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Florida’s greatest lake was in the news this year for all the wrong reasons. Record phosphorus inflows, persistent harmful blue-green algal blooms, high water levels, and harmful estuary releases inundated Lake Okeechobee and the downstream ecosystems.
In recognition of her outstanding efforts on behalf of the America’s Everglades, Audubon Florida honored Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds as the 2018 Champion of the Everglades at this year’s Audubon Assembly.
Over the summer, Audubon’s Western Everglades Research Center helped collect data on fish, frogs, and aquatic invertebrates in the Picayune Strand Restoration Project. These wetland fauna tell scientists and project managers how restoration is going. Picayune Strand was the very first Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) project to be started back in 2007.
Florida Bay and Everglades National Park are choked from the freshwater they need. Two exciting developments are changing that.
With the support of Audubon members, the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir is getting closer to breaking ground after significant victories in Tallahassee and Washington. This top Everglades priority will clean, store, and move water south of Lake Okeechobee- restoring the historic freshwater flows through the parched Greater Everglades Ecosystem and into Florida Bay.
Audubon EagleWatch observations revealed most eagles that lost nests to Hurricane Irma went on to successfully rebuild and raise young. EagleWatch data also indicate the average number of young produced is holding steady at 1.31 fledglings per occupied nest, compared to 1.32 last season.
The Sunshine State is home to one of the largest nesting populations of Bald Eagles outside of Alaska coupled with one of the highest rates of development in the U.S. Less available open space and more people puts significant stress on the species. Audubon is at the forefront of protecting eagles and their habitat, but we need your help as pressures mount and protections are threatened.