In December 2017, Port Orange bird rookery became the state’s 32nd Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) established by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). This important protection was advanced by Halifax River Audubon and Audubon Florida to buffer nesting American Oystercatchers, Brown Pelicans and several species of herons and egrets from disturbance by boaters. Data collected by Audubon volunteers was used to successfully justify the protection, and as a result, nesting birds enjoy a 10-150 foot buffer while the island is closed from January 1-August 31. CWAs protect the places where Florida’s most imperiled wildlife are at their most vulnerable. Thank you to the FWC commissioners for their leadership!