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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
October 27, 2016
In This Issue
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New Biology Intern
Welcome to Matt Grassi, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, who comes to "Ding" Darling from Florida Panther/Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge east of Naples. There he served as a biological science aid. Matt earned his degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in May 2013.
"The staff has been great! And the birds have been plentiful, so it's all good," says Matt, who is considering a human dimension study for the research project for his biology internship, which will extend into next summer. DDWS provides living stipends and other benefits for about a dozen interns each year. The Refuge supports interns and resident volunteers with free housing.
Application DEADLINE is October 31.  
Click HERE to learn more

Look below for programs and activities this week

Smithsonian Water/Ways Opening
The Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit examines water as an environmental necessity and important cultural element.

Friday, October 28, marks the grand opening of the free, first-of-its-kind Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit in the Refuge Visitor & Education Center starting at 9 a.m. until the Center closes at 4 p.m. That day also begins our Water/Ways Soak-It-In Speakers Series, starring noted marine biologist and author Dr. Ellen Prager at 1 p.m.

Dr. Ellen Prager
Dr. Prager, a sought-after speaker widely recognized for her expertise and ability to bring science to the layman, presents her "Ocean Trivia"
program geared to all ages. She has entertained and educated cruise ship READ MORE

Photo Contest Winners
On October 22, Conservation Art Day, DDWS announced the winners of its 29th annual "Ding" Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest. Judges had selected three winners and 12 honorable mentions out of 122 entries from 17 states and five countries - nearly twice as many READ MORE 

1st Place: Tom Korbutt's "My Sandy Look"

2nd Place: Bill Fischer's "The Great Chase"
3rd Place: Cathi Bodine's "See You Later!"

Click here to view all winning wildlife photography from 2016.

"Bagzilla" dresses in the 500 plastic bags a typical shopper uses in one year.
Programming in the week to come will include Saturday's H-2-GO weekly family programs. This Saturday, October 29, learn about decomposition during the Marine Debris Timeline activity at 10 a.m. in the Visitor & Education Center Classroom. Meet Bagzilla the plastic bag monster, make friendship bracelets out of recycled plastic bags, do the scavenger hunt for prizes, and participate in other hands-on activities.  Tarpon Bay Explorers offers 10 percent discounts off its 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Nature & Sea Life Cruises on Saturday.

Wednesdays are Film Fest Day - sponsored by LCEC-- during Water/Ways. On November 2, catch Turtle: The Incredible Journey at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. Turtle follows a loggerhead sea turtle's spectacular journey from a young hatchling emerging from her nest in the sand to a 25-year-old adult returning to the same beach to nest her own young. The award-winning film tells the remarkable story of a harrowing trek around the globe READ MORE 

For a full calendar of Water/Ways activities, please

Lee County Voters: Vote YES on 20/20
Lee County voters: Vote YES to continue the Conservation 20/20 program that preserves our water quality and supplies, precious lands, and recreational opportunities. A vote for 20/20 does NOT mean an increase in taxes. The 20/20 referendum has no number; look for it at the bottom of your ballot. And remember to check YES for continued quality of life here in Lee County.  CLICK HERE to watch a short video on why we should keep conserving Lee County. Please share this message with other Lee County voters.
Don't Let Utilities Block the Sun
State of Florida voters: Amendment 1 in the November election is almost fully funded by the utilities, who 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. Read more about the deceptive ballot HERE
Vote NO on 1 in NOvember! 
Joe Hautman talks about creating this year's Duck Stamp.
Conservation Art Day Ends 
'Ding' Days With a Splash

The only artist in history to win five Federal Duck Stamp contests, Joseph Hautman is something of a rock star in wildlife art circles. His appearance at Conservation Art Day on Saturday, October 22, drew a crowd of admirers young and old. Here are some scenes from "Ding" Days' closing event.

Kids painted feather-bird portraits to honor this year's Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial.

Photographer Terry Baldwin led her annual Photo Tram Tour.



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


Special thanks for the leadership and support from Tarpon Bay Explorers
"Evening Splendor" by Catherine McClung
Bird Paintings Exhibit
The award-winning bird paintings of Catherine McClung will be on display in the Visitor & Education Center Auditorium A from November 1 through December 31. Stop in for a free peek.


Please join us on Wednesday, November 30, for the Refuge Nature Store's fourth annual Happy Hour Holiday Shopping event in the Visitor & Education Center. We will be opening the store for two extra hours after the Center closes, from 5 to 7 p.m. The store has stocked special holiday gift items for the event, and it will have gift consultants ready with suggestions and free READ MORE

The back of the our new SPF men's shirts
Our jaunty collection of ties
For the men on your shopping list, have a look at these new items recently added to Nature Store inventory. The midnight-blue Snook Refuge logo shirt has an SPF rating of 50+ and venting on the sides and sleeves - perfect for anglers. It costs $44.95.

In designs from demure starfish to whimsical "Santa-gators," our new line of  silk men's ties adds a little wildlife to his wardrobe. They are priced at $45 each. To order by mail, call 239-472-1100 ext. 214 or send an email.

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

Wood Duck, photo courtesy of  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


Location: 4,500-plus acres 50 miles southwest of Seattle, Washington

Totemic Fauna: Wood Duck

Photo courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service
Fun for the Family: The 1-mile Twin Barns Loop Trail boardwalk takes visitors through woodland, grassland, and freshwater marsh habitats.

Visitor's Tip: Visitors can often see Wood Duck families in the ponds around the Visitor Center.

Help Save the Island
Gopher Tortoises are among the species whose habitat the Wulfert Road property acquisition will benefit. 
"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.  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.

Photo courtesy of Sylvia Guarino
Photo courtesy of Gail Campbell

We have had some exciting wildlife sightings this week. Our favorite winter visitors are back! A flock of American White Pelicans was seen flying over the Refuge early this week. A Bald Eagle was also spotted atop a nest off the Wulfert Keys Trail! 

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

Like us on Facebook View on Instagram
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 Carrie Alexander for a chance to be featured in upcoming newsletters.

Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit - October 28-December 7, 2016
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
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 Emily Koval.
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