Environment

Help Keep Our Manatees Safe


Chances of close encounters between Florida manatees and boaters increase in the spring. For manatees, it is the season when they leave their winter refuges and travel along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and through inland waters. For boaters, it is a critical time to be on the lookout for manatees to avoid colliding with these large aquatic mammals. “Spring […]

A Mangrove Misunderstanding: Silent Guardians of the Coast


I pull, the mud pulls back. For a brief moment we seem to reach an impasse with neither side willing to budge, but like an older brother, poised and ready to release when you’re at your most vulnerable the mud swiftly releases its grip on my boot sending me headlong into a tangle of mangrove roots. Having grown up with […]

Protecting Marco’s Gopher Tortoises



Gopher tortoises (gopherus polyphemus) are the oldest residents of Marco Island. There is a large population of gopher tortoises located in the Estates area on Inlet, Caxambas Drive, Watson, Ludlow Copeland and South Barfield. Tortoises have been around for millions of years. But here in Marco Island, gopher tortoises are no match for speeding cars, drastic loss of habitat due […]

Help Nesting Sea Turtles


Keeping beaches dark at night and free of obstacles will help sea turtles during their nesting season, which began at the beginning of this month and lasts through the end of October. Bright artificial lighting can misdirect and disturb nesting sea turtles and their hatchlings, so beachgoers should avoid using flashlights or cellphones at night. Turning out lights or closing […]

A Day of Discovery and Friendship


The smile on Brandon Martinez’s face pretty much said it all as he proudly held a sizable chunk of coral of which he couldn’t be prouder. “I got a fossil, a big one,” he said excitedly about his discovery during the beach exploration portion of the Guadalupe Center’s 26th annual Buddy Day, held recently at Hideaway Beach. The event pairs […]

Cane Toads: Toad-ally Toxic to Pets


The cane toad (rhinella marina) is the largest of all the frogs and toads found in Florida. Also known as the bufo toad, marine toad or giant toad, they are repulsive, invasive and toxic. When a cane toad is disturbed, it secretes a highly toxic, milky gooey substance at the back of its head. This chemical cocktail is highly toxic […]

Burrowing Owls and Award Winning Student Headline DAR Meeting


The winner of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) American History Essay is Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) seventh grader, Kathryn Barry. DAR members presented Kathryn with a certificate and medal at their recent chapter meeting at the Hideaway Beach Club. Her essay, “World War I: Remembering the War to End all Wars,” was in the form of […]

Monarchs Released


After Hurricane Irma blew down our orange tree leaving a large open space in our yard we decided to fill the space with a butterfly garden. So, we asked the experts who recommended several bush species of the size we required. They told us we would attract monarch butterflies. “Great! We can go for that.” So, we bought seven plants […]


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