Exclusive experiences, exotic vacations, behind-the-scenes tours, elegant dinners and custom artwork highlight an impressive list of auction lots available at the 14th annual Magic Under the Mangroves, a March 8 fundraising event that benefits the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

New for this year, Magic Under the Mangroves is debuting its Conservancy Exclusives, unique auction lots featuring one-of-a-kind experiences and tours not available to the general public. This list includes:

  • Sea turtle release: Accompany Conservancy biologists and educators as Luna, a beloved loggerhead sea turtle, is released into the wild at Ten Thousand Islands.
  • Python tracking: Join Conservancy biologist Ian Bartozsek for a trek into the Florida Everglades to track and study Burmese pythons, an invasive species damaging the region’s fragile ecosystem.
  • Screech owl release: Accompany von Arx Wildlife Hospital’s Tim Thompson as he releases an eastern screech owl. Thompson also will install a handcrafted pecky cypress wood screech owl box on the winning bidder’s property.
  • Sea turtle exhibition: Spend a day with Conservancy research manager Jeff Schmid as he tracks the world’s most endangered sea turtle, the Kemp’s ridley, at Ten Thousand Islands.

Auction getaways include a guided culinary adventure in Cuba; a luxury vacation to a private villa retreat in Jamaica; an art, museum, newsroom and culinary tour in Washington, D.C.; a golfing and nature trip to North Carolina; and a two-night stay and swamp walk in the Everglades with famed wildlife photographer Clyde Butcher.

Other items up for auction include guided kayak excursions, boat tours, dinner parties, wine baskets, chef-led cooking classes and custom-made jewelry.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our loyal supporters, business partners and employees who have offered to donate their resources, expertise and time to the Conservancy,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “Magic Under the Mangroves is our largest fundraising event and plays a huge role in advancing the Conservancy’s mission to protect the region’s water, land, wildlife and future.”

Since its inception, Magic Under the Mangroves has raised more than $9.3 million.

This year’s gala dinner and auction begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8 at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center. Northern Trust is the presenting sponsor and William Raveis Real Estate is the supporting sponsor. Media sponsors include Florida Weekly, Gulfshore Life, Naples Daily News and NBC2.

For more information about Magic Under the Mangroves, please call 239-403-4218 or visit www.conservancy.org/events/magic-under-the-mangroves.

About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a not-for-profit environmental protection organization with a 50-year history focused on the issues impacting the water, land wildlife and future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Conservancy accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how to support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.