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SCCF to examine sea level rise in Earth Day presentation

By Staff | Apr 3, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED North Captiva in 1999, top image, and on Aug. 15, 2004 as taken by the U.S. Geological Survey. The breach was caused by Hurricane Charley on Aug. 13, 2004, but rising sea levels increase the vulnerability of barrier islands. The breach has since closed up again.

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation will host its Annual Earth Day Presentation on April 22 at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center, at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel.

Underwritten by the Donald Slavik Family Foundation, the program is free but pre-registration is requested since space is limited. To register, visit sccf.org and click on “Resources,” then “Calendar.”

The presentation will tackle the topic of sea level rise from multiple perspectives with Marine Lab scientist Dr. Rick Bartleson and research associate Leah Reidenbach. An overview of the causes, challenges and next steps in confronting sea level rise will be discussed. Subjects will include fossil fuel CO2, greenhouse gas emissions, warming and acidifying oceans, effects on sea life and more.

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. Florida coasts are critical nesting and wintering habitat for a number of species, like shorebirds and sea turtles. Many species are already imperiled, and nesting habitat is already at risk from human development and recreational use.

The four SCCF speakers will answer questions from attendees.

Following the presentation, the Brush of Excellence drawing will be held to see who will take home “Six Dolphins,” a limited edition signed and numbered print by Brush of Excellence recipient Ikki Matsumoto; winner does not have to be present to win. To purchase tickets, stop by the Nature Center or the Native Landscapes and Garden Center, visit online at sccf.org or call 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 his footsteps. Marking its fourth presentation, the program is administered by SCCF’s Brush of Excellence Committee, comprised of Sandy Gross, Janie Howland, Diane Neitzel, Ran Niehoff, Carol Strange and Peter Zell.