SCCF Open House Monday

aquariumMeet the scientists, field biologists, and others that make SCCF leading experts for water quality, snakes, sea turtles, shorebirds, freshwater fishes, prescribed burning, and more. SCCF is opening its doors on Monday, February 15, from 11-1 pm.

Along with exhibits, aquariums, and casual conversations, SCCF will once again be cooking up its famous hot dogs and other snacks while supply lasts.

As a cornerstone of the celebration, the 30th annual Nature Sounds Contest will take place at 11:45. Started originally as a bird call competition, this event has been expanded to include all sounds of nature. Elephants, babbling brooks, Rhone Island Red roosters, cows, cats and monkeys have all been part of the fun.

The tables get turned when ten-year-olds are encouraged to have their parents participate at well. For a two year old it may be the first time to be heard with a microphone. For a fifty year old it may be the first to publicly and unapologetically give their best for their elephant call. The contest is divided into age groups where everyone is a winner. It makes for great entertainment.

All of SCCF’s Marine Lab staff will be on hand to answer questions. With recent issues about our beaches and water, this is an opportunity to speak one on one with those who have been studying the issues for almost a decade. Our 24/7 River, Estuary and Coastal Observation Network monitoring “robots” can be demonstrated. There will also be nature crafts and other interactive activities.

WHM Indigo 9-15 (2 of 7)At 1 pm Habitat Manager Chris Lechowicz will be doing a talk in the auditorium about one of his most passionate topics, the Eastern indigo snake. The exhibit hall’s normal, captive bred indigo is off for a while, but there is now one similar to the two-year-olds that were hatched here thanks to Chris’s skills and understanding of how theses snakes live and grow. The snakes raised here at SCCF eventually are given to other educational institutions around the state. The captive bred snake may not be released into the wild. The last sighting of an indigo in the wild on Sanibel was 1999. Ask Chris about the Pine Island Sound Indigo Snake project and success in identifying indigos on North Captiva and Pine Island. Viable populations there still exist. Come learn why this animal is in peril.

Join us from 11 am to 1 pm on Monday, February 15. Then plan to stay for Chris’s talk.
It’s a holiday, Presidents Day!