COASTAL WILDLIFE CLUB, Inc. (CWC) is an entirely volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness about coastal areas and particularly the wildlife species which depend upon beach and dune habitats in southwest Florida.
Our primary and most visible project is monitoring beaches for sea turtle activity in Charlotte and Sarasota counties on Manasota Key, where sea turtles nest in greater numbers than anywhere else on the Gulf coast, and on a small section of Knight Island south of Stump Pass.
Volunteers informally monitored local beaches from the 1970’s when they were known as the Manasota Key Turtle Patrol. In 1997, members of that group became Coastal Wildlife Club, Inc.
Zoe Bass, Wilma Katz and Carol Leonard serve as the Board of Directors of Coastal Wildlife Club.
Long-time Principal Permit Holders Zoe Bass and Wilma Katz manage and supervise our ongoing beach monitoring program reporting directly to the Florida Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
At present about 140 CWC patrol volunteers monitor the beaches daily throughout the nesting and hatching season, from mid-April through October.
Year round, a small group of CWC volunteers responds to reports of dead or injured sea turtles. This work is part of the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) coordinated nationally by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and, in this state, by the FWC.
Among our other projects, CWC members participate in local festivals and provide programs for school classes and community groups. Our outreach programs are managed by Carol Leonard.
Photo: Isabelle Gilbert
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
• 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352)