Authors Charles LeBuff and Betty Anholt will talk about their collaborative historic work at two free lectures at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Visitor & Education Center on Friday, March 20, as part of the 2020 “Ding” Darling Lecture Series. Their slide presentations at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. will cover highlights of their book Protecting Sanibel and Captiva Islands: The Conservation Story.

Due to illness, the originally scheduled lecturer, Eliot Kleinberg, was forced to cancel.

A book-signing with the Anholt and LeBuff will follow both lectures. Their book is available for purchase in the Refuge Nature Store, profits from which benefit education, research, and conservation projects at the refuge.

LeBuff, who served as a refuge officer from 1958 to 1990, has also written Images of America: J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and other books on island history. Island historian Anholt authored an earlier book titled Sanibel’s Story: Voices and Images from Calusa to Incorporation.

Protecting Sanibel and Captiva Islands examines the overarching impulse of island residents and visitors to protect the islands. “People from former presidents and cabinet-level executives to those whose names have often been forgotten have made it their mission to guard the integrity of the islands’ natural systems,” reads the book jacket. “This book describes the evolution of the conservation ethic on the islands and how it continues despite numerous obstacles.”

HighTower/Thomas & Swartz Wealth Management and Sanibel Carts co-sponsor the free 12-lecture series with support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS). The free lectures take place every Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis. Staff will begin handing out free-admission wristbands to those in line for the lectures at 9 a.m. for the morning lecture and 11:30 for the afternoon lecture. Wristband wearers can save seats with personal items and then can explore the Visitor & Education Center or Indigo Trail before the lecture starts. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture. DDWS will be filming the lectures and broadcasting them on Facebook Live at

As usual, Wildlife Drive closes on Friday, but visitors are welcome to enjoy the Visitor & Education Center, Indigo Trail, Bailey Tract, and recreational opportunities at Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge’s official recreation concession located at its Tarpon Bay Recreation Area.

Note: Opinions expressed in guest lectures do not necessarily reflect the views of refuge and DDWS management, staff, and board of directors.

The season’s remaining schedule is listed below. Book signings follow all starred (*) lectures. For more information, call 239-472-1100 ext. 241 or log on to

*March 20 – Authors Betty Anholt and Charles LeBuff, Black Cloud: The Great Hurricane of 1928

*March 27 – Author Jack Davis, “All About Eagles and Other Florida Eco-Topics”

*April 3 – Jeri Magg, Remarkable Women of Sanibel & Captiva


*starred lecture indicates book signing to follow



As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits.

To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit or contact Birgie Miller at  239-472-1100 ext. 4, or [email protected].