Phone: (239) 432-2163
Fax: (239) 432-2030
Ecotour Provider Series
July 12th - Lee County
July 21st - Collier County
Eco-Research in Southwest Florida - Sea Turtles & Coyotes: Local scientists Dr. Jeff Schmid and Dr. Marty Main will share their recent findings about the Riddles of the Kemp’s Ridley Turtle and Coyotes in Florida ... the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Ecotour Provider Series
August 9th - Lee County
August 18th - Collier County
Stewardship BMP’s - Wildlife Rules & Laws: Poaching, polluting and harassing will be explained by law enforcement officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission followed by fishing rules, regulations and reasons explained by Sea Grant Agent Joy Hazell, University of Florida/IFAS Lee County Extension.
Ecotour Provider Series
September 13th - Lee County
September 15th - Collier County
Invisible Pollution & Seafood Safety: Uncover the mysteries of “Invisible Pollution” with Project Greenscape Coordinator Isabel Way, then find out … ”Are You Smarter than a Stone Crab” from Sea Grant Agent Bryan Fluech, University of Florida/IFAS Collier County Extension.
Ecotourism & Sustainability Tourism International Confernece
Thank you for supporting the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism.
Our newsletter is filled with interesting articles on the cultural and natural history of Florida as well as important Florida SEE news and events. Most important, we will highlight portions of our certification program in an effort to educate tour operators and help them become the most responsible, sustainable and eco-friendly operators they can be.
We encourage you to stay connected and we welcome your input. If you have suggestions for future newsletter content or wish to contribute an article yourself please let us know. Florida SEE is a member-driven organization and we work best when we work together to strengthen ecotourism in Florida.
Pete Corradino - Vice-Chair of Florida SEE - firstname.lastname@example.org
Turn-ONS and Turn-OFFS for Turtles
Many visitors to Florida's coastal areas wonder why residences and beach front hotels are so dark at night. Why are guests and residents asked to draw their curtains over their windows and eliminate most outdoor lighting?
A wire cage helps protect turtle eggs from nest predators while stakes remind beach goers to take care in nesting areas.
Sea Turtle nesting season is May 1 to October 31. There are a number of different species of sea turtles that nest on the beaches of Florida during this time. The most common is the Loggerhead but we also have nesting activity from the Green, Kemps Ridley, Hawksbill and Leatherback Turtles.
Females crawl out of the ocean, dig a hole in the sand, lay a clutch of eggs, bury it and head back to the water. If all goes well, a couple of months later some of the hatchlings begin to emerge from their sandy refuge. So why the need for darkness on the beach?
Pishing and Flushing
by Pete Corradino
Have you ever pished or flushed on tour?
Section IV. Criteria #110 of the Certification Checklist (Environmental Sustainability - Wildlife Disturbance) states that an Operator must not harass wildlife, which includes cornering, chasing, flushing, baiting or pishing. If you've been on a beach at any time in your life, you've probably watched a couple romantically romp through a flock of birds as the flock takes flight. That's flushing. It's a stressful waste of energy for the bird. Operators should avoid doing the same thing. Not the holding hands part but walking, driving or boating in such a way that causes an animal to leave an area of comfort or safety.
Enticing wildlife in is frowned upon as well. Pishing is the act of making a "psshhhh pssshhh" like noise to attract birds. The noise suggests distress to a fellow bird and they come to investigate potential danger and help a fellow bird. Operators should do their best to avoid altering the natural behavior of wildlife.
Would you like your tour operation to become Florida SEE certified? For more info CLICK HERE
Florida SEE 2011 Annual Meeting
The officially renamed Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism held its 11th annual meeting at the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Spa on Fort Myers Beach, Fla. on Saturday, June 4th. The meeting was presided over by Florida SEE Chair Rebecca Beck and Executive Director John Kiseda. Highlights include:
For a full report of the meeting CLICK HERE
- Board restructuring with longtime chair John Kiseda (2000-2009) taking the role of Executive Director.
- Renaming of organization to the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism.
- Establishment of social media marketing tools including Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.
- The official unveiling of the new website
- The official launch of the Ecotour Operator Certification Program.
- Election of new officers Kristen Beck and Kathy Hill from Indian River County and Felipe Correa from Broward County.
- Lunch and tour of the Mound House (see article below)
Welcome New Board Members
- FELIPE CORREA is a private tour operator for Tours To You, Inc in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
To read their full Bios CLICK HERE
by Greg Allard
Situated not far from the white sand beaches and luxury condominiums on the Gulf of Mexico is an unobtrusive two-story house that typifies old Florida. The original structures on the property were built in 1895; however, what makes the home known as Mound House unique is that it sits on top of an ancient Calusa shell mound.
I first visited this site five years ago when archaeologists were excavating a portion of the mound which was situated directly beneath an in-ground swimming pool. I had observed that one of the archaeologists had just found a small piece of charcoal in the lower level and was putting the sample in a zip lock bag that he had carefully labeled. Volunteers and interns were bringing buckets of debris topside to be sifted and screened for archaeological evidence while archaeologists were carefully scraping the lower floor of the mound.
A below ground chamber allows visitors to see a cross section of the excavation site.
Construction started on the mound around 100 B.C. and continued until 700 A.D. Archaeological investigations show that the site was occupied between these two dates. The site was abandoned around 700 A.D.; however, the Calusa continued to utilize the site for several hundred years afterward.
Illuminated layers of shells in the mound
What happened to the Calusa and how did the site transform from a shell mound to Fort Myers Beach's first homestead to the unique cultural resource found here today?