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Sanibel Sea School presents seasonal offerings

February 12, 2020
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Sanibel Sea School is offering the following programs for the winter and spring:

- Feb. 13 from 9 to 11 a.m.: The Basics of Fire Ecology

Fire is an integral component in the function and biodiversity of natural habitats. It allows for regrowth and renewal. Prescribed burns are an important tool in habitat management. Prescribed burns are conducted on Sanibel to reduce hazardous fuel, restore and manage natural habitat, and for aesthetic enhancement. Stroll through managed conservation lands and chat with local burn bosses and fire crew. Cost is $20. Meet at the Sanibel Sea School; instructor is Alex Horn.

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The Basics of Fire Ecology will be held on Feb. 13.

- Feb 27 from 9 a.m. to noon: Shorebirds Identification

The identification of shorebirds is challenging and can be especially hard during the winter. Learn how to identify shorebirds, about their biology and how they fit into coastal habitats. Cost is $20. Meet at the Sanibel Sea School; instructor is Audrey Albrecht.

- March 5 from 9 a.m. to noon: Exploring Tides - Boat Trip

The tides are a constant influence on the oceans. They are controlled by astrological arrangements and gravity. Use the Ripple Effect as a floating classroom to get down to the nitty gritty on how tides work and what they mean. A fun and unusual way to have an analytical look at the oceans. Cost is $75. Meet on Causeway Island B; instructor is Doc Bruce.

- March 10 from 8 to 10 a.m.: A Bunche Beach-combing Morning

With its dense mangrove forest and a vast soft intertidal zone, Bunche Beach Preserve is top notch when it comes to beach combing. Shorebirds and wading birds glide between tide pools in search of a snack, juvenile horseshoe crabs leave nothing but tracks behind, and King's Crown Conchs slide around hunting for oysters. Cost is $20. Meet at the Bunche Beach Preserve, at 18201 John Morris Road, Fort Myers; instructor is Doc Bruce.

- March 17 from 9 a.m. noon: Seabirds - Gulls, Terns and Skimmers, Oh My!

All birds along the shore are not shorebirds - at least not to bird biologists. Explore the seabirds commonly see on local shores and learn how to tell a shorebird from a bird on shore and to differentiate gulls, terns and skimmers. Cost is $20. Instructor is Audrey Albrecht.

- March 26 from 9 a.m. noon: Modern Day Plant Exploration

Get lead through what the day in the life of a botanist is like and discuss their roles. Do a botany walk and learn basic plant observation skills, discuss identifying characteristics and collect plants. Do some hands-on plant pressing with the foraged collection, talk about what a herbarium is and why they are important, and create some dried samples to take home. Cost is $20. Meet at the Sanibel Sea School; instructor is Jenny Evans.

- April 2 from 9 to 11 a.m.: Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park

Sanibel has a freshwater system not present on most barrier islands. The Sanibel Slough, or Sanibel River, formed over 1,000 years ago and feeds into low lying swales to create the island's wetland system. Since 1967, efforts have been taken to protect the unique system. Even so, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection ranked its water quality "imperiled" due to excessive nutrient concentration of nitrogen and phosphorous, along with low oxygen content. The city of Sanibel and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation took action to improve the water quality and set out to complete the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park. Learn more about the park's construction, purpose and results. Cost is $20. Meet at the Sanibel Sea School; instructor is Doc Bruce.

- April 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Recycling Plant Tour

Have you ever asked yourself the following: Can I recycle milk cartons? What does the number inside the recycle symbol mean? Can I put my recycling in a trash bag? Are plastic bags recyclable? What you can and cannot recycle is dependent on the county's recycling plant and its machinery. Take a tour of the Lee County Solid Waste plant. An educator from the plant will go over the do's and don'ts for recycling on Sanibel. Cost is $20. Meet at the Sanibel Sea School, with transportation provided to the plant; instructor is Shannon Stainken.

- April 30 from 9 a.m. noon: Exploring Sea Turtle Habitats and Nesting Behaviors

Sea turtles are alluring creatures. They spend most of their lives at sea, only to return to the land to nest. Participant in a small lecture about sea turtles, then go out and explore coastal habitats to better understand what makes for a good nesting site. Cost is $20. Meet at the Sanibel Sea School; instructor is Kelly Sloan.



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