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Bulletins
home : bulletins : bulletins
January 18, 2022


1/12/2022
Nature Calls
Gulf Coast Community Foundation recently awarded a $62,500 grant to Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast to help fund the creation of a new Nature Interpreter position and program. Supporting Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Climate Change and Environmental Quality priority, Conservation Foundation’s Nature Interpretation program will provide equitable adult education experiences to educate, empower, and expand conservation understanding in the community. The goal is to connect individuals to nature and facilitate a deeper understanding of local habitats, wildlife, and the delicate relationship with the natural world. Since 2003, Conservation Foundation has protected more than 18,500 acres across 48 properties, adding up to 29 square miles of conserved land. The land Conservation Foundation saves provides sweeping regional benefits, creating wildlife corridors, ensuring clean and plentiful water, providing opportunities for unique public access, and delivering economic and environmental benefits to support resilient communities. Learn more and join in their mission at www.conservationfoundation.com. Nancy Guth shares this photo from an adult hike at Old Miakka.
Gulf Coast Community Foundation recently awarded a $62,500 grant to Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast to help fund the creation of a new Nature Interpreter position and program. Supporting Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Climate Change and Environmental Quality priority, Conservation Foundation’s Nature Interpretation program will provide equitable adult education experiences to educate, empower, and expand conservation understanding in the community. The goal is to connect individuals to nature and facilitate a deeper understanding of local habitats, wildlife, and the delicate relationship with the natural world. Since 2003, Conservation Foundation has protected more than 18,500 acres across 48 properties, adding up to 29 square miles of conserved land. The land Conservation Foundation saves provides sweeping regional benefits, creating wildlife corridors, ensuring clean and plentiful water, providing opportunities for unique public access, and delivering economic and environmental benefits to support resilient communities. Learn more and join in their mission at www.conservationfoundation.com. Nancy Guth shares this photo from an adult hike at Old Miakka.
A healthy bay is everybody’s business! Sarasota Bay Watch announces open registration for the 12th Annual Scallopalooza Fundraising Event. The “clamtastic” event is set for 6pm, Saturday, February 12 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. “Scallopalooza, It’s Clamtastic!” will provide a happy hour, dinner, light presentation, a very popular silent auction, and entertainment while raising funds for local shellfish restoration across the Bay in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Early Bird tickets are available until Friday, December 31. Single tickets are $100. For more information and to register, please visit sarasotabaywatch.org/scallopalooza2022. Your host is Sarasota Bay Watch, an action-based, grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to restoring coastal ecosystems through citizen participation. In 2021 alone over 825,000 clams were released! Clams naturally filter excess nutrients that contribute to red tide and poor clarity affecting seagrass growth, a necessary food source for local marine mammals. Membership is free; visit sarasotabaywatch.org to get involved with its on-going effort to protect and restore the local natural resource. Photo: 2020 Scallopalooza, It’s Clamtastic attendees browsing auction item.
A healthy bay is everybody’s business! Sarasota Bay Watch announces open registration for the 12th Annual Scallopalooza Fundraising Event. The “clamtastic” event is set for 6pm, Saturday, February 12 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. “Scallopalooza, It’s Clamtastic!” will provide a happy hour, dinner, light presentation, a very popular silent auction, and entertainment while raising funds for local shellfish restoration across the Bay in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Early Bird tickets are available until Friday, December 31. Single tickets are $100. For more information and to register, please visit sarasotabaywatch.org/scallopalooza2022. Your host is Sarasota Bay Watch, an action-based, grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to restoring coastal ecosystems through citizen participation. In 2021 alone over 825,000 clams were released! Clams naturally filter excess nutrients that contribute to red tide and poor clarity affecting seagrass growth, a necessary food source for local marine mammals. Membership is free; visit sarasotabaywatch.org to get involved with its on-going effort to protect and restore the local natural resource.
Photo: 2020 Scallopalooza, It’s Clamtastic attendees browsing auction item.

Stump Pass Beach Park Walks
Charlie Woodruff of Lemon Bay Conservancy will lead nature walks on selected Thursdays at Stump Pass State Park. Walkers can join Charlie for a 2.6 mile walk from the parking lot to Stump Pass. Upcoming walk dates are January 27, February 17, and February 24. The start time is 8:30am. The park is located at the south end of Manasota Key, 900 Gulf Blvd. Park entry fee is $3. Pre-registration is required. Contact Charlie at 914•799•0664 to register and for additional details. (Please note that Charlie’s area code is 914, not 941.)
Were You Ever a Mangrove Chapter FNPS Member?
On February 8, Mangrove Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society will hold a 35th anniversary celebration. The Chapter wants to reach as many longtime and previous members as possible to help celebrate. If you were a member of the chapter back in the 1990s or early 2000s, please contact Bobbi Rodgers at elipsi@comcast.net for further information. And please plan to attend the celebration at 1pm on Tuesday, February 8 at Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Road.

Mangrove Chapter Guided Walks
Tuesday, January 18, 9 to 11am: Join Jean Leavitt from the Mangrove Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society for a guided walk through Tippecanoe One, 2400 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte, behind the old Stone Crabs stadium. The walk is approximately two miles along a loop trail to identify plants. The habitats will include pine flatwoods, a salt marsh along a boardwalk, a small freshwater creek, and “Mount Tippe.” You might want to bring binoculars to spot scrub jays, if they are present. A hat, water, and bug repellent are recommended. For more information, visit mangrove.fnpschapters.org.
Wednesday, January 19, 4 to 5pm: Join Dave and Linda Manley from the Mangrove Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society for a Sunset Stroll at the State College of Florida, 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice. This slower walk is on a paved walkway encircling Lake Jervey, with time for questions and observations. The SCF campus has a wide variety of native plants, as well as a tropical Food Forest. If you are looking for a different experience from the longer morning walks in the woods, you might want to try one of these afternoon walks. After the entrance, turn left at the “T” road and then right, into the first parking lot near the lake. For more information, visit mangrove.fnpschapters.org.
    
Lemon Bay Conservancy Activities
The Lemon Bay Conservancy activities listed below are open to the public. Lemon Bay Conservancy’s mission is to protect and preserve the natural features of Lemon Bay, Charlotte Harbor, their surrounding waters and uplands, and vital fish and wildlife habitat, through property preservation, environmental education and advocacy for sustainable land and water conservation policies and practices. Membership and volunteer opportunities are open to all who wish to help support their mission. Charitable donations are always welcome. Many of their activities take place at Lemon Creek Wildflower Preserve, formerly an abandoned golf course, which the Conservancy purchased in 2010 and continues to enhance the natural habitats. The Preserve is located at 3120 Gasparilla Pines Blvd and is open to members daily and to the public for scheduled events. Learn more at lemonbayconservancy.org.
Pole Walking
Join Lucia Schatteleyn for an exercise walk using poles (1 or 2) for stability. The technique will be explained and demonstrated before the fun begins. The dates are Saturdays: January 15, February 5, and February 19. Start time is 9am at Lemon Creek Wildflower Preserve parking lot. Note these walks will move at a moderate pace. For more information, contact Lucia at 941•662•7908.
Juvenile Tarpon Research Volunteers Needed
On the third Saturday of each month through April, Lemon Bay Conservancy will be doing its juvenile tarpon net pulls in Lemon Creek, and they can always use help! Volunteers assist in pulling in the net and can observe the research activities. The planned dates are Saturdays: January 15, February 19, March 19, and April 16. Start time is 7:45am. Advance registration required. If you would like to assist, please contact Jim Cooper at 941•979•6258 for full details.
Central Preserve Guided Walk
Take a guided walk with Charlie Woodruff through the central sections of Lemon Creek Wildflower Preserve on Monday, January 17, 9 to 11am. Learn about the plants and animals that you see along the way.
Annual Meeting Rescheduled
Lemon Bay Conservancy is moving its annual general meeting from Monday, January 17 to Thursday, February 24, starting at 5:30pm at the Cape Haze Community Center, 155 Spaniards Rd., Placida. Please note this new date. Following a short business session, the program will feature a presentation and discussion led by Ms. Judy Ott, estuary scientist and educator, and Dr. William “Coty” Keller, local ecologist, on “Lemon Bay – It’s Complicated: Ideas for Restoring & Safeguarding Our Special Estuary”. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, visit lemonbayconservancy.org.
Successional Changes
Join Dr. Bill Dunson on Sunday, January 23, as he discusses expected transitions over time in plant communities on the east side of Lemon Creek Wildflower Preserve. The walk is 9 to 11am.
Preserve West Side Guided Walk
Mike Weisensee will lead an informative walk to visit the estuarine habitats on the west side of Lemon Creek Wildflower Preserve on Monday, January 31 from 9 to 11am.
Improving the Earth One Garden at a Time
If each of us worked on a garden/yard to enhance its usefulness to birds and other wildlife, there would be a significant improvement in worldwide habitat. On Friday, February 4 from 9 to 11am, visit areas of Lemon Creek Wildflower Preserve with Dr. Bill Dunson to see examples of a variety of plants and gardening techniques.
Edible & Medicinal Plant Walk
Take a walk on the eastern (fresh water) side of Lemon Creek Wildflower Preserve and learn about edible and medicinal plants in the landscape on Monday, February 7, 9 to 11am. (No plant removal or tasting permitted!)
LBC Volunteer Opportunities
On Tuesday, February 8, beginning at 9am, Lucia Schatteleyn, of Lemon Bay Conservancy, will lead a walk and explain volunteer opportunities at Lemon Creek Wildflower Preserve. Come out and learn how you can help maintain and improve the Preserve located at 3120 Gasparilla Pines Blvd. Session dates and times are dependent on reservations. Reserve by calling Lucia at 941•662•7908.

Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center (CHEC) Nature Walks
On these casual walks with CHEC volunteers, you will search and learn about plants, animals, fungi, and more that live in Charlotte County preserves. Prepare for each walk with plenty of water, insect repellent, sunscreen, and clothing that will protect you from insects and plants. Advance registration is required. The health and safety policies for CHEC programs are subject to change. For information on programs, mask requirements and Covid-19 safety precautions, please call 941•475•0769 or email gerald@checflorida.org. Go to www.CHECflorida.org for a complete program calendar.
Tuesday, January 18, 9am: Join CHEC on a guided walk through the old-growth pine flatwoods and mangrove fringe of 125-acre Ann and Chuck Dever Regional Park. Meet at the San Casa entrance, 6791 San Casa Drive. Please call 941•475•0769 to register or for more information. Also offered Friday, February 4, 9am.
Sunday, January 23 at 9am: Join CHEC on a guided walk through the scrub and pine flatwoods of 217-acre Amberjack Environmental Park, 6250 Gasparilla Pines Blvd. Meet at the end of Gasparilla Pines Blvd. Please call 941•475•0769 to register or for more information. Also offered Tuesday, February 1, 9am.
Seagrass Wading Adventure Join CHEC for a free wading adventure through the seagrass beds of Lemon Bay on Tuesday, January 25 at 11am. All participants will be guided approximately a half-mile to the wading site, where they will collect and view creatures of the bay. Participants will need to wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that may get wet during the trip. Participants are also encouraged to wear sunscreen and insect repellent and to bring plenty of drinking water. Advance registration is required by calling 941•475•0769. Trips fill up fast! Meet in the Cedar Point Environmental Park Visitor Center, 2300 Placida Road. Also scheduled at 8:30am on Thursday, February 3, 9:30am on Tuesday, February 8, and 8:30am on Saturday, February 18.
Tuesday, January 25, 9am: Join CHEC on a walk at Bayshore Live Oak Park along the shoreline of Charlotte Harbor to explore the various mangrove species found there. Covered will be mangrove identification, special adaptations that allow mangroves to thrive in salty environments, and why mangroves are important and protected in Florida. Please call 941•475•0769 to register or for more information.
Slices and Scientists Lecture Come out to Cedar Point at 6pm on Friday, February 11 for a free lecture from a local environmentalist about a myriad of topics relating to Florida nature! This is a great opportunity to learn from an expert about some of the local wildlife and habitats that surround this area here in South Florida. The lecture is open to all ages, and will include pizza and refreshments for sale and activities for kids. Speaker and topics TBA. Please register by calling 941•475•0769. Also scheduled for Friday, February 25.
Nighttime Seagrass Wading Trip Tuesday, February 15, 4:30pm: Come explore the park’s nocturnal side! This trip will meet behind the Visitor Center 1 hour before sunset (meet time: 4:30 PM) and take a short guided hike through the park down to the vibrant waters of Lemon Bay. There, you will have the chance to wade into the water right at sunset with nets and buckets to see what creatures you can observe living in the seagrass flats! Must pre-register by calling 941•475•0769.

Boater Manatee Protection Tips
Beautiful sunny days bring more boaters out on the water and that creates a bigger risk for manatees who will be sharing the same channels, seagrass beds and shallow areas where manatees might be feeding. Manatees congregate in the warmer waters of creeks, canals, and channels during winter. Save-the-Manatee Club wants you to be conscious of their possible presence and offers tips to keep them safe.
• Wear polarized sunglasses while boating to eliminate glare and see below the water’s surface.
• Look for a snout, back, tail or flipper breaking the surface of the water. A swirl or flat spot is also created by the manatee’s tail when it swims.
• If you see a manatee, remain a safe distance away – 50 feet is the suggested minimum. If you want to observe, cut your motor.
• Report injured or dead manatees to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888•404•FWCC (3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone, or VHF Channel 16 on marine radio.
• Stash your trash and dispose of it properly, as debris is dangerous to manatees and other wildlife.
• Discard monofilament line or fishing hooks properly.
• Resist the urge to feed manatees or give them water to keep them from becoming dependent.
• “Look but don’t touch” is the best policy when swimming or diving. Quietly observe them from a distance.
Visit www.savethemanatee.org for more boater tips.





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