Oct. 18 | Conservation Action Agenda-Setting Session
Each year, hundreds of conservation leaders, Audubon members, and Audubon staff set Audubon Florida’s Conservation Action Agenda. Twelve resolutions—seven regional and five statewide—provide guidance on priority issues and conservation efforts. The agenda provides members, chapter leaders, directors, staff, and the public with summary statements of our policy and conservation positions. The Conservation Action Agenda is the only statewide conservation agenda in Florida that uses an open process to set its policy agenda with all stakeholders invited to participate. Regional priorities unite Audubon Florida chapters in seven regions. Watch the session on Youtube and see the agenda document here.
Oct. 27 | Welcome Luncheon
We convened at lunch to kick off this year’s Audubon Assembly as Audubon Florida Executive Director Julie Wraithmell welcomed participants with a celebration of the accomplishments of 2023 and staff awards. This year's theme was Conservation in a Changing Landscape. View the lunch presentation PDF.
Oct. 27 | Learning Sessions
- Creating Habitat in Unconventional Ways to Maximize Connections for Conservation Lands
People may not think twice about the design of routine infrastructure projects like wastewater facilities and solar fields. At Audubon, we realize each project is an opportunity to enhance our green infrastructure. Projects that would have been barriers to wildlife can be designed to provide important habitat and connect conservation lands across the state. Panelists included Amy Wicks/Lisa Hall (Babcock Ranch), Jeff Smith (Florida Power & Light Company), and Keith Laakkonen (Audubon Florida). View the session presentation PDF.
- Perspectives from the Next Generation of Conservationists
The next generation of Florida’s environmental leaders are taking action. Five of Audubon Florida’s young leaders join a panel discussion—led by National Audubon Society board member Steffanie Munguia—to explore what brought them to Audubon, what conservation work is resonating with our next-gen leaders, and what they envision for the future of Audubon as we protect birds and the places they need. Panelists included Brian Cammarano, Zachery Holmes, Emily Johnson, Kristen Ranges, and Kayla Ehrlich. Read the panelist biographies.
- From Birding to Conservation: Bringing New Birders into the Conservation Movement Sabal Room
During the pandemic, thousands of people turned their eyes to the skies and discovered a love of birding. Each birder and bird watcher has the opportunity to make a difference protecting birds and the places they need, and this session dives into the details of how to turn their passion for birds into passion for conservation. Speakers included Brad Cornell, Chris Farrell, and Erika Zambello (Audubon Florida) and guest interviews with John Mahoney (National Audubon Society), Aisha Yousuf, explorer and data scientist, and Bibi Baksh-Pabion (BirdNote Daily). View the session presentation PDF.
Oct. 27 | Evening Program
Julie Wraithmell, Audubon Florida Executive Director, kicked off the evening program with conservation leader awards followed by the Keynote Presentation: A Conservation Photography Conversation with professional photographers Kirsten Hines and Gabby Salazar, PhD, and National Audubon Society’s Senior Director of Social Media and Storytelling Preeti Desai. When does wildlife photography become conservation photography? The best nature photography doesn’t just capture the imagination—the images both educate the viewer and inspire action. Hear from three photographers leading the charge to use nature photography for conservation, harnessing the power of the lens to create change for birds and wildlife. View the program presentation PDF.
Oct. 28 | Chapter Celebration
After the Saturday morning breakfast invited chapter members and fellow bird enthusiasts to share ideas about issues facing their communities and conservation stakeholders, we hosted our traditional chapter awards celebration. Experience the heart and soul of the Audubon network and their successes in engaging with both traditional and new partners. View the celebration PDF.
Oct. 28 | Plenary Session: Meeting the Challenge: Bird Conservation in a Changing Landscape
Florida’s birdlife faces challenges from an ever-changing environment. Climate change, invasive species, land use changes, and more threaten some of the Sunshine State’s most iconic species. We explored how Bald Eagles, Burrowing Owls, Roseate Spoonbills, and imperiled shorebirds react to these changes, and how research can inform the management and policy responses needed to safeguard their future. Panelists included Shawnlei Breeding and Jerry Lorenz, PhD (Audubon Florida), and Raoul Boughton, PhD (Mosaic). Audrey DeRose-Wilson (Audubon Florida) was moderator. View the plenary session PDF.