Ring That Bell!


Firefighters are used to going above and beyond the call of duty.  Recently, the Sanibel Fire and Rescue District “came to the rescue” to help our neighbors at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village.

Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Nering reported that earlier this year, the bell rope inside the schoolhouse fell — all 50 feet of jute coiled in a heap.  Up inside the belfry,  » Read more

Duck Dynasty

James Hautman

First Place:  2022-2023 Federal Duck Stamp Contest


The “winningest” Federal Duck Stamp artist is headed to “Ding” Darling this October!

James Hautman has been awarded “First Place” in the Federal Duck Stamp contest an astounding six times.  Considering that more than 100 artists typically compete in the contest each year —  » Read more

Marine Science On-The-Go!


At Sanibel Sea School, every day is a field trip!  With a team dedicated to teaching children about the wonders of the ocean, they recently announced the launch of their new SEA — Science Experiments & Activities — Lab, a mobile lab that will teach the joys of marine science on-the-go.

The goal of the program is to expose students to marine science and technology,  » Read more

Happy Birthday, Andy!


Wishing our wonderful skipper the happiest of birthdays today!  

Andy has been enjoying a well-deserved getaway to New England this past week to celebrate with family and friends.  Before he left, our staff surprised him with an early birthday celebration featuring breakfast treats aplenty.

As you can see, he was also a good sport in dressing up as Albert Einstein when we played a game designed to show us the “wisdom”  » Read more

Coastal Cleanup


If you’re going to be on Sanibel mid-September, consider joining island friends and neighbors as they participate in this year’s International Coastal Cleanup.  This year’s event is scheduled for September 17 from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. at various locations.

The International Coastal Cleanup remains the largest, global volunteer effort to remove trash from local shorelines.  Since its beginning, more than 17 million volunteers around the world have collected over 348 million pounds of trash.  » Read more

A Paddler’s Paradise

Kayaking at Blind Pass along the Great Calusa Blueway


The Great Calusa Blueway, a 190-mile saltwater paddle trail that weaves its way along the mangrove islands and sugar-sand beaches of Southwest Florida, is a one-of-a-kind way to explore our area’s unspoiled beauty, history and abundant natural habitats.

Inspired by the indigenous Calusa, the Great Calusa Blueway paddling trail encompasses three distinct regions of the Gulf of Mexico coast.   » Read more

Snap, Crackle and Pop


At J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, fortunate visitors may catch a glimpse of manatees, sea otters, indigo snakes, gopher tortoises, dolphins, and horseshoe crabs amid the mangroves and open water.

What most people won’t see is the unassuming pistol shrimp, which lurks in vast numbers just below the surface, but many people may hear their Rice Krispie-like crackling echoing through their canoes or other watercraft.  » Read more

Selfie Challenge!


Get ready to snap away!

“Ding” Darling is challenging visitors to use its #WildForAll station and other refuge locations to snap selfies and post them on their social media channels, as they have been selected as one of the 12 (out of 568) refuges nationwide chosen to participate in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s #WildForAll Challenge.

What a fun way to add even more enjoyment to your visit to Ding Darling!   » Read more

What a Hoot!


Here’s something fun for the kids!

Hoot, by staff favorite author Carl Hiaasen, is a humorous adventure novel for middle-grade readers in which a group of children tries to save the habitat of a colony of pint-sized burrowing owls from being bulldozed.  Published in 2002, the book became a New York Times bestseller, won a Newbery Medal, and was subsequently made into a motion picture,  » Read more

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