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Zonitans explore the back waters of Tarpon Bay

June 19, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Members of the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva and SalusCare ventured to Tarpon Bay Explorers on June 16 for a Nature and Sealife cruise provided free of charge for the fourth consecutive year.

Lead by Donna and Steve Yetsko, experienced naturalist-captain combo, the group learned about the mangrove estuary from top to bottom.

"Outings like these are such a unique opportunity to allow these women to connect with nature," Zontian Phyllis Gresham said. "It is a great way to learn about things we take for granted in a relaxing environment."

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Members of the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva and SalusCare aboard the Explorer IV at Tarpon Bay Explorers on June 16.

The trip began at the aquarium touch tanks, where the women learned about benthic wildlife up close and personal. After the hands-on experience, they boarded the Explorer IV pontoon boat for a cruise through the bay. Luck was on the women's side as the wildlife sightings were ample.

"There are a lot of baby pelicans on the islands this time of year and are quite a sight to see," Donna Yetsko said. "We had a dolphin mom and calf swimming next to the boat. Couldn't have had a better trip."

Zonta established a chapter on Sanibel and Captiva in 1987 with the goal of making a difference in women's lives on the islands and in Lee County through fundraising, service and advocacy. For many years, it has provided service and funding to women at SalusCare in Fort Myers, formally Southwest Florida Addiction Services. Club volunteers offer activities like women's health education, creative arts and more, adding special value to activities of women dedicated to recovery from substance abuse.

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"The entire group had a marvelous time," Gresham said. "We cannot thank Wendy Schnapp (part-owner and general manager) enough and we are already looking forward to next year."

For more information on Zonta, visit

Tarpon Bay Explorers is the official concession to the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, providing low impact, recreational and educational activities for refuge visitors. A portion of its proceeds goes back to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to benefit the national refuges nationwide.

For more information, visit or call 239-472-8900.



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