.              This weeklong event showcases the Pro Watercross Tour and combines the electricity and appeal of traditional beach events with the high speed thrills of competitive motorsports says Rob Wells, Collier County Senior Sports Marketing Manager. “Dramatic staging, professional sound system, banners, flags, and pit tents set the stage for a truly large-scale event – this is like the NASCAR of Watercross,” Wells said. The Tour features a contingent of up-and-coming men and ... Read More »

Marsh Walk

A tri-color heron feeds in the shallow water of the marsh.

By Carl and Joan Kelly Close to Marco is a relatively new walk, 10,000 Islands Marsh Walk, a mixed grass and mangrove marsh. It has a two-level observation tower with a good panoramic view of the marsh that has been revitalized by increased water flow, apparently one of the early benefits of Everglades restoration. The walk runs through the marsh with water, mangroves and grasses on both sides. We saw gators crossing the walk. From the observation tower we saw dozens of birds feasting on small fish, crustaceans and insects, and flying over head. This year the white pelicans landed ... Read More »