Stay in the know about wildlife, water quality, and ecosystems on Sanibel and Captiva Islands and in Southwest Florida

World Sea Turtle Day Event Raises Funds

June 16, 2021
SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan presented details of a vital research initiative today at the Bailey Homestead Preserve Pavilion in honor of World Sea Turtle Day.
“It was our first in-person, public event since COVID and we quickly reached a capacity of 100 people that we set so we could still provide some social distancing,” said SCCF Events Director Jeff Siwicke. “It was great to have at least some of our SCCF family back together again.” 
In an effort to investigate how the incubation environment affects sex ratios, SCCF is doing a scientific study to measure temperature, moisture, and groundwater influence on loggerhead hatchling sex ratios.

Research has already proven that a sea turtle’s sex is determined by the temperature of the sand where the egg incubates. Even relatively modest increases to nest temperatures have a dramatic impact. Studies have shown that when loggerhead eggs are incubated in 84.2﮿ F sand, there is a 50/50 male-to-female sex ratio of hatchlings. Yet when the temperature rises even slightly, the percent of females increases.  


Through a novel analysis that uses a small amount of blood to identify a protein present only in males, the sex of hatchlings from 21 nests on Sanibel is currently being assigned. As SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan explained, “Even though we cannot affect short-term climate changes, we can gain a better understanding of what incubation conditions increase the male to female ratios of hatchlings in a natural setting. 


To advance the study’s progress, the Linsmayer Family of Sanibel is matching new contributions to this initiative dollar for dollar up to $10,000.

“We’re thrilled that so many people in our community want to make a difference not only for sea turtles along our own shores, but globally,” said Linda Linsmayer on behalf of her family. 
Refreshments included sea turtle-inspired fresh vanilla custard with caramel, fudge, and salted pecans donated by Chuck and Lisa Whitman, owners of The Shack of Sanibel. Chuck is pictured here with Linda Linsmayer (L) and Kelly Sloan.
“We are delighted by The Shack’s generosity today and their commitment to donate 25% of net proceeds of their sea turtle flavor to our sea turtle program over the next year,” said Sloan. “Our community is so wonderful in supporting our sea turtles.”
If you weren’t able to attend, you can still support SCCF’s vital role in understanding and positively impacting this worldwide crisis.
To have your tax-deductible donation to this research effort doubled in honor of World Sea Turtle Day, please click here to go to SCCF’s Donor Box page. After indicating the size of your matching gift, click on “Write Us a Comment” and type “sea turtle research” into the dropdown field. Continue from there with your online contribution.
You can also mail a contribution to SCCF Sea Turtle Research, PO Box 839, Sanibel, FL 33957-0839. Please contact SCCF Development Director Cheryl Giattini at 239-395-2768 or with questions.
Photos by SCCF Volunteer Gwenda Hiett-Clements


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