The Conservation Foundation has created an endowment program known as Legacy Funds. We invite you to learn more about the many ways you can help endow the future of our islands.
The Preservation Fund represents areas where our needs are greatest. Donors to this fund understand that general operations are crucial to our existence, yet can be the most difficult to endow. Gifts to the Preservation Fund ensure our ability to seize opportunities that, in our absence, might not be acted upon.
The interest generated from gifts to the Preservation Fund is unrestricted. It may be used at the Board of Trustee's discretion for any purpose essential to the preservation of the natural character of Sanibel and Captiva.
Often interest from this general endowment vehicle is used to support other Legacy Funds. Increasingly, however, environmental monitoring, public information and advocacy, and capital improvements are made possible by your generous contributions to the Preservation Fund. Because of your gifts, we are able to take action on issues as they arise.
Habitat Management Fund
From the beginning, the Conservation Foundation has made it a priority to acquire environmentally sensitive land on and around Sanibel and Captiva. One parcel at a time, we have acquired more than 1,800 island acres that are now being protected in perpetuity.
These lands comprise different habitats and different management challenges. Some have been overrun with Brazilian pepper, threatening the existence of native plants and wildlife. Other tracts have been affected by surrounding residential development and need our help to heal. Habitat management involves a complex equation of remedies including removal of invasive exotic vegetation, prescribed burns, and the addition of restorative native plantings.
Environmental Education Fund
Environmental Education is a fundamental Conservation Foundation activity. In any given year, more than 50,000 people directly benefit from SCCF's education programs. To ensure the continuation and expansion of these programs, the Environmental Education Fund has been created to help underwrite the staff positions and broaden their educational outreach.
Ongoing education programs include lectures, workshops, resident orientations, guided tours of our Nature Center and interpretive trails, nature cruises and beach walks. Our programs extend to young students, government leaders, real estate brokers, local businesses, churches, civic groups, and service clubs. Special events include an annual open house, Earth Day activities, island clean-ups, and other community-wide celebrations of our environment.
Quality education is, by definition, an evolving process. By endowing the educator's continued presence, you can ensure that the curricula they create will grow and adapt to fit changing programmatic needs.
Landscaping for Wildlife Fund
Many principles of habitat management can be applied in your own backyard. The Landscaping for Wildlife program helps businesses and homeowners to do just that. They are encouraged to use native plants to create diverse wildlife habitats that can coexist with human dwellings.
Structured as a consulting and certification service, Landscaping for Wildlife also fosters reduced water consumption and the elimination of chemical pesticide use among island residents. It empowers everyone to help develop tranitional corridors between private homes and conservation lands, thereby increasing the range of wildlife habitats on our islands.
Your support of the Landscaping for Wildlife Fund will ensure that this labor-intensive outreach will always be available to those in need.
Marine Laboratory Fund
The mission of our Marine Laboratory is to investigate the status and trends and to promote the health of the habitat and fauna within the marine nursery areas in and around Sanibel and Captiva. A vital part of the Charlotte Harbor Estuary, our nursery areas foster the reproduction and maturation of marine life in the estuary. Understanding the health of the nursery is central to protecting the long-term health of the estuary, both now and over time.
Now, a growing concern looms for our fragile barrier islands. The potential exists for a decline in water quality in Pine Island Sound, San Carlos Bay, and the Caloosahatchee. In fact, the entire Charlotte Harbor Estuary could be at risk because of the increased growth and urbanization of our region.
With your help, SCCF can take a leadership role in the long-term process of identifying problems and recommending water quality solutions for Southwest Florida.
Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Fund
SCCF's Sea Turtle Conservation and Research program fosters an infectious sense of guardianship. Every year, loggerhead sea turtles lay about 400 clutches of eggs along the shores of Captiva and Sanibel. A deeply committed network of staff and volunteers goes out before dawn, April through October, to patrol the beaches, monitoring nesting and hatchling activity.
Loggerhead sea turtles are deemed "threatened" under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. More that 90 percent of all turtles nesting in the United States do so along Florida's coastlines. SCCF is firmly committed to monitoring and facilitating these nesting activities on our island beaches.
The data gathered by this program provide invaluable information as we struggle to save this threatened species.
To learn about these gifts and other ways you can help, please contact Ryan Orgera at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239.472.2329 or Cheryl Giattini at email@example.com or 239.822.6121. We would value the opportunity to visit with you.