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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
September 1, 2016
In This Issue

Ruddy Turnstone photo by
Next week: Look for exciting news about research on the Mangrove Cuckoo.
 Photo by Patty Smith
"Early Morning Calm"
Photo by Janet Kirk
One Victory for Solar!
Floridian solar advocates scored a victory on August 30 as voters approved Amendment 4 by a wide margin. The amendment encourages business and industrial solar power conversion with lucrative tax incentives.  Click here to read more. 

Kids who are able to hold their own fishing pole may participate in the free fifth annual "Ding" Darling Kids Fishing Derby to be held at the Sanibel Causeway Islands Park (Island A, closest to Sanibel) on Saturday, November 26, 2016.  The Refuge and "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society cosponsor the event as part of this year's Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit READ MORE

Click here to learn more about events and activities surrounding Water/Ways' coming to "Ding" Darling, such as the weekly water-related Film Festival, sponsored by  
Vote NO in NOvember
Another Solar amendment will be on the Florida ballots in November.  Amendment 1 in the November election is almost fully funded by the utilities, who have raised an incredible $16 million to place it on the ballot and reach voters. 

Amendment 1 is a deceptively worded amendment that creates barriers for future solar power competition and slows solar use for the future. A diverse army of citizen groups strongly opposes the amendment. 

Read more about the deceptive ballot here.
Vote NO in NOvember!
Intern Alumnae Still Doing It for Conservation
We are over-the-top proud when we see our interns go on to have a continued impact on conservation once they leave our folds. Dana DeSousa (left), who worked for the Refuge as both a Visitor Services and Biology Intern, went on this summer to work with Leatherback Sea Turtles at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Student Conservation Association. Read her excellent article about "Helping a Giant Safely Nest."

Recent DDWS Intern Anna Grubb (center) has taken the position of Conservation & Programs Outreach Intern with the Refuge Association in Washington, D.C. The Refuge Association oversees all national wildlife refuge Friends groups, and Anna will be traveling nationally to assist with local needs.

Jack Cholewa (right), our former Education Intern, is working for a non-profit group in Missoula, Montana, focused on public land conservation. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers primarily works to protect public land access for outdoor recreation. Jack serves as the Advocacy and Social Media Coordinator.

Congratulations and good luck to our great interns in their "next lives!"

New Orientation Film nears
Filming is wrapping up for our new orientation film, which will debut on Sunday, October 16, 2016, for "Ding" Darling Days' Family Fun Day. The video runs throughout the day in the Visitor & Education Center thereafter. Here, the crew films volunteers presenting kids with a Junior Refuge Manager badge, a free program available to all kids who visit the Refuge. Philanthropy from a private foundation made this video possible and we are very appreciative!  
Web Cam Is Live!
The live feed from the observation tower camera to our new web site has been deployed. Thanks to the Gardner Families for making the feed possible. Visit dingdarlingsociety.org to view it anytime during daylight hours. The feed times out after three minutes, but you can click refresh on your browser to reconnect. Enjoy! Click here to visit the new site.



John & Beth Newland 
Jim & Patty Sprankle  
Wayne & Linda Boyd


"Ding" Days Sponsor Showcase

Bank of the Islands: A full-service bank especially for islanders, meeting all your savings, checking, and loan needs
Photo Contest Deadline: September 15

September 15, 2016, marks the deadline for the 28th Annual "Ding" Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest. The contest is held in conjunction with "
Ding" Darling Days, October 16-22, 2016. Complete contest  rules 

Last year's third place winner, Ellen Trevor from Sanibel Island, captured this Little Blue Heron
Attention Lee County voters!
 Vote YES for the 20/20 Referendum on November 8th, 2016.  It is an opportunity for citizens to help safeguard Lee County's long-term economic and environmental sustainability and quality of life through continuing to protect the County's exceptional natural resources.  Conservation 20/20 is an environmentally-sensitive land acquisition and stewardship program in Lee County and worked with the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society and the Refuge in using 20/20 funds to help acquire the Woodring Homestead property.
Click HERE to learn more. 
Smart & Safe: Shirts for Kids

Keep the kids looking smart while being safe from the sun with these cool, new long-sleeved, SPF-40 shirts. Pick from dolphin and sea turtle designs. Or buy one of each, for $34.99 apiece. To mail-order your shirts, email or call 239-472-1100 ext. 241.

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

In each issue of "Ding" on the Wing, we showcase one of more than 560 refuges in the U.S.A. 

Location: Twenty minutes
from downtown New Orleans, this urban refuge encompasses 24,293 acres.

Totemic Fauna: Alligators and White-tailed Deer

Fun for the Family: The Ridge Trail boardwalk is great for families with small children and for spotting alligators.

Visitor's Tip: Be prepared with sunscreen, bug spray, and lots of water.
Photo courtesy of Bayou Sauvage NWR
Mangrove cuckoos are among the species whose habitat the Wulfert Road property acquisition with benefit.
"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society continues campaign to acquire 8+ acres on Sanibel Island

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 exit of the Refuge's Wildlife Drive, is a crucial wildlife corridor. We must raise $2 million in private funds to purchase the parcel, which lies between SCCF land and the Refuge. Donors have already 
"Ding" Darling at work
committed more than $600,000 of needed funds, so the goal is to raise the remaining amount by 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 or click HERE to make a gift on our new website! 

Facebook Milestone

We did it! With your help we surpassed 10,000 likes for our Facebook page! If you haven't liked us, please click on the Facebook icon below. Follow us also on Instagram and YouTube. And like the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge official page, too.  
Like us on Facebook  View on Instagram  View our videos on YouTube

Trail cameras are one of the best ways to capture wildlife images. The animals, such as the bobcat and coyote pictured above, are undisturbed and in their natural habitat. A huge "Thank You" to the private donors who made the purchase and installation of these trail cameras possible.

To see more wildlife photos like this one, 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.

save date
Wildlife Drive Fee-Free Day - September 24, 2016
Wildlife Drive Fee-Free Day - October 9, 2016
27th Annual "Ding" Darling Days - October 16-22, 2016
Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit - Oct.28-December 8, 20
Wildlife Drive Fee-Free Days - November 12-13, 2016
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
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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