March 2, 2022 – Today Audubon celebrates 122 years in conservation in Florida. Concerned community members came together to stop the mass slaughter of Florida wading birds for the plume trade, and hosted their first meeting of the Florida Audubon Society on this day 122 years ago in Maitland, Florida. The groundswell of support for the birds of Florida and the Everglades went on to give rise to the National Audubon Society and a network of 48 independent Audubon chapters in Florida.
“For more than a century, Audubon has mobilized the talents and dedication of Floridians to advance science-based solutions to the environmental challenges facing our state,” said Julie Wraithmell, Executive Director of Audubon Florida. “While we may be Florida’s oldest statewide conservation organization, our signature formula for conservation never gets old: grassroots innovation, strong science, and policy savvy delivering durable results.”
Throughout the 20th Century, Audubon Florida made major strides in bird protection. Organizers launched far-reaching educational programs, funded wardens to protect bird rookeries, and helped stop plume hunting in the state by successfully pushing for the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Today, Audubon Florida is comprised of:
- a statewide team of policy experts led from Tallahassee working on issues related to water, wildlife, habitat, and climate;
- a comprehensive program supporting Everglades Restoration in South Florida, including our 13,000-acre Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples and the 83-year-old Everglades Science Center on Florida Bay;
- a robust network of biologists and volunteers protecting and recovering Florida’s coastal waterbird populations, including remedying the harms done by the Deepwater Horizon disaster;
- the Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, a leader in the science of raptor rehabilitation and education; and
- 48 grassroots chapters driving community science and conservation advocacy in local communities.
“I like to think Audubon today would exceed the wildest dreams of our founders more than a century ago,” said Wraithmell. “I’m proud of what our staff, volunteers and supporters continue to accomplish together—and know they would be too.”
For more than a century, Audubon has encouraged people to take care of the places that make Florida special. Get involved and support this important work.