Sea turtle nests are washed out following Tropical Storm Alberto. Photo take May 27, 2018.
Sea turtle nests are washed out following Tropical Storm Alberto. Photo take May 27, 2018.

The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation will tackle the topic of sea level rise from multiple perspectives at the annual Earth Day presentation at 2 p.m. Monday, April 22, at the SCCF Nature Center, 3333 Sanibel Captiva Rd. There is no charge for the program, but registration is requested due to limited space.

An overview of causes, challenges and next steps in confronting sea level rise will be presented by Marine Lab Scientist Rick Bartleson, Ph.D. and Research Associate Leah Reidenbach. Topics will include fossil fuel, CO2, and greenhouse gas emissions to the warming and acidifying oceans and the effects on sea life.

The specific impacts on sea turtles and shorebirds will be addressed by Sea Turtle Program Coordinator Kelly Sloan and Shorebird Biologist Audrey Albrecht. Shorebird populations are declining rapidly worldwide due to many factors, including sea level rise. Our coasts here in Florida are critical nesting and wintering habitat for a number of species – including shorebirds and sea turtles. Many of these species are already imperiled, and that nesting habitat is already at risk from human development and recreational use. 

All four SCCF staff members will answer questions about this important and timely topic.

Following the presentation, the Brush of Excellence drawing will take place to see who will take home Six Dolphins, a limited edition signed and numbered print by Brush of Excellence prize recipient Ikki Matsumoto. Must be present to win. Tickets can still be purchased at the Nature Center or the Native Landscapes & Garden Center, online or by calling 239-472-2329.

The SCCF J.N. “Ding” Darling Brush of Excellence Environmental Art Program was created to provide a continuing tribute to Darling’s legacy and an annual recognition of environmental artists following in Darling’s footsteps. This is the fourth presentation. The program is administered by SCCF’s Brush of Excellence Committee, headed by Sandy Gross, with members Janie Howland, Diane Neitzel, Ran Niehoff, Carol Strange, and Peter Zell.

SCCF is dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel and Captiva and in the surrounding watershed through environmental education, land acquisition & stewardship, Native Landscapes & Garden Center, Marine Laboratory, natural resource policy, sea turtle and shorebird conservation, and wildlife & habitat management. Community support through membership dues and tax-deductible contributions, in addition to grants and staff-generated revenue, makes this work possible.