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Tag Archives: wildlife

Barbara’s Wearable Art – A Canvas of Island Life

Photos by Joseph Parisi

By Maria Lamb The photographs of Marco Island’s wildlife photographer and artist, Joe Parisi reflect Southwest Florida’s wildlife and iconic places. He has exhibited his artwork extensively at the Marco Island Center for the Arts, as well as local art fairs. Joe’s most popular photographs are a collection of Marco Island sceneries and wildlife. People form connections to the island’s special places, and an art purchase serves as a remembrance of their Marco Island experience. Whether small or large, Joe’s photographs capture Marco Island’s unique ecological diversity. Barbara Parisi, Joe’s wife, is also a very talented artist, using her hands ... Read More »

Dual Threats to Shorebirds on Sand Dollar Island

Submitted Photos

Submitted On the plus side, the count on the shorebird nursery on Sand Dollar Island is higher than last year’s. Chicks are skittering everywhere taking cover from the hot sun. According to the Collier Shorebird Stewards, by around this time last year, the crows had wiped out the nesting colony and the birds departed without producing a single chick. It is looking more hopeful this year even after Tropical Storm Colin. Adam DiNuovo, Audubon shorebird biologist, is excited but concerned. He shared that dogs and the trash boaters leave behind are threats to shorebirds. How do dogs disturb birds? An ... Read More »

Art at the Marco Library

B8-CBN-06-10-16-4feature

Submitted  The Marco Island Public Library and the Marco Island Center for the Arts work cooperatively to provide monthly art shows at the Marco Island Library on Heathwood Drive. The months of June, July and August will feature the photographs of Marco Island artist Joseph Parisi. For more than 30 years, Joe has been a practicing veterinarian, which has fostered a passion for photographing Southwestern Florida’s unique wildlife. His other interests include scuba diving and travel, which are reflected in original underwater photography, street portraiture and landscape. He incorporates both color and black and white in his prints. He has ... Read More »

Military Honored with Memorial Day weekend cruises

Pure Florida is honoring members of the U.S. military throughout Memorial Day weekend, offering free cruises May 27-30 for veterans and active duty service members when accompanied by paid adult or child admission. The Memorial Day weekend cruises will set sail from Pure Florida’s Naples and Fort Myers locations at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., with sunset cruises departing one hour before sunset. Pure Florida cruises are available for $35 per passenger during the day and $37.50 for the sunset cruise at its Naples location, and $32 per passenger at its Fort Myers location. Narration on local history, wildlife and ... Read More »

9th Annual ?Amateur Wildlife ?Photo Contes

“Me and My Shadow” – Photographer James Hobbs

Submitted  The 2016 City of Marco Island Amateur Wildlife Photo Contest has come to a close, leaving us with a look at nature through different lenses. The creative talent of Marco’s amateur photographers is abundantly clear in their images, as is the beauty of Southwest Florida’s flora and fauna. Despite this year’s late contest start, it did not deter photographers from submitting some amazing photos. The contest drew more than 50 entries from local talent. Their photographs celebrate the native wildlife unique to our area. Judging was certainly a challenge for judges Donna Kay, Barry Howe, Andrea Cooper and Pat ... Read More »

Oil Exploration ?in Big Cypress Approved

Big-Cypress1

Submitted South Florida Wildlands Association is deeply disappointed with the decision by the National Park Service (NPS) to allow seismic testing for oil on 70,000 acres of the magnificent Big Cypress National Preserve. The project will involve “vibroseis” trucks weighing more than 60,000 pounds each criss-crossing the preserve and sending out seismic vibrations in the search for oil deposits. NPS has years of experience with off-road vehicles in the preserve. All of their own research indicates that this operation will likely lead to significant impacts to the preserve’s natural resources. Those include rutting and oxidation of fragile soils, hydrological changes ... Read More »

New Manatee Refuge

Manatees are curious, often approaching slow moving boats. Photo by Carl Kelly

By Carl Kelly Drive east on Tamiami Trail, past shopping centers, past restaurants, past gas stations, past State Road 92. Stop at a place where water is shallow and grass is deep on both sides of the road, where you may see alligators, belted kingfishers, anhingas, hardwood hammocks, clusters of mangroves and, on the left horizon, pine flatwoods. The left from road to horizon is Picayune Strand State Forest, a little over 78,000 acres of wild, as well as an extensive road and canal system that developers laid out some 60 years ago, advertising it as the world’s largest sub-division. ... Read More »

Banff

View of Bow River Valley from Sulphur Mountain.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Ninety minutes from Calgary, in the Bow River Valley, Banff is the unofficial capital of Alberta’s Canadian Rockies. Located within Banff National Park, its development is tightly controlled. The population is capped at 10,000; only those with a “need to reside” can live there and businesses must provide accommodations for employees. Banff was developed in the late 1800s for tourism; even the main street was built to afford the best views of nearby Mt. Rundle. Its commercial center, with its variety of stores, mini malls, restaurants, coffee and toffee shops, is very busy. What impressed me ... Read More »

Lionfish beware: FWC approves two-part lionfish removal effort for 2016

At its April 13 meeting in Jupiter, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a two-part lionfish plan to further encourage removals of the invasive species in 2016. Lionfish have a potential negative impact on native wildlife and habitat and the FWC encourages divers and anglers to remove them from Florida waters whenever they can. The two-part initiative will include a statewide reward program that will expand upon 2015 efforts and a Panhandle Pilot Program. “Innovative programs like these are a great way to generate public involvement and interest in controlling the lionfish population,” said FWC Chairman Brian ... Read More »

The Icefields Parkway

The Glacier Skywalk juts out over the Sunwapta Canyon.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber  The Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada, also known as Highway 93, is 144 miles of natural beauty, wildlife, tourist attractions, and, in high season (July, August), a moving parade of cars, RVs, and tour buses traversing this double lane road. Paralleling the Continental Divide, it runs from Lake Louise north to Japer and passes through both Banff and Jasper National Parks. We traveled its length twice, the first time, enjoying all it had to offer, took more than nine hours. The second, using it merely as a route from one location to another, took considerably ... Read More »

Marco’s Busy Spring

The soft, tilled sand is inviting to this family playing on the beach.

OUR ISLAND ECOLOGY By Chadd Chustz This spring, so much has happened here on Marco Island to remind us that we are stewards of our environment and nature’s inhabitants. Manatee Release  The manatee (identified as RSW1523) was rehabilitated at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa after being rescued on September 28, 2015, for watercraft related injuries in Roberts Bay. It was great to see this “little guy” being released back into the waters of the 10,000 Islands by the FWC at Caxambas Boat Launch Park on Marco Island. Read more about another manatee release in this issue of Coastal Breeze ... Read More »

Shred Party Benefits Eagles

Submitted Show your support for green space and wildlife. Show your support for the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary! IBERIABANK will host a document shredding event on Saturday, April 16th from 9 AM to noon. A $3 per box or bag voluntary donation will be collected for the Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation (MESF) for the future development of the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary. Residents and small business owners are invited to dispose of outdated bank statements, checks, contracts, junk mail and other documents in a safe and secure manner. Shredding services will be conducted by Shred-it, ... Read More »

Conservancy holds Earth Day Festival

WHAT:  The Conservancy of Southwest Florida invites Southwest Florida to join in celebrating our water, land, wildlife and future by hosting its annual Earth Day Festival. The Conservancy’s largest community event of the year will feature a variety of vendors and environmental exhibitors showcasing educational and entertaining family activities and experiences for guests to enjoy. Fun for all ages will be featured throughout the event, including guest speakers, live music, live animal programs, unique exhibits, games, crafts, face painting and sand art. In addition to activities back by popular demand, the festival will also offer many new activities, including Glen ... Read More »

The 2015 Sea Turtle Scoreboard

Submitted Photo

By Kathy Worley, Conservancy of Southwest Florida Director of Environmental Science Great news, like my favorite football team the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl 50, sea turtles were a winner last year as their nesting numbers are trending upward! I recently attended the sea turtle permit holders meeting in Jacksonville, where basically a lot of people gather to talk turtles and discuss the 2015 highlights and players of the year. The main players that take to our beaches every year are the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), and the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), while the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) ... Read More »

Travel to the Canadian Rockies

Along this road was typical (yet, no less beautiful) scenery.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber  There are several ways to visit the main attractions of Alberta, Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Many companies offer package tours with various options. Some feature just the area around Banff and the Columbia Icefields, while others cover more of western Canada, including British Columbia. There are Canadian tour companies that provide organized hiking or hiking/camping tours. Road Scholar (formerly Elder Hostel) has active educational tours of the Canadian Rockies. You know how organized tours go; up at 6:30 AM, luggage out and breakfast at 7:00, on the bus by 8:00; herded into any lunch or dinners provided. ... Read More »

A Sad Reminder: Dispose Fishing Line Properly

Monofilament carelessly left in the environment entangled this osprey,
resulting in death. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted A dead osprey was reported to be hanging from a pine tree near the fire station on San Marco Road this week. When city staff arrived, the osprey had already fallen to the ground. Its left talon was hooked by a circular fishing hook, and the body was wrapped by the line several times over with braided and monofilament fishing line. Even more heartbreaking, was the sight of the osprey’s partner perched in the tree over its dead mate. Reportedly, it was crying out for hours as its mate was hanging from the tree by the fishing line. Abandoned fishing ... Read More »

It’s the Law- No Glass on the Beach!

Marco Island beach signage reminds visitors to leave prohibited items at home. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted In 2014, TripAdvisor named Marco Island the No. 1 Island in the U.S. It referred to our island as “the jewel of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands.” Our beaches were also listed among the top 10 “family friendly” beaches in Florida. We attract thousands of visitors to our island each year and they all come to experience our six miles of spectacular beaches. All this fame and fortune comes at a cost.   Our beaches are under assault from litter and trash. Before you head out to the beach, let’s take a moment to review the city rules necessary to ... Read More »

Tigertail Beach Wildlife Tower Opens

In attendance at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Tigertail’s new observation tower: (Front row, from left) Maura Kraus, Collier County principal environment specialist, Jeanine McPherson, assistant director Collier County Parks & Recreation,
County Commissioner Donna Fiala, Marco Island City Councilman Bob
Brown, Steve Carnell, department head, Collier County Public Services Department; (Back row, from left) Collier County Parks & Recreation Director Barry Williams, and John Fuchs, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff One of Marco Island’s jewels just got shinier. What better than a beachside park that features a great playground for kids, a café with great food, and a rental hut, which not only rents paddle boards, kayaks, and water toys, but can teach you how to use them? Well, Collier County and the Tourist Development Council just made our jewel of Tigertail Beach even better by adding a wildlife observation tower so you can have amazing views of the wildlife habitat, the beach, and even an osprey nesting on a platform nearby. The observation tower officially ... Read More »

Discover Pepper Ranch Preserve

COURTESY OF STEPHEN BRIGHAM 2015

Submitted Conservation Collier is offering free, guided hikes led by master naturalists at selected Pepper Ranch Preserve trails on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, April 23. Pepper Ranch Preserve is a 2,512-acre Conservation Collier preserve property that was acquired with the goals of protecting and restoring the native habitats for the benefit of wildlife, providing aquifer recharge, and to provide current and future residents an opportunity for nature-based recreation and education. Wildlife documented on the preserve includes the endangered Florida panther, gopher tortoises, crested caracaras, Florida sandhill cranes, white-tailed deer, bobcats, wild turkey and more! There are approximately 10 miles ... Read More »

Everglades Ultras Race

Submitted The fifth annual Everglades Ultras off-road running race has been set for Saturday, February 20 in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Registration is now open for the event’s three distinct races of 25 kilometers, 50 kilometers and 50 miles. The 50 mile and 50 kilometer races are the USA Track and Field – Florida Association state championships. This unique run through the Everglades has been cited by Trail Runner magazine as a “must do” race. “This is unique race venue,” says Race Director Bob Becker. “Runners will experience all the varied environments in the Fakahatchee Preserve running on raised ... Read More »