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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
August 4, 2016
In This Issue

"Ding" Stars in VCB Video
Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau
Vote YES for Solar

August voting is about to begin in Florida. Please spread the word to vote in favor of solar energy in the 
August 30 Florida primary election
Lower the cost of energy simply by voting YES on Amendment 4. The proposed amendment, if passed, will exempt solar systems from the burdensome tangible personal property tax for a period of 20 years.
Click here for more information.
Water Quality: Take Action NOW

 In recent editions of "Ding" on the Wing, we reported our efforts and requested your support to call on the State of Florida and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to accelerate the planning and design of a critical project that, when completed, will provide additional water storage south of Lake Okeechobee and reduce the high-volume freshwater discharges that are so damaging to the Refuge and communities in Southwest Florida. 
This high-impact project is currently not slated to begin until 2021.  The DDWS has joined with local organizations and communities, including the City of Sanibel, the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce, and SCCF in stating that this is unacceptable.
 The planning must start now! 
We are pleased to report that the Corps has recently communicated a willingness to expedite the project's planning.  However, for the planning to move forward a non-Federal sponsor is required which, in our case, is the State of Florida. 
The official name of the project within the Corps' 2015 master plan is the 
"EAA Storage & ASR/Decomp Ph2." 
Please add your voice to ours: Connect with the State officials listed below and request that the planning for this project begin immediately. Your voice will make a difference. 
Send an email to the governor, the South Florida Water Management District executive director and governing board, the SW Florida Legislative Delegation, and the president of the Florida State Senate and House Speaker by using the emails below.  PLEASE ask these individuals to accelerate the planning for the EAA Storage & ASR/Decomp Ph2 project from 2021 to 2016/2017.  Ask them to commence land acquisition and construction immediately upon completion of planning and design.

Email the following individuals:
It takes everyone working together to make an impact, and your participation by making your voice heard will make a difference. 
Smithsonian Water/Ways Update

In conjunction with the visiting Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit at "Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center October 28 through December 8, 2016, "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society will be hosting a free biweekly "Soak-It-In Speaker Series" on Fridays at 1 p.m. "We have lined up two exciting authors, one incredible photographer, and an expert panel of water researchers and managers," said READ MORE
"Ding" Days Celebrates Migratory Birds

In addition to celebrating Jay N. "Ding" Darling's 140th birthday and National Wildlife Refuge Week, this year's "Ding" Darling Days, October 16-22, celebrates the centennial of the convention between United States and Great Britain (representing Canada) governments for the protection of migratory birds. Also called the Migratory Bird Treaty, it was signed on August 16, 1916. 
The 27th annual "Ding" Days will focus on all things birds. "That's not at all difficult READ MORE

Our 2016 "Ding" Days logo reflects this year's focus on birds.
"Ding" Days Sponsor Showcase

Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar & Grille: Offering daily specials for lunch and dinner, full menu from open to close, signature cocktails, as well as an extensive Premium Rum Selection

George & Wendy's Seafood Grille: A lively American seafood restaurant featuring a full bar with TVs, karaoke, and live entertainment

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank: "Banking where no shoes are required"
Cedar Chest Fine Jewelry: An unique collection of sea-themed jewelry influenced by the beauty of Sanibel

Jerry's Foods of Sanibel: Centrally located full-service supermarket with a restaurant and lush bird gardens
Island Sun: Weekly print newspaper covering all the news of Sanibel and Captiva islands

Thanks to sponsors who are already showing their support: 


John & Beth Newland   

 Jim & Patty Sprankle  
Wayne & Linda Boyd

Click on the cartoon to see it enlarged
This Land Is Your Land
"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society takes on campaign to acquire 8+ acres on Sanibel Island

Jay N. "Ding" Darling, our Refuge namesake, recognized the importance of conserving land resources already in the 1930s, when he penned this political cartoon for the Des Moines Register. He named it "How rich will we be when we have converted all our forests, all our soil, all our water resources and all our minerals into cash?Darling went on to win two Pulitzer Prizes and, as head of the U.S. Biological Survey (forerunner of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service), introduced the Federal Duck Stamp Program to allow the government to purchase land for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

In the spirit of "Ding" Darling, we ask you to help preserve fragile habitat on Sanibel Island. This property, located on Wulfert Road and just beyond the 
"Ding" Darling at work
exit of the Refuge's Wildlife Drive, is a crucial wildlife corridor. We must raise $2 million in private funds to purchase the parcel, with a deadline of February 2017.  If not preserved by the Refuge, READ MORE

To make a gift or multi-year pledge or for more information, contact DDWS Executive Director Birgie Miller at 239-292-0566 or by email.   

Bill Thomas, the Regional Invasive Species Strike Team Leader, was formerly stationed at "Ding" Darling for several years. In this issue of "Ding" on the Wing, he introduces us to his new post at Loxahatchee, one of more than 560 refuges in the U.S.A.
Location: Seven miles west of Boynton Beach, Florida, this 144,000-acre refuge protects the northern Everglades and cypress swamp habitats.
Image by Bill Thomas
Totemic Fauna: The endangered Snail Kite and American Alligator
Fun for the Family: The Visitor Center includes an alligator diorama, interactive games, and a virtual airboat ride through prairies, marshes, and tree islands.
Visitor's Tip: The boardwalk outside the Visitor Center is 0.4 miles long and showcases the refuge's 400-acre cypress swamp, the largest remaining strand of cypress swamp in Florida.
Get Ready for School

Send the kids back to school in wildlife style with these fun holographic 5 x7-inch notebooks. Choose from several styles for just $6.99 each. To mail-order your notebooks, email or call 239-472-1100 ext. 241. 

A Toast to Sea Life

These individually hand-painted wine glasses will be the hit of your island party. Priced at only $18.99 each, they come in four different whimsical sea-motif designs.

All proceeds from Nature Store sales go directly to the Refuge for educational programs and wildlife research.

Volunteers Needed:  Do you like interacting with fellow nature-lovers, meeting new people, and learning a new skill? The Refuge Nature Store is seeking summer volunteers to work the cashier, especially for Sunday shifts. No experience necessary. Interested persons should contact Store Manager Jeanne Walsh by email or by phone at 239-472-1100 ext. 241.
Clear Your Gear

Thanks to the Refuge's Monofilament Busters team and the City of Sanibel for the installation of "Clear Your Gear" disposal stations and signs at popular fishing spots on the island. Members of Sanibel's Department of Public Works Parks Division placed the stations at Bowman's Beach, the Clam Bayou box culvert, Blind Pass, and the public boat ramp at Sanibel's causeway.
The signs ask anglers to dispose their gear responsibly, because improperly discarded fishing line, hooks, and lures catch more than fish. Unfortunately, they can be deadly to birds, sea turtles, and other wildlife.

: Support "Ding"

By signing up for the Amazon Smile program, you can designate the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society as a recipient for a donation from Amazon. Click here and search "Ding Darling" to designate us as your charity. Then, every time you wish to make an Amazon purchase, log into smile.amazon.com rather than the regular Amazon site. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase directly to DDWS to benefit the conservation efforts at the Refuge.  (Prices for items on smile.amazon.com are the same as on Amazon.com.)
Say NO to Plastic Straws

Plastic waste harms wildlife.
Did you know that in the U.S. alone we use and discard 500 million straws every day? That's 175 billion a year ending up in landfills and oceans - enough to wrap around the Earth's circumference 2.5 times a day. Visit thelastplasticstraw.org to learn more. And remember to request your beverage without a plastic straw.


Black-and-white Warbler and bird gathering by Sylvia Guarino.

To see more wildlife photos, click on our social media links:

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If you have taken any beautiful, interesting, or just plain goofy photos taken at the Refuge, send them to Society intern Carrie Alexander for a chance to be featured in upcoming newsletters.
27th Annual "Ding" Darling Days - October 16-22, 2016
Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit - Oct.28-December 8, 20
Kids Fishing Derby - November 28, 2016
Happy Hour Holiday Shopping - November 30, 2016
DDWS Annual Meeting - December 7, 2016
Volunteer Holiday Luncheon - December 9, 2016
Biweekly Wednesday Film Series (Sponsored by Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts) - January 4-April 12, 2017
Weekly Friday Lecture Series - (Sponsored by HighTower/Thomas and Swartz Wealth Management January 20-April 14, 2017
Go Wild for "Ding" - February 8, 2017
Volunteer Awards Luncheon - February 10, 2017

Did You Miss This Great Shot?

If so, it's because you have not connected with us on Facebook or Instagram. We are less than 70 "likes" away from our 10,000 goal on Facebook, so please join us and share our posts so more will join.

These are just snapshots of some of the things taking place at your Wildlife Refuge.  Please check our website at www.dingdarlingsociety.org to learn more!

Birgit Miller, Executive Director

"Ding" On The Wing composed by Chelle Koster Walton.  Designed by Sarah Lathrop and intern Carrie Alexander
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