Coastal Conservation


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Beach-nesting birds, such as terns and plovers, are struggling to survive in Florida, often because of the intense disturbance by recreational beachgoers. Flushed from their camouflaged nests in the sand, adult birds watch helplessly as eggs and chicks are exposed to the hot sun and predators, or are crushed by unwary pedestrians, dogs or drivers.

One Florida beach species, the threatened Least Tern, has found a partial solution: many now choose to nest on gravel rooftops. However, these “beaches in the sky” have their own perils: chicks fall off roofs and perish. Audubon Florida's Rooftop Program and “chick-checking” volunteers return these fallen chicks to their rooftops to rejoin their parents. Audubon staff work with building owners outside the nesting season to install fencing along unprotected rooftop edges to keep chicks from falling in subsequent seasons. Recognizing this is only an interim solution—because rooftops are no replacement for real beach habitat— we also help by encouraging public land managers to protect beach nesting areas, and we staff the posted areas on busy weekends with volunteer bird stewards, who act as ambassadors for the birds.

Here at Audubon, we recruit volunteers to assist with on-the-ground wildlife and habitat management. The benefits to wildlife are immediate and connect people with nature. This connection is a gateway for volunteers to quickly become educated on regional conservation issues, stay engaged for longer tenures, and move from volunteerism to advocacy.

Coastal Bird Stewardship
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Coastal Bird Stewardship

Florida's beaches and shores are vital to many different bird species throughout the year. And they need your help.

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Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries
Conservation

Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries

The mission of the Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries is the protection of the great colonial waterbird populations of the Florida coast, and the natural systems that support them.

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News & Updates

Flying High: A Successful Holiday with our Nesting Shorebirds
News

Flying High: A Successful Holiday with our Nesting Shorebirds

by Idangie Sein, Seasonal South Pinellas County Anchor Steward.

A Season in the Life of a Bird Biologist: Nesting Begins in the Eastern Panhandle
Coastal Conservation

A Season in the Life of a Bird Biologist: Nesting Begins in the Eastern Panhandle

by Michael Ferrara, Carrabelle Shorebird Biologist.

Scott Water Farm Project Critical Component of Improving Health of the St. Lucie Estuary
News

Ribbon Cutting on Scott Water Farm Project

A ribbon-cutting event celebrated the Scott Water Farm Project on February 11, 2022. It is the fourth water farm initiative in the State of Florida.

Volunteer Contributes Unique Art for Coastal Program Education Efforts
Coastal Conservation

Volunteer Contributes Unique Art for Coastal Program Education Efforts

By Ricky Cassell, the Panhandle Stewardship Coordinator for Audubon Florida.

Spotted! Banded Black Skimmer Heralds Conservation Success
Coastal Conservation

Spotted! Banded Black Skimmer Heralds Conservation Success

Coastal team member Jeff Liechty discovered an interesting Black Skimmer during the Tampa Bay region Christmas Bird Count.

Audubon Uses Chick Shelters to Give Beach Birds a Break
Coastal Conservation

Audubon Uses Chick Shelters to Give Beach Birds a Break

To give the birds some relief, Audubon Florida staff and volunteers employ chick shelters at nesting sites on the sand and on gravel rooftops.

Five Big Audubon Florida Wins in 2021
Conservation

Five Big Audubon Florida Wins in 2021

We reflect on strides forward for birds and the places they need.

CLI Student Leads Marine Debris Cleanup
Chapters & Centers

CLI Student Leads Marine Debris Cleanup

by Emma Wilkinson, CLI student 2020-2021.

Invasive Plant Removal at Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries Improves Habitat
Coastal Conservation

Invasive Plant Removal at Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries Improves Habitat

A diverse habitat will be more resilient in the face of rising sea levels and temperatures.

How you can help, right now