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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
September 29, 2016
In This Issue
Mangrove Cuckoo 
by Bill Fischer

Teacher Grant 

October 31, 2016
All teachers in schools in the five-county area (Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades) are invited to submit Environmental Education or Science related unit proposals. 
Click HERE for information
Smithsonian Water/Ways 
Film Festival

In conjunction with the visiting Smithsonian Water/Ways free exhibit at "Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center October 28 through December 7, 2016, we will be hosting a free weekly Water Film Festival on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., sponsored by LCEC. All showings take place in the Auditorium. "We have lined up six important films consequential to the water issues brought to light by the Water/Ways exhibit," said Sarah Lathrop, associate director READ MORE

Trailer for Sharkwater
Trailer for Sharkwater

Click here to see the Water/Ways brochure listing all scheduled programs.
Vote Conservation-Wise

Our namesake, political cartoonist Jay N. "Ding" Darling, drew this cartoon he titled "Don't say it - sign it!"  in 1938. Like "Ding," we urge you to be conservation-conscious when making your election decisions this November. Get to know your candidates' stands, and pay particular attention to the following two issues that will directly impact our environment. Click on the cartoon to see it enlarged.

Florida Voters:  Vote NO in November: Don't Let Utilities Block the Sun
Amendment 1 in the November election is almost fully funded by the utilities, w ho 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 opposesthe amendment. Read more about the deceptive ballot here. Vote NO in NOvember!

Keep Conserving Lee: Vote Yes for 20/20

Attention all Lee County voters! Vote YES for 20/20 on November 8, 2016. It is an opportunity for citizens to help safeguard Lee County's long-term economic and environmental sustainability and quality of life by continuing to protect the county's exceptional natural resources, yet
without increasing taxes. Click here to see a short video on why we should keep conserving Lee County.  

Water Quality Research at "Ding"
With federal funding for wildlife refuges continuing to decline, the DDWS supports a number of different areas at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. From wildlife research, internships, educational programming and class bus trips, land acquisition and interpretation, the Society also helps in purchasing important equipment to help in the fight for improving our water quality at the Refuge and beyond. 

From Lead Refuge Biologist Jeremy Conrad:
"Once I again I would like to thank the Society for their efforts in supporting our water quality monitoring program. The 2 of the 3 sondes [water testing stations] that were purchased with Society funds have now been deployed and are collecting real time data and transmitting it back to our servers for review and analysis. This data will support the Refuge in CORP calls and providing the SFWMD [Southwest Florida Water Management District] with water release recommendations."

Welcome New Intern

Monica Scroggin, who graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in December 2015 with a bachelor's degree in environmental studies and a minor in biology, has joined Refuge staff as a part-time Visitor Services Intern. A South Miami native, she worked previously as an intern for an oyster monitoring research project at FGCU's Coastal Watershed Institute. She currently serves as project manager.

At "Ding" Darling, Monica's duties will include collecting photographs and wildlife information for the installation of new signage at the Bailey Tract. Her love of  the Refuge stems from a longtime relationship since childhood with Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling's grandson, the late Kip Koss, and his wife Andrea. "Kip and my grandpa became really good friends when they were pilots for PanAm," Monica explains. "After my grandparents passed, I looked up to the Kosses more as grandparents than family friends."

She remembers attending "Ding" Darling Days with Kip as a child. "I have always loved visiting Sanibel and 'Ding' Darling because of the way it incorporates nature into its neighborhoods," said Monica. "All the conserved land is so special because I know it will be there for future generations to enjoy and that means a lot."

DDWS provides living stipends and other benefits for about a dozen interns each year. The Refuge supports interns and resident volunteers with free housing. If you are interested in supporting the internship program, click HERE



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


"Ding" Days Sponsor Showcase

Suncatchers' Dream: Beautiful, artistic, functional, and affordable gifts for every occasion
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Mangrove cuckoos are among the species whose habitat the Wulfert Road property acquisition will benefit.
Help Save the Island
"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society has undertaken a campaign to acquire 8.15 acres on Sanibel Island's Wulfert Road as a crucial wildlife corridor for the "Ding" Darling Refuge. We must raise $2 million in private funds to purchase the parcel, which lies between SCCF land and the Refuge. 
Donors have already committed more than $600,000 of needed funds, so the goal is to raise the remaining funds by February 2017. If not preserved by the Refuge, the land could be developed with as many as five dwellings and READ MORE
For more information, contact DDWS Executive Director Birgie Miller at 239-292-0566 or by email.

What a Catch!
For the fisher-folk on your gift list, our new logo tarpon and snook baseball caps are just the thing. Great colors and smart embroidering make them a catch at $23.95 each. To mail-order your fishing caps, 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. Most items can be shipped, and is a nice opportunity to think of holiday gifts for loved ones. 
In each issue of "Ding" on the Wing, we showcase one of the more than 560 refuges across the U.S.A. This week, we invited Kari Eschenbacher, a ranger from Kodiak NWR on detail at "Ding" Darling for September, to share some insights into her home refuge.

Kari Eschenbacher educating at Kodiak NWR. Photo by Lisa Hupp.
Location: 1.9 million acres on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and neighboring islands, accessible only by boat or floatplane.

Totemic Fauna: Kodiak Brown Bears

Fun for the Family: Visit the Kodiak Refuge Visitor Center and its interactive exhibits downtown Kodiak.

Visitor's Tip: For the safety of people and bears, guided options for bear viewing are advised.

Kodiak Brown Bears: photo by Kari Eschenbacher
Sitka black-tailed deer

Two beautiful photos from local photographer Al Hoffacker. The tarpon and spotted sea trout are getting us excited for the Tarpon Tourney on May 19, 2017!

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

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or go to the Society website to view the live webcam!

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.

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
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 Carrie Alexander.
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