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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
November 3, 2016
In This Issue
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Don't forget  to vote next week!
New Deputy Manager Arrives

Nate Caswell recently joined
the "Ding" Darling team as a detailee. In early 2017, he will fill the permanent position as Deputy Refuge Manager, a post vacated by Joyce Palmer this summer. A veteran of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for more than 14 years, Nate has worked in two different regions of the Service in multiple roles and programs. The past four years he has served as the Refuge Manager for Imperial National Wildlife Refuge in Yuma, Arizona. Welcome to the team, Nate!

Look to the right for programs and activities this week

Roseate Spoonbills by Aaron Kirk

Cynthia Barnett
November 4
The second in the Water/Ways Soak-It-In
Speaker Series features award-winning
environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett, who will present "Blue Revolution:A Water Ethic for Florida and
America" on Friday,
November 4 at 1 p.m.
Cynthia's presentation is based on her book Blue
Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis,
which The Boston Globe
named as one of the top 10 science books of READ MORE.

Saturday, November 5
Saturday's weekly H-2-GO family program on November 5 takes visitors on "The Incredible Journey." Imagine yourself a drop of water in this fast-paced activity and learn how pollution at home can affect the whole world. The same day, Tarpon Bay Explorers offers 10 percent discounts off its 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Nature & Sea Life Cruises. Call 239-472-8900 for reservations.

Students listened to a presentation by marine biologist and author Dr. Ellen Prager and completed the Aqua Ranger Scavenger Hunt exercise to win free prizes.

Wednesday, November 9
Wednesdays are Film Fest Day - sponsored by LCEC -- during Water/Ways. On November 9, catch Plastic Paradise at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. It reveals the tragic truths about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that floats in the ocean as a dirty reminder of our rabid plastic consumption. Click HERE to read more.

While you are visiting the Water/Ways exhibit, check out the Southwest Florida Fine Craft Guild's 52-artist
Engulfed art exhibition.  Here, John
Merchant's "Spring Tide" took first place in the judging last week.  

The Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit opened on October 28 with visits from The Sanibel School and Lehigh Acres Elementary.
For a full calendar of Water/Ways activities, please click HERE
Hear tasty live licks, and benefit "Ding" Darling at the same time: The inaugural Sanibel Blues & Jazz Festival takes place on Sunday, November 6, in the Bailey's Center lot. The festival's host, the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club, is donating a portion of proceeds to the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society. A big thank-you for its support! General admission is $40 per person, or $125 for a VIP package. Tickets are available online and at select island businesses. Click HERE for details.
Lee County Voters: 

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! 


Water/Ways Display

During the opening days of our Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit, the Nature Store is showcasing relevant books and gifts at its entrance display table. The Water/Ways table features everything from soap bars that urge you to "Save Water, Shower with a Friend" to lovely glass and wooden sea-life bowls.

Holiday Cards
Two of the five whimsical holiday card designs. Click HERE to view the entire set.

Get a jump on holiday mailings with a set or more of Refuge Wildlife Holiday Cards. Fifteen cards featuring five different holiday designs come boxed for $14.99 a set. Click here to see all five designs. To order by mail, call 239-472-1100 ext. 214 or send an email.

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

Scarlet Tanager


Refuge Spotlight - 'America's Best-Kept Secret'

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

Lake Redington at Patuxent Research Refuge. Photos courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Location: 12,841 acres along the Paxutent and Little Paxutent rivers between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, DC

Totemic Fauna: Scarlet Tanager and Eastern Red Bat

Fun for the Family: The North Tract is a great place to horseback-ride and see waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds.

Visitor's Tip: Check the website for details about free public tram tours.

Mark your calendars for January 5-8, 2017, the 32nd annual Everglades Coalition Conference at Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort in Fort Myers. This year's conference -- titled "Three Estuaries, One Solution: Caloosahatchee, St. Lucie, and Florida Bay" -- seeks to raise critical, timely issues for in-depth debates in an open, accessible forum. Community leaders and political figures will discuss their positions, pledge their support, and offer challenges to the community. Decision-makers from federal, state, local, and tribal governments; agency representatives; stakeholders; and a vast array of public and private interests including scientists, educators, contractors, conservationists, media, students, and the general public will attend the conference. It is the largest annual forum to advance Everglades conservation and restoration. Click HERE to visit the Coalition's conference web page. 
the Island
Eastern Screech Owls are among the species whose habitat the Wulfert Road property acquisition will benefit. Photo by William Fischer  
"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society has undertaken a campaign to acquire 8.51 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 dollars 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

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

Photo courtesy of Sylvia Guarino
Photo courtesy of Sylvia Guarino

This past week has been amazing for wildlife spotting. The White Pelicans have officially landed! Some of our other favorites made cameo appearances at the Refuge just this past week. This Bobcat, who looks like he's in time-out, was spotted in the Bailey Tract. 

   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.

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, Emily Koval, and Sierra Hoisington.

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