DDWS reports on refuge programming and more | News, Sports, Jobs – SANIBEL-CAPTIVA

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge celebrated Luminary off-island on Dec. 2 at the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers with other community organizations, stores and residents.

The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge reported that the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s waters, lands and facilities are closed to the public until further notice due to hurricane damage. Consequently, many programs and events are canceled.

In addition, the DDWS provided the following updates:

– Refuge staff is structuring a new program to take Mobile Mindfulness to the island workplace and organizations. Starting with a collaboration with Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith and city employees, mindfulness guides will lead groups along a soothing trajectory to ease the stress of post-storm trauma and related issues. Interested groups can contact Ranger Toni Westland Toni Westland at Toni_Westland@fws.gov or Ranger Jess Barry at jessica_barry@fws.gov.

– The refuge will judge its annual Cartoon Contest submissions from the Patriot Elementary School in Cape Coral on Dec. 19.

– Steps are being taken to remove the walls in the downstairs former DDWS office to begin drying it out and protecting the upstairs from further mold damage. The office has been deemed a complete loss.

Volunteer Nancy Riley staffs the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge’s pop-up stand at the Coconut Point Farmer’s Market in Estero.

– A hazardous material government contract has been awarded and work started last week to clean up all hazardous materials on the refuge’s lands.

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