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A refreshing success story is emerging at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples. Audubon’s ongoing freshwater marsh and prairie wetlands restoration is producing regional benefits in Southwest Florida and changing the restoration conversation statewide.
The coastal islands of Florida’s peninsular west coast have long been refugia for nesting waterbirds. Herons, egrets, pelicans, and spoonbills blanket the trees with nests in the thousands, and the breeze carries the clamor of begging chicks.
The Tampa Bay History Center and Audubon Florida curated the remarkable story of Florida conservation and Audubon’s role in it in an exciting new exhibit. A History of Conservation: A Bird’s Eye View shows the evolution of conservation in Florida.
Florida’s recurring water crises lit a fire for lawmakers from Tallahassee to Washington, starting with the passing of Senate Bill 10 by the Florida Legislature in 2017. The historic legislation kick-started the planning of the critical Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir project, which state officials planned in record time.
This comeback species was once on the brink of extinction in the 1970s, in large part due to the use of the pesticide DDT. Now, Florida is home to one of the largest populations of Bald Eagles in the U.S.
Audubon Florida is hopeful for meaningful conservation progress in the new year. Incoming Governor Ron DeSantis is vocal in support for Everglades Restoration and addressing the twin catastrophes of blue-green algae and red tide that plagued South Florida in 2018.
Florida’s climate is already changing as evidenced by higher temperatures almost every year for the past 10 years. This year, Hurricane Michael astonished weather forecasters when it ripped through the Florida Panhandle and other southeastern US states.
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.