February, 2013
published by The Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism

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Calendar Events

Conquistadors and the Calusa symposium
In conjunction with the statewide VIVA FLORIDA 500 initiative, Lee Trust for Historic Preservation is holding a free symposium titled “Conquistadors and the Calusa: Reflections on Resistance” from 1:30 to 4:30pm on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at the Koreshan State Historic Site Art Hall. This program will be broadcast online the following Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 1:30pm.

Wild, Wonderful Withlacoochee
02/13/2013- 02/18/2013
Paddle Florida's SWFWMD entry into our 2012/2013 schedule, we paddle from Lake Panasofkee in Sumter County up to the Gulf of Mexico. For more information visit. www.paddleflorida.org

The Ninth Annual Everglades National Park Paddle-In
MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Florida SEE Silver Certified ecorour provider Everglades Area Tours will host The Ninth Annual Everglades National Park Paddle-In. Proceeds to benefit Florida SEE. Stay tuned for further details!

Wildlife Disturbance Issues/Monitoring Your Environmental Impacts
Wildlife Disturbance Issues and Monitoring Your Environmental Impacts as an Ecotour Provider Presented by Liz Sparks, Recreation Planner Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Dolphin SMART Workshop
Dolphin SMART is a unique voluntary education program for businesses that either exclusively or occasionally view dolphins in the wild. Dolphin SMART promotes conservation of dolphins in the wild through education, responsible advertising and responsible viewing.

Dolphin SMART Workshop
Dolphin SMART is a unique voluntary education program for businesses that either exclusively or occasionally view dolphins in the wild. Dolphin SMART promotes conservation of dolphins in the wild through education, responsible advertising and responsible viewing.

Dam to the Bay
03/16/2013- 03/22/2013
Paddle Florida's 3rd annual Dam to the Bay event on the Ochlockonee River, we paddle from Bloxham to Bald Point State Park in the Gulf of Mexico. For more information visit. www.paddleflorida.org

Florida SEE Board of Directors Meeting
Held via GoToMeeting Service. To join in on the meeting, contact John Kiseda for the web link.

Suwannee River Paddling Festival
04/05/2013- 04/07/2013
1st Annual Suwannee River Paddling Festival. Benefit concert Friday night. Paddle to Suwannee River State Park on Saturday. Paddle from Madison Blue Springs to Suwannee River State Park. For more information visit. www.paddleflorida.org

Member Benefits: Did You Know?

Erin White

As a member of Florida SEE, you can submit your own events for inclusion in the Florida SEE calendar. Just log into the members area of http://FloridaSEE.org and submit your event.

All events will be reviewed prior to publication. Once approved, your event will enjoy the additional exposure of appearing in our calendar.

LOGIN and submit your event today!

EcoTraveler series kick-off enjoys massive turnout

by Erin White

On January 23rd, Terry Cain, Lee County Parks & Recreation Land Stewardship Coordinator and John Kiseda, Lee County Parks & Recreation Environmental Education Coordinator presented "A Time Gone By", a multi-media seminar packed with little-known facts and folklore about Lee County. 

Also packed that evening was the Eco Living Center at Rutenberg Park in Fort Myers.  A record 120 guests attended this event, surprising the presenters and exceeding all expectations.

FIELD TRIP! Florida SEE Assessor Training

by Erin White and Pete Corradino

Are you a Florida SEE Assessor?  Here's your opportunity to meet and mingle with fellow Florida SEE members and practice some of those certification assessment skills.


On Saturday, February 23rd at 10am at the Wild Turkey Strand Preserve in Lee County, I will be conducting a field training exercise for all assessors interested in a mock assessment. I will play the role of tour guide/operator and assessors will play the role of tourist/anonymous assessor. Please let me know if you are interested in taking part. I will send out instructions just as I would a real certification.

Membership Updates for February 2013

by John Kiseda

Trees thank youDID YOU KNOW? Membership has it's benefits! Free environmental education is just the tip of the iceberg.  If you or someone  you know wants to join Florida SEE, just click here to visit our New Membership Link.  Renewing your membership?  Click here to have an invoice emailed to you.

February 2013 update: Membership stands at 108 total Associate and Individual Members.  We'd like to extend a hearty welcome to our new members, as well as a big "welcome back" to our renewing members. Here they are:

Cultural History: VIVA FLORIDA 500

by Nancy MacPhee

VIVA FLORIDA 500 – Celebrating La Florida 1513-2013

On or around April 2, 1513, Ponce de León and his crew of three ships made landfall on Florida’s eastern shore - somewhere between Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral. He called the new land La Florida, or flowery land, because of the beauty of the natural environment he found and because the date of his arrival coincided with the Spanish Festival of Flowers: Pascua Florida.

VIVA FLORIDA 500 is the year-long multicultural commemoration of Florida’s 500th anniversary dating back to Ponce de León’s landing on Florida shores in 1513. The commemoration is intended to bring local, national and international awareness to Florida’s rich and diverse history.

Photo Essay: 2013 Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival

by Capt. Ben Evans

These photos were taken in Brevard County by Florida SEE board member, Capt. Ben Evans. The camera used was a Canon 5 D Mark III and 100-400 telephoto lens.  They were taken during an intensive week in the field at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife festival (the biggest in the nation), during the last week of January.

Some of the photos referenced are on our Facebook page - why not head over there and "LIKE" us?

The first group was on the "Birds by Boat" trip to Bird Island (which is actually East Honeymoon Island) rookery.  Wildside Tours does these every year for the festival. Jeanette Vasbinder was the Captain and Ben was the Naturalist/Birder. These photos include Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, White Pelicans, gulls and Blackbellied Plover, and spider at the dock.

Certified Operator News

by Pete Corradino

Get ready for the first ever Suwanee River Paddling Festival!

Join Paddle Florida, Inc., the Florida Park Service, regional businesses and organizations in bringing the first Suwannee River Paddling Festival to the Suwannee River! 

WHEN:  April 5-7, 2013

WHERE:  Starts at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park and Campground and travel to the Suwannee River State Park.

Photo credit: Pete CorradinoEvery day is a unique adventure in the Everglades!

The Everglades Day Safari (www.ecosafari.com) has tours that depart daily from the Greater Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale area.

Recent sightings include flocks of hundreds of American White Pelicans, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills (photo credit: Pete Corradino), American Oystercatchers, Manatee, Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin, a Bobcat and a Black Bear.
Certified Operators are invited to submit their special news (events, new staff, new tours, etc.) for publication in this space! 
Send an email with your Certified Operator News to either Pete Corradino  or  Erin White

The Florida SEE Grapevine - February, 2013

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