Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;   president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org

youth outreach

Young people are the key to the future of our country. It is their inheritance we are spending and they need to care about how carefully we are stewarding it. They have a great stake in it. Please help us with your financial support.

Audubon Adventures

Audubon Adventures provides classrooms with environmental education prrograms. They cost about $50.00 per class. Will you sponsor a class?

Books to Schools

Books to Schools. We are providing environment oriented books to four schools in the area this year at a cost of $350.00 per school. Will you help?

Volunteers

Volunteers. Your help with any of our activities is needed. The more volunteers we have, the less each of us has to do.


Latest News


April 2016 eSkimmer News

Prez Sez

Florida's Waters are in Worse Trouble

Last year relatives of mine decided to buy a small RV on a lot in Ft Myers Beach.  They spent six months there, snowbirds from Wisconsin.  They really enjoyed the fact that they could easily bicycle to the beach for an afternoon swim in clear, blue water.


But something happened this year.  The Gulf Coast water has developed the same type of brown algal bloom we are seeing in the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon.  What happened is that the huge amounts of rain over the past few months caused authorities to dump large amounts of nutrient-rich water from the Lake Okeechobee area directly through the Caloosahatchee River to the Gulf.  The resulting algal bloom is doing the same there as here.  Smelly water and fish die-offs are the order of the day.

continue reading>>


Conservation Notes

IRL: Fish Kills and Root Causes

fish kill and dumpsterMuck, aka “fine-grained, organic-rich sediments”, now covers much of the bottom of the 156 miles of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). This muck, which in some navigational channels is up to 13-feet deep, is the color and consistency of “black mayonnaise” and is saturated with organo-phosphates and nitrogen compounds.  Heavy metals such as lead, zinc, copper, chromium and cadmium are often mixed in with this layer of sediment.  The muck has been built up by decades of runoff and overflow from human activities along the watershed of the IRL.   Core samples from the IRL show a pristine mix of sand and low-levels of organic silts until around the mid-1960s. Then, the muck begins to accumulate. 

continue reading>>

Need for Volunteers

It is that time of the year again where I ask for volunteers to come forward and fill some of the vacancies on the board and take some of the burden from the folks who have been working for you for many years.  We are getting tired.  It is time for you to step up.  We really need your help if you want to keep your club going.  


Take a quick look at the website's Executive Committee page to see the list of vacancies.  In themselves, most don't take more than a few hours a month, but when they are piled on to others, the time adds up.  Please Volunteer.


Update on Swallow-tailed Kite Fundraiser

Ken Gunn started a fund raising activity to support the satellite tracking of a Swallow-tailed Kite by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute. 


"Day" is the bird we adopted.  She was captured and tagged near Daytona Beach and has been followed for four south migrations and three northbound ones. 


We were informed on Nov 23 that ARCInst lost the satellite signal from DAY.  For the prior three days she was in an agricultural area of the State of Matto Grasso in Brazil.  She is presumed dead. We have $800 remaining of the $1200 raised.  We opted to fund a team to see if they can find the cause of the death.  We have been informed that the investigation to find  the tracker or bird remains  was not fruitful. Note: Gina Kent of ARCInst will be our guest speaker at the March meeting.


To see more about the project, go to www.arcinst.org.


Check out their latest blog post on DAY and the other kites still being followed at www.swallow-tailedkites.org.


To read Ken's account of who, what and where Day is, and find out how you can follow her, look here.


Minutes of the March Meeting

The minutes of the March 2016 meeting are online.  Read them here.

Free Audubon Bird App Field Guide

National Audubon announced an updated version of the Audubon Bird Guide app is now FREE to bird lovers nationwide!


With 821 species profiles and 3200-plus world-renowned bird photos, Audubon's award-winning app instantly turns any mobile device into the most trusted field guide in North America.


To download the Audubon Bird Guide, go to www.audubon.org/apps. It's available on the Apple Store, Google Play, and Amazon.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 14th of Apr 2016.   It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.   There will be the annual pot luck dinner.  Please bring a dish to share.  The only item of business is the annual election of officers.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You DO NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


March Field Activities Report

In March, we went to Peacock's Pocket and though we saw most of the usual suspects, we got some really good looks at a Wilson's Snipe that stayed in one place for us to identify and photograph.  Unfortunately, there were a couple of strands of grasses in front that prevented a clear shot. Check out the Birding Story Blog for story and photos.


April  Field Trip

Our April field trip will be to  Orlando Wetlands Park in Christmas.   We depart from the usual place at 7:30 a.m. on Tues, Apr 19th.  This will be a guided tour on a wagon so we can cover more ground.  There is only room for 14 people so sign up by emailing president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org.  If we run out of seats, you can still come and walk the trails as usual. We will also have a field trip on Fri., Apr 22 to Canaveral National Seashore to look for migrating warblers. Check out the Field Trips page for a full schedule and trip particulars.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals


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March 2016 eSkimmer News

Prez Sez

Fracking Bill News

The Florida Senate bill which would have required the DEP to study and write regulations for fracking and prevent local governments from banning fracking has died.  The Senate Appropriations Committee refused to reconsider it indicating it is too controversial.  It is the second time the House passed such a bill for it to die in the Senate.  So who knows when it will come up again?


Need for Volunteers

It is that time of the year again where I ask for volunteers to come forward and fill some of the vacancies on the board and take some of the burden from the folks who have been working for you for many years.  We are getting tired.  It is time for you to step up.  We really need your help if you want to keep your club going.  


Take a quick look at the website's Executive Committee page to see the long list of vacancies.  In themselves, most don't take more than a few hours a month, but when they are piled on to others, the time adds up.  Please Volunteer.


Conservation Notes

Florida's Flooding Future

Florida's Flooding FutureOn Feb. 16, 2016 Stetson University hosted a Water/Climate Change Panel regarding the Paris Climate Change Accords (COP21) and recent scientific studies on the sea level rise in Florida. As Clay Henderson, attorney, environmental activist and Executive Director for Stetson’s new Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience, noted during his introductory comments: “This [sea level rise] is not a theoretical issue, this is real.” 


This panel featured well-known environmental writer Dinah Pulver; Sister Pat Seimen, a lawyer and director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence; Chad Truxall, Executive Director of the Marine Discovery Center; and Dr. Jason Evans of the Environmental Science Department at Stetson University, a public policy expert on climate change issues in Florida.  continue  reading>>


Update on Swallow-tailed Kite Fundraiser

Ken Gunn started a fund raising activity to support the satellite tracking of a Swallow-tailed Kite by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute. 


"Day" is the bird we adopted.  She was captured and tagged near Daytona Beach and has been followed for four south migrations and three northbound ones. 


We were informed on Nov 23 that ARCInst lost the satellite signal from DAY.  For the prior three days she was in an agricultural area of the State of Matto Grasso in Brazil.  She is presumed dead. We have $800 remaining of the $1200 raised.  We opted to fund a team to see if they can find the cause of the death.  We have been informed that the investigation to find  the tracker or bird remains  was not fruitful. Note: Gina Kent of ARCInst will be our guest speaker at the March meeting.


To see more about the project, go to www.arcinst.org.


Check out their latest blog post on DAY and the other kites still being followed at www.swallow-tailedkites.org.


To read Ken's account of who, what and where Day is, and find out how you can follow her, look here.


Rookery Island Clean-up by Marine Discovery Center

Lisa Mickey reported that a team from the MDC went to the rookery/nesting islands behind the Dolphin View restaurant in NSB and cleaned the area of old fishing line as well as remains of birds that died as a result of fishing line.  Read he blog report here.

Tomoka Science Fair

For the umpteenth year in a row, the three Audubon Societies in Volusia County collaborated to provide judges and prizes for students who had projects involving birds, conservation or environment themes.  Here is a report from Eli Schaperow of West Volusia Audubon.

continue reading>>


Minutes of February Meeting

The minutes of the February 2016 meeting are online.  Read them here.

Free Audubon Bird App Field Guide

National Audubon announced an updated version of the Audubon Bird Guide app is now FREE to bird lovers nationwide!


With 821 species profiles and 3200-plus world-renowned bird photos, Audubon's award-winning app instantly turns any mobile device into the most trusted field guide in North America.


To download the Audubon Bird Guide, go to www.audubon.org/apps. It's available on the Apple Store, Google Play, and Amazon.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 10th of Mar 2016.   It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.   Our guest speaker will be Gina Kent from the Avian Research and Conservation Institute, who will talk about her work with tracking Swallow-tailed Kites. Here is her bio.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You DO NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


February Field Activities Report

February was a busy month for some of  us. We went to Lake Apopka Restoration Area as well as Audubon Park in Deltona. Check out the Birding Story Blog for stories and photos.


March Field Trip

Our next field trip will be to  Peacock's Pocket (MINWR).   We depart from the usual place at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, March 18.  You DO NOT have to be a member to participate.  Check out the Field Trips page for a full schedule and trip particulars.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

Lagoonacy at the Marine Discovery Center, Apr 2.


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February 2016 eSkimmer News

Prez Sez

Maureen and I spent the first week of February on the Big Bend area of Florida, camping at the Ochlokonee River State park, paddling the rivers and creeks and birding and photographing at St Marks NWR and hiking trails at Wakulla Springs State Park.  The ORSP protects a large tract of Longleaf Pine forest as habitat for the Red Cockaded Woodpecker ( we saw two of them, photo of one banded); Wakulla Springs SP protects one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world.  We hiked some of the forest and hammock trails and saw the sinkholes that gather rain water and filter it into the aquifer.


Back home in reality-ville, Governor Scott and his DEP chief appointee want to turn state parks into cattle ranches, logging operations and hunting grounds.  continue reading>>


Conservation Notes

The Intelligence of Nature

Large-scale ponds and marshes have been created to process and reclaim wastewater in Titusville (Blue Heron Water Reclamation Park and Wetlands), Orlando (Orlando Wetlands), and Viera (Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands).  In addition, for several years engineered wetlands and water treatment programs have been clearing and revivifying  the waters of Lake Apopka that were devastated by the runoff from decades of muck farming.  The infrastructure of these treatment and restoration projects includes levees, weirs, pumping and drainage systems, chemical injection units, and water sampling stations.  Continue Reading>>


Update on Swallow-tailed Kite Fundraiser

Ken Gunn started a fund raising activity to support the satellite tracking of a Swallow-tailed Kite by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute.  It costs $100 per month to continue the monitoring once the bird is tagged and the tracker is attached. Thanks to Ken's efforts, we raised the $1200 to sponsor one year's worh of tracking.


"Day" is the bird we adopted.  She was captured and tagged near Daytona Beach and has been followed for four south migrations and three northbound ones. 


We were informed on Nov 23 that ARCInst lost the satellite signal from DAY.  For the prior three days she was in an agricultural area of the State of Matto Grasso in Brazil.  She is presumed dead. We have $800 remaining of the $1200 raised.  We opted to fund a team to see if they can find the cause of the death.   Note: Gina Kent of ARCInst will be our guest speaker at the March meeting.


To see more about the project, go to www.arcinst.org.


Check out their latest blog post on DAY and the other kites still being followed at www.swallow-tailedkites.org.


To read Ken's account of who, what and where Day is, and find out how you can follow her, look here.


Minutes of January Meeting

The minutes of the January 2016 meeting are online.  Read them here.

Great Backyard Bird Count 2016 Announced

The citizen Science project involving watching birds in your backyard or park will be Feb 12-15, 2016.  Relax, count birds and document them online and be part of the data collection that scientists use to help determine the health of bird populations in the U.S and Canada. For more info, go to http://www.birdcount.org.


Free Audubon Bird App Field Guide

National Audubon announced an updated version of the Audubon Bird Guide app is now FREE to bird lovers nationwide!


With 821 species profiles and 3200-plus world-renowned bird photos, Audubon's award-winning app instantly turns any mobile device into the most trusted field guide in North America.


To download the Audubon Bird Guide, go to www.audubon.org/apps. It's available on the Apple Store, Google Play, and Amazon.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 11th of Feb 2016.   It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.   Our guest speaker will be Don Picard, President of the Southeast Volusia Audubon Society.  He and Maureen participated in an expedition to the Galapagos Islands in November 2014 with the National Geographic/Lindblad Cruise Line.   He will talk about their adventure to these magnificent islands. Here is his bio.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You DO NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


January Field Activities Report

January was a busy month for some of  us. We went to Merritt Island NWR and Blue Heron Water Treatment Facility.  We also conducted the 116th Christmas Bird Count on Jan 2 and the Piping Plover survey.  Thanks to all who participated.  Check out the Birding Story Blog for stories and photos.


February Field Trips

Our next field trip will be to Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.  We depart from the usual place at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, February 13.  On Friday, Feb 26 we go to Audubon Park in Deltona.  You DO NOT have to be a member to participate.  Check out the Field Trips page for a full schedule and trip particulars.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

Orlando Wetlands Park Festival, Feb 20, 2016
Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 3-6, 2016
Birds of a Feather Fest, Palm Coast, FL Feb 5-7 2016

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January 2016 eSkimmer News

Prez Sez

Volusia County wants Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach and Oak Hill to help pay for a study to help stop the decline and increase the water quality of Mosquito Lagoon.  Of course, the County has already determined the cause of the problems. They have already assessed the blame on septic tanks and storm-water run-off.


County spokesperson for the project for News-Journal article on Saving the Lagoon on12/21/2015 is the Road and Bridge Director for Volusia County.  Really?  Roads and Bridges Director? She says the plan would spell out what kinds of improvements are needed to stormwater and septic tanks and other infrastructure to reduce pollution going into the lagoon.


Several questions come to mind:   continue reading>>


Conservation Notes

Nature and Culture

“Nature has some intrinsic, inherent value beyond the instrumental.”

-Paul Kingsnorth


Among the general population of voters in Florida there is much more awareness of the ecological cost of water withdrawal and pollution than there was a decade or more ago.  A wide-ranging and fundamental amendment to the Florida constitution to mandate and codify the protection and enhancement of the lands and waters of Florida was passed by the voters in 2014 by a 3 to 1 margin.  There is also much more community scrutiny of activities that call for very large and constant withdrawals from the aquifer. Continue Reading>>


Update on Swallow-tailed Kite Fundraiser

Ken Gunn started a fund raising activity to support the satellite tracking of a Swallow-tailed Kite by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute.  It costs $100 per month to continue the monitoring once the bird is tagged and the tracker is attached. Thanks to Ken's efforts, we raised the $1200 to sponsor one year's worh of tracking.


"Day" is the bird we adopted.  She was captured and tagged near Daytona Beach and has been followed for four south migrations and three northbound ones.  Apprently, she and her mate did not like the South Daytona area and moved to a golf course in Ormond Beach.  I found this out during the Wings on Wind festival at the Marine Science Center on Nov 14.  A fellow named Steve Petruniak introduced himself to me and told me the story.  He has been following Day and her partner and chicks for several years.  He will be making a video documentary about her and the only documented mating pair of Mississippi Kites nesting in Volusia County.  He volunteered to take us on a field trip to the nesting site when the birds return next spring.


<NEW> We were informed on Nov 23 that ARCInst lost the satellite signal from DAY.  For the prior three days she was in an agricultural area of the State of Matto Grasso in Brazil.  We have $800 remaining of the $1200 raised.  Options for spending that include following another bird that does not have a tie to East Volusia or to fund a search party to see if DAY lost her tag or was killed by people, pesticides, weather, etc.  Ken and I think that the most productive course of action is to fund a team to see if we can find the cause of the outage.  So I passed that decision on to Gina Kent.  Note: she will be our guest speaker at the March meeting. </NEW>


To see more about the project, go to www.arcinst.org.


To read Ken's account of who, what and where Day is, and find out how you can follow her, look here.


Perils at Lake Apopa Restoration

We have had many wonderful field trips to Lake Apopka Restoration Area, 20,000  acres of lake and the surrounding areas that have been under intensive management by the SJRWMD for years since the lake shoreline was transformed from muck farming to water bird habitats.  Recently, the SJRWMD opened a wildlife drive on the north shore of Lake Apopa so that people can go by bike, car or on foot to find tranquil relaxation or bird finds like last year’s Groove-billed Ani. 


Now, after all that work and money, it is in peril.  The primary perpetrator is the Senator Alan Hays, the one who derailed Amendment 1 funding saying “we have enough conservation land.” There is also a legislatively-appointed group called the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council whose members include a fishing guide that wants the Lake Apopka North Shore flooded to increase fishing habitat (Lake Apopka already has 30,000 acres of open water). And then there are people who are trying to build ecotourism and have latched onto the idea of air boat rides, marketed to tourists visiting the Orlando area, as a new economic engine. There goes the tranquility.


Deborah Green, President of Orange Audubon, anounces a Birdapalooza on Feb 5-6 at Lake Aopoka where they will conduct bus tours for visitors, the proceeds to support efforts to establish and environmental education center on the North Shore of the lake.


Please read her email here and attend if you can.  It should be a great event for a worthy cause.


Don

Minutes of December  Meeting

The minutes of the December 2015 meeting are online.  Read them here.

Great Backyard Bird Count 2016 Announced

The citizen Science project involving watching birds in your backyard or park will be Feb 12-15, 2016.  Relax, count birds and document them online and be part of the data collection that scientists use to help determine the health of bird populations in the U.S and Canada. For more info, go to http://www.birdcount.org.


Free Audubon Bird App Field Guide

National Audubon announced an updated version of the Audubon Bird Guide app is now FREE to bird lovers nationwide!


With 821 species profiles and 3200-plus world-renowned bird photos, Audubon's award-winning app instantly turns any mobile device into the most trusted field guide in North America.


To download the Audubon Bird Guide, go to www.audubon.org/apps. It's available on the Apple Store, Google Play, and Amazon.


Florida Audubon Annual Report

Florida Audubon's Annual report is avaiable as a PDF file here.  You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF reader to view it.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 14th of Jan 2016.   It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.   Our guest speaker will be David Hartgrove, Conservation Chair of the Halifax River Audubon.  He will talk about the birding and outreach trip he organized to Cuba.  Here is his bio.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You DO NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


December Field Activities Report

We went to Merritt Island NWR on Dec 11. We saw 34 species.  Check out the Birding Story Blog for a story and photos.


January Field Trips

Our next field trip will be to Merritt Island NWR.  We depart from the usual place at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, January 15.  We will also be going to Oak Hill Marsh,Seminole Rest and Shiloh Marsh on Jan  22.  On Jan 30, we will visit the Viera Wetlands in Viera.  You DO NOT have to be a member to participate.  Check out the Field Trips page for a full schedule and trip particulars.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

Orlando Wetlands Park Festival, Feb 20, 2016
Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan 20-25
Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 3-6, 2016
Birds of a Feather Fest, Palm Coast, FL Feb 5-7 2016

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December 2015 eSkimmer News

Prez Sez

It is that time of year again.  Not sure where time goes to but it does travel fast.  I just registered for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival which runs from Jan 20-25, 2016.  There are some changes in the  pricing structure, including a higher registration fee but lots of free and $10 programs.  But what really caught my eye is on the booklet page 5 with the headline “Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival “Gives Back” to Conservation.”   Turns our that $5.00 of my registration fee will be donated to the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida.  continue reading>>


Conservation Notes

Fracking Florida

Fracking, the gas production process which uses high-pressure injection of hydraulic-fracturing fluids or low-pressure injection of acidization fluids [typically mixtures of hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acids] is an ecologically unsound practice with a proven record of damage to the groundwater and surface waters, to air quality, and to the health of living systems. The additives used in wellsite construction and operations, drilling procedures and waste disposal comprise a very long list of toxic chemicals, including known carcinogens and endocrine and CNS disruptors.  These harmful substances include heavy metals, BTEX compounds (benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene), naphthalene and hydrofluoric acid.  [For an extensive list see https://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used.]

 Continue Reading>>


Update on Swallow-tailed Kite Fundraiser

Ken Gunn started a fund raising activity to support the satellite tracking of a Swallow-tailed Kite by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute.  It costs $100 per month to continue the monitoring once the bird is tagged and the tracker is attached. Thanks to Ken's efforts, we raised the $1200 to sponsor one year's worh of tracking.


"Day" is the bird we have adopted.  She was captured and tagged near Daytona Beach and has been followed for four south migrations and three northbound ones.  Apprently, she and her mate did not like the South Daytona area and moved to a golf course in Ormond Beach.  I found this out during the Wings on Wind festival at the Marine Science Center on Nov 14.  A fellow named Steve Petruniak introduced himself to me and told me the story.  He has been following Day and her partner and chicks for several years.  He will be making a video documentary about her and the only documented mating pair of Mississippi Kites nesting in Volusia County.  He volunteered to take us on a field trip to the nesting site when the birds return next spring.


To see more about the project, go to www.arcinst.org.


To read Ken's account of who, what and where Day is, and find out how you can follow her, look here.


Minutes of November  Meeting

The minutes of the November 2015 meeting are online.  Read them here.

Great Backyard Bird Count 2016 Announced

The citizen Science project involving watching birds in your backyard or park will be Feb 12-15, 2016.  Relax, count birds and document them online and be part of the data collection that scientists use to help determine the health of bird populations in the U.S and Canada. For more info, go to http://www.birdcount.org.


Christmas Bird Count

The Ponce Inlet Christmas Bird Count will be held on Saturday, January 2, 2016.  Please contact Dick or Gail at 428-0447 if you can help. For more info on the count, see Audubon's website.

Free Audubon Bird App Field Guide

National Audubon announced an updated version of the Audubon Bird Guide app is now FREE to bird lovers nationwide!


With 821 species profiles and 3200-plus world-renowned bird photos, Audubon's award-winning app instantly turns any mobile device into the most trusted field guide in North America.


To download the Audubon Bird Guide, go to www.audubon.org/apps. It's available on the Apple Store, Google Play, and Amazon.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 10th of Dec 2015.   It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.   Our guest speaker will be Milton Heiberg, Independent photographer from Brevard County. He  will talk on the importance of saving recharge areas.   Here is his bio.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You DO NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


November Field Activities Report

We went to Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve on Nov 7. We saw 34 species.  Check out the Birding Story Blog for a story and photos.


December Field Trip

Our field trip will be to Merritt Island NWR.  We depart from the usual place at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, December 11. You DO NOT have to be a member to participate.  Check out the Field Trips page for a full schedule and trip particulars.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

Orlando Wetlands Park Festival, Feb 20, 2016
Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan 20-25
Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 3-6, 2016

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November 2015 eSkimmer News

Prez Sez

In September, Maureen and I spent three weeks in the Panhandle of Florida exploring parts of the state in which we had not previously spent much time.  We were amazed by the number of state parks there were and we camped in some, visited others and even canoed and fished in some.  And as I pondered the beauty of the area and of the state parks, I could not help but wonder why the elected officials in Tallahassee keep trying to change them into entities that they are not suited to be and were not intended to be when they were purchased and established.  continue reading>>


Conservation Notes

Sh.O.R.E. -  Marine Science and the Indian River Lagoon

The day-long Sh.O.R.E.  (“Sharing Our Research with Everyone on the Indian River Lagoon”) event on November 6th at the News-Journal Center in Daytona Beach was informative and enlightening.   The 33 presentations and posters from state and federal scientists and program administrators, and students from several Florida colleges, reviewed many categories of scientific research and perspectives on the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). The IRL is the coastal estuary system that runs from Jupiter, FL northward to Ponce Inlet, and includes the Indian and Banana Rivers and Mosquito Lagoon.  This system is considered to be the most biologically diverse estuary in all of North America.  Recreational and fisheries activities in the IRL generate $4 billion year for the Florida economy.  In addition, 50% of the commercial fish harvest on the Florida East Coast comes from the IRL.  

 Continue Reading>>


Update on Swallow-tailed Kite Fundraiser

Ken Gunn started a fund raising activity to support the satellite tracking of a Swallow-tailed Kite by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute.  It costs $100 per month to continue the monitoring once the bird is tagged and the tracker is attached. Thanks to Ken's efforts, we raised the $1200 to sponsor one year's worh of tracking.


"Day" is the bird we have adopted.  She was captured and tagged near Daytona Beach and has been followed for four south migrations and three northbound ones.  To see more about the project, go to www.arcinst.org.


To read Ken's account of who, what and where Day is, and find out how you can follow her, look here.


Report on the 2015 Audubon Assembly

Leslie attended this year's Audubon Assembly held in Orlando in late October.  She learned a lot and filed an extensive report.  Read it here.

Minutes of October  Meeting

The minutes of the October 2015 meeting are online.  Read them here.

How to find Franklin's Gulls in Florida

by David Simpson

David is an experienced birder who leads birding trips for individuals and for events like the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. According to his bio on his website: "I am a life long resident of central Florida, where I have been birding for over 25 years. I have over 25 years of experience leading tours, both through my previous job as a ranger at the St. Sebastian Buffer Preserve, as well as at festivals including the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival and the Big "O" Birding festival. In addition to birds, I am familiar with all aspects of Florida wildlife and have an extensive knowledge of native plants, snakes, frogs, and many other critters you encounter in Florida."


He is offering organizations an informative article periodically on an area of interest to birders.  Here is this month's offering.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 12th of Nov 2015.   It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.   Our guest speaker will be Meret Wilson, bird bander from Daytona Beach who will speak on her activities at Tomoka State Park. Here is her bio.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You DO NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


October Field Activities Report

We went to Buschman Park, Dunlawton Bridge and Spruce Creek Park in Port Orange.  We saw 44 species.  Check out the Birding Story Blog for a story and photos.


November Field Trip

Our field trip will be to Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve in NSB.  We depart from the usual place at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 7. You DO NOT have to be a member to participate.  Check out the Field Trips page for a full schedule and trip particulars.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

Orlando Wetlands Park Festival, Feb 20, 2016

Marine Science Center "Wings on the Wind", Nov 14, 2015
Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan 20-25
Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 3-6, 2016

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October 2015 eSkimmer News

Prez Sez

On behalf of the executive committee, welcome  to another active season of the Southeast Volusia Audubon Society.  We have a very interesting set of programs for your edification and enjoyment as well as some exciting field trips.  Check out the Meetings page and the Field Trips page for particulars. Come and join us as we learn more about our environment. As always, if you have any suggestions, please let me know.  It is your club.


Let’s review some of the things that have happened since we last met, courtesy of the Florida Conservation Coalition:


continue reading>>

Conservation Notes

Amendment One:  The Road to the Courts

A majority of the members of the legislative houses of Florida did as predicted by many Florida voters, environmental activists and political commentators:  they callously and disingenuously ignored the will of voters who passed the Water and Land Conservation Amendment last November by an historic 3 to 1 margin.  And as also foreseen, ignoring Amendment One funding and allocation mandates has ensured that the legislature is now the defendant in a major lawsuit brought by Earthjustice (the legal organization founded by the Sierra Club), the Florida Wildlife Federation, St. Johns Riverkeepers, and the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida.  This lawsuit was filed in Leon County Circuit Court in June of this year.  Continue Reading>>


Marine Discovery Center To Offer Sustainability Forum

The Marine Discovery Center, along with Volusia Country Environmental Management and host Atlantic Center for the Arts, will present  “The Green Path: Becoming a Sustainable Community” on Thursday, October 8.


The sustainability forum is open to the public and will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m., in the Joan James Harris Theater at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, located at 1414 Art Center Avenue in New Smyrna Beach.


“The purpose of the forum is to create greater public awareness about sustainability options and how these options can be implemented at home and in the community,” said Chad Truxall, executive director of the Marine Discovery Center.


For more info, see www.marinediscoverycenter.org

Oak Hill Comp Plan Amendment Compromise

The saga of the  comp plan amendment in Oak Hill to allow a full-scale manufacturing plant on the East side of US 1 adjacent to the Canaveral National Seashore property at Bill”s Hill is over.


Clay Henderson was able to win concessions from the city that will require a 200-foot-wide buffer around any planned construction on the site,and it adjusts the maximum height of building allowed on the property from 100 feet to 75 feet.


Check out Dinah Voyles-Pulver's article in the Daytona Beach News Journal .


More recently, Blue Origin signed an agreement with KSC to lease launch pad 26.  And, Senator Nelson does not believe their will be a launch facility built in the Shiloh area.

Update on Wilson Plover Nesting on Bethune Beach

As you may recall, we put out a call for volunteers to help steward the  Wilson's Plover nesting we espected on Bethune Beach last spring.  Though there were few SEVAS members participating, we had lots of help from the Turtle Patrol and Jennifer Winters from VC Environmental Management. 


We marked and tallied 6 nests and a total of 18 chicks.  Obviously we do not know how many survived to fledge because they started scattering after a period of time.  But it is likely they had a successful nesting season.


I hope more of you can help next Spring.

For reports on our visits and photos, check out our birding story blog at: http://blog.sevolusiaaudubon.org/?p=1527, and  http://blog.sevolusiaaudubon.org/?p=1540


Pelican Nesting islands behind Dolphin View hazarded by proposed development.

A proposal to purchase and develop the city of NSB property on the North Causeway where city offices and the Marine Discovery Center were, and from which the MDC runs its eco tour pontoon boat cruises, was made by the owner of the adjacent marina.  His proposed development would include, among other things like hotel, restaurant and store,  a long boardwalk, open to the public as well as  lots of boat slips going parallel to shore in both easterly and westerly directions, and included spurs that went straight to the roosting/nesting mangrove islands behind the Dolphin View Restaurant.   Continue Reading>>

Update on Swallow-tailed Kite Fundraiser

Ken Gunn started a fund raising activity to support the satellite tracking of a Swallow-tailed Kite by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute.  It costs $100 per month to continue the monitoring once the bird is tagged and the tracker is attached. 


Thanks to Ken's efforts, we raised the $1200 to sponsor a one year's worh of tracking.


To see more about the project, go to www.arcinst.org.


Black-crowned Night Heron rescue

On one of her kayak eco-tours recently, Lisa Mickey of the Marine Discovery Center was taking two guests around the back of the rookery islands and was telling them about all the different species that nest there and how we were at the end of the nesting season with only a few stragglers still on nests on the islands.


Read her story about rescuing a Black-Crowned Night Heron chick
by clicking here.

Minutes of April  Meeting

The primary business of the April meeting was the election of officers.  As usual, all of the same people as last year were re-elected.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 8th of Oct 2015.   It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.   Our guest speaker will be Sam Fried of Flights of Fancy Adventures LLC.  He will talk on "Owls, Sights and Sounds."  Here is his bio.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You DO NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


Summer Field Activities Report

During the summer months, even the birds stay indoors. So we don't have any field trips scheduled.   For reports and photos of past trips, check out our birding story blog.  I am looking forward to posting more about future trips.


October Field Trip

Our field trip will be to Buschman Park and Dunlawton Causeway in Port Orange.  We depart from the usual place at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 10. You do not have to be a member to participate.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

Orlando Wetlands Park Festival, Feb 20, 2016

Marine Discovery Center Open House, Oct 10, 2015

Marine Science Center "Wings on the Wind", Nov 14, 2015
Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 3-6, 2016

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June 2015 eSkimmer News

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTER PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES


What: NEW SMYRNA BEACH LAGOON WATER QUALITY


Rob Sierzega of Daytona State College will present an update on the Adopt-An-Estuary water quality monitoring program. Using data collected by MDC water testing volunteers, Mr. Sierzega created GIS maps to show 'hot spots' in the area and look at environmental changes over time.


His presentation will highlight the ongoing efforts of volunteers to monitor the health of our local estuary.


Where: Marine Discovery Center 520 Barracuda Blvd, New Smyrna Beach, Fl. 32169.


When: Thursday, June 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cost: No charge, no reservations required.


Contact: MDC Welcome Desk 386-428-4828

May 2015 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Oak Hill Comp Plan Amendment

The saga of the  comp plan amendment in Oak Hill to allow a full-scale manufacturing plant on the East side of US 1 adjacent to the Canaveral National Seashore property at Bill”s Hill continues. It was ostensibly done to accomodate an aerospace facility that would manufacture rocket components. 


After the city commission  decided to go ahead with the plan amendment at the first reading, a coalition of groups including the Florida Audubon, SEVAS, the National Parks Conservation Association and the 1000 Friends of Florida petitioned the Volusia Growth Management Agency (VGMC) to review the plan with the expectation that they should deny it.


They did not deny it but placed some restrictions on it and indicated it would be acceptable if it included these restrictions.


At the City Commission meeting on May 18,  they decided to pass one part of the comp plan change but table the second part.  They also decided that the VGMC was wrong it its analysis and voted to ignore it. Check out Dinah Voyles-Pulver's article in the Daytona Beach News Journal .

It has not been determined how we will continue to challenge the commission’s decision, but watch this space.


Don

Wilson Plover Nesting on Bethune Beach

In February, Ken started to ask for help in getting stewards on the Bethune Beach section of New Smyrna Beach to monitor the nests of Wilson’s Plovers he expected to see there this year.  They started nesting there last year, and some of the residents were pretty callous about where they walked and where they let their dogs illegally run off leash. 


I put out a call for volunteers and got one response.  The FWC sponsored a training session in March and the birds started nesting in greater numbers than we could imagine.  The NSB Turtle Trackers was asked to help identify the locations of nests if they found any.  They reported seeing some plovers and  Jennifer from Volusia Environmental staked out nests as they were reported.  On May 5, I went out to see what was going on and found a new nest.  I emailed Jennifer and she came out again. Another nest was found which Jennifer staked out and the following day, a sea turtle set up shop in the same area. 


The next day I found another nest and a couple of days later another.  As of today, there are six active nests within a half mile stretch of beach.  In addition,  I also saw three more pairs of WIPL’s farther south, almost to Bethune Beach Park, not associated with nests but obviously looking in the direction of the dunes.  But they would not go there while I was watching.  Must have seemed sinister with my binoculars and camera. I believe there are more nests to be discovered. 


Most importantly though, three nests have hatched out with three chicks each.  The chicks are born precocious so they are walking about within hours of hatching.  They are walking towards the water’s edge with their parents by the following day.  But it will be some time before they are able to fly.


It would really be helpful if we could have more volunteers to discover new nests and also interact with the public about the new event. I have to say that all the folks I have interacted with in the last few weeks were happy to see this happen.  No bad experiences like Ken last year.


For reports on our visits and photos, check out our birding story blog at: http://blog.sevolusiaaudubon.org/?p=1527, http://blog.sevolusiaaudubon.org/?p=1540.  Watch for future updates.


Don


Senator Rubio sponsors bad bill

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is the sponsor of a bill on behalf of the shipping industry, that would remove ballast water discharges from the Clean Water Act and pre-empt all state regulation of ballast water.  It would also eliminate NOAA's jurisdiction under the National MarineSanctuaries Act.


I signed us on to a letter by the Florida Clean Water Network informing the senator that this is the last thing we need right now when invasive species are moving freely around the globe and causing major damage to our waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Allowing ships from anywhere on the globe to dump their ballasts and the included invasives would contaminate our waters with more and more problems. 


I also find it interesting that bills being sponsored at the national level are including language that prohibits states from enacting legislation to protect  their citizens and resources from damage being done by the federal legislation. What ever happened to States' Rights!!!


To see the text of the letter, click here.

Minutes of April Meeting

The primary business of the April meeting was the election of officers.  As usual, all of the same people as last year were re-elected.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 8th of Oct 2015.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.  

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  The 2015-2016 schedule will be posted shortly. You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


April  Field Activities Report

In April, we went to Washington Oaks Gardens State Park and Canaveral National Seashore.  For reports and photos, check out our birding story blog.



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April 2015 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Gov. Scott says he is not a scientist, So why prohibit state employees from uttering the words  "climate change" and "global  warming"?

So last year, a reporter asked Governor Scott whether man-made climate change "is significantly affecting the weather, the climate." Scott tried to change the subject and replied, "Well, I'm not a scientist."   But he is obviously qualified to forbid the use of the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in speeches and documents by public officials.  


Despite the denials of the policy by the Scott administration, many state employes are speaking out about the prohibition or at least its tacit requirement that the terms not be used.  Continue reading>>


 Legislators acting "illegally" in Amendment 1 lawmaking?

As noted in the recent reports from Audubon’s long-term study of the effects of climate change and habitat loss on bird populations in North America, Florida is considered a major Climate Stronghold that provides “essential habitats for migratory and resident birds”  Preserving and protecting Florida’s lands and waters is critical to maintain this “stronghold” for the sake of human beings and well as that of  the “finned, furred or feathered nations”.  There has long been a tradition in this State of popular support for those laws that create, manage, protect or remediate natural habitat that might otherwise be overdeveloped to the detriment of all living systems.
ccontinue reading>>


Water and Land Legacy Needs You to Call Representatives on Amendment 1

Further to Lamont’s excellent article on the legislators subverting the will of the voters on Amendment 1, Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Organization, the driver behind the petition process, the voting process, and now the legislative process, is asking organizations such as SEVAS to alert their members to ramp up the volume to our elected legislators about our views on the intent of Amendment 1.


Please contact the representatives and tell them how you feel.  If you signed or encouraged others to sign petitions to get Amendment 1 on the ballot, if you voted for Amendment 1, you have a vested interest in telling the legislators that the path they are taking is not in acccordance with your desires as a voter.


According to the Florida’s Water and Land Legacy:


”The most effective way to get the word out is to share our action page:  http://yes1fl.org/action0315
 

It contains a sample script and the legislators' contact information. Because of how we've set up our action page, we also receive real-time feedback from volunteers as they make calls and send emails. That feedback loop is critcally important:  it allows us to quickly to answer questions and arm your supporters with any additional information they need to stay engaged with the key legislators.”


I urge everyone who voted for the amendment 1 to go to the website and contact the legislators.  Use the website's scripts.  Tell the "elected representatives"  how you feel.


Don


Audubon Florida Urgent Request:

Call your senator today


On March 30 I received an urgent request from Florida Audubon to urge my readers to call their senators as soon as possible since they senators will vote on the Amendment 1 bills on Apr 1. During floor debate, two Senators will offer amendments that will dramatically improve appropriations for Florida Forever.  We need the others to vote for these amendments.


FL Audubon suggests a script for calling your senators. It is:


“I am one of 4.2 million voters who voted yes for Amendment 1. I believed when voting for the amendment that it would increase funding for Florida Forever, land conservation, springs, and the Everglades. Please support amendments on the Senate floor to use Amendment 1 funds for land conservation."


There are two other articles above this one in which Lamont encourages you to call your reps and the FL Water and Land Legacy folks do as well.


Please do it.  This is the watershed moment.  It will determine whether or not the will of the voters is respected or trashed.


Don


National Audubon:  For the Birds, Your Yards Matter

Did you know that America’s lawns take up 8 times more space than all of New Jersey? What grows on those 45 million acres including your back yard could make or break many bird species. It’s all about native plants and the yummy (to birds) bugs that inhabit them. Audubon features editor Rene Ebersole offers step-by-step guidance on how to transform your yard into a bird habitat haven.
Continue reading>>


National Wildlife Federation: Monarch Butterflies In Trouble. You Can Help

Monarch butterflies are in trouble. Over the last few decades, populations of these iconic orange and black butterflies have declined by over 90 percent.


The National Wildlife Federation is teaming up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners to reverse this alarming trend and ensure that this beautiful butterfly has a future.

Here is how you can help.  Continue reading>>



Be a Climate Change Messenger for Coastal Birds and Habitat

Florida Audubon is asking you to be a climate messenger.  Their message includes a short article and some youtube videos and powerpoint programs.  The article follows:


"Millions of people value Florida's coastal beaches and saltmarshes as special places in which to live and play. Our coastlines also provide irreplaceable habitat for nesting sea turtles and millions of birds to nest, rest, and feed throughout each year. National Audubon Society's climate scientists recently modeled current North American bird distributions with climate change projections and found that 318 bird species are at risk of extinction due to drastic shifts in their breeding or winter distributions."

continue reading >>


Florida Forage Fish Management

Last year SEVAS joined a birder sign-on letter in support of the Florida Forage Fish Campaign, sponsored by the PEW Trust. It involved sending a letter to the FWC asking them to properly manage forage fish since they are the bottom of the food chain and the top of the chain depends on the bottom.


The FWC has agreed to include a discussion of forage fish management and monitoring during their public meeting June 23-25 in Sarasota. This meeting could be a huge turning point for the campaign. In preparation for that meeting, PEW Trust is working to get 10,000 people to sign the FL forage fish pledge attached by June 1.


The pledge ( more like a petition than a pledge) can be found here.  If you could print a copy and get some of your friends to sign it and bring it to the Appril meeting or send it directly according to the instructions, it would be a great help.

Don


Call for Volunteers

It is that time of the year again.  The April meeting is the one where we elect the slate of officers to manage the club for the following year.  We thank all the officers who have been filling leadership roles for many years, and especially thank Lamont and Leslie for volunteering to fill the Conservation Chair and Secretary positions for this year. 


It is time to get more volunteers to manage the club, or at least help.  We need some new blood to keep the club vibrant and ready to accept new challenges. 


If you look at the executive committee page on our website, you will see the positions that exist.  Some have been vacant for several years.  Many of us have been club officers for over ten years and  some of us have been filling  more than one position for a long time. 


Please consider helping us with just a few hours a month. 


Monarch Butterflies and Swallow-tailed Kites

1.) I attended a talk by Louise Zemaites and learned that they actually band butterflies,  More correctly, they label them but it is the same effect.  They paste a numbered label on the wing as you can see in the attached photos.  In Louise’s case it’s on Monarch Butterflies.  continue reading>>


Bird Iberia with SEVAS by Ken Gunn

Mark your calendars and plan to visit Iberia with SEVAS starting from Lisbon on April 15, 2016.


I am organizing a trip for 14 people to Bird Portugal next April with an optional extension - Catalonia for Couth and Culture.  The Bird Portugal portion is being planned for thirteen days and the Catalonia extension for about another week.


The Portugal trip will start and end in Lisbon and will be operated by Birds and Nature Tours, an excellent Portuguese based birding company.  I have been on a one-day trip with this company and was impressed with their organization and expertise.  Duration is being planned for 13 days in country and will include South Portugal hotspots as well as one location across the Spanish border.

continue reading>>

Minutes of March Meeting

The minutes of the March 12th meeting are on line here.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 9th of Apr 2015.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.   The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. with a pot luck dinner followed by the meeting to elect officers to manage the club for the nest year.  Please volunteer to help the club in the following year.


Afterwards, Don will show the movie provided by the National Geographic Endeavour videographer of his and Maureen's expedition to the Galapagos Islands last November.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


Next Field Trips

Our next field trips will be to Biolab Road/Peacock's Pocket Road on Friday, Mar 27, Princess Place Preserve on Friday, Apr 10th and Canaveral National Seashore on Saturday, Apr 17th.  Meet at 7 a.m. in the Florida Shores Plaza parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) on the south side of the new Dunkin Donuts bldg. Bring insect repellent and rain gear as well as lunch, snacks and drinks. You do NOT have to be a member to attend.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


March  Field Activities Report

In March, we went to Orlando Wetlands Park.  Check out the story and results on our birding story blog.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

    

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March 2015 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Off Highway Vehicle Use in Tiger Bay State Forest

Last month I mentioned that, despite having litigated the issue in 2013, it had returned to life, this time by Rep Dwayne Taylor of Daytona Beach filing HB-419 to not only allow OHV use in the forest but also to set aside up to 10% of the area for the exclusive use of the OHV community.  


The News-Journal, on Mar 1 invited our elected leaders to share their priorities with the readership. In his comments, Rep. Taylor indicated an understanding of the intent of the voters in passing Amendment 1 and stated he would “work to secure the capital necessary to protect our World’s Most Famous Beach and surrounding natural resources." To me, filing HB-419 would seem to contradict that statement. 

Continue reading>>


 Amendment 1: The fight continues

by Lamont Ingalls

Since the passage of Amendment 1 this past November there been much discussion at the local and state levels about allocating Amendment 1 funds to projects involving water and sewer infrastructure.  These funds from the state documentary stamp tax could total about $750 million dollars this year and are already seen as a course of funding for activities and programs, including operating budgets of state agencies, that are not within the defined purposes of Amendment.The Amendment states:   ccontinue reading>>


Be a Climate Change Messenger for Coastal Birds and Habitat

Florida Audubon is asking you to be a climate messenger.  Their message includes a short article and some youtube videos and powerpoint programs.  The article follows:


"Millions of people value Florida's coastal beaches and saltmarshes as special places in which to live and play. Our coastlines also provide irreplaceable habitat for nesting sea turtles and millions of birds to nest, rest, and feed throughout each year. National Audubon Society's climate scientists recently modeled current North American bird distributions with climate change projections and found that 318 bird species are at risk of extinction due to drastic shifts in their breeding or winter distributions."

continue reading >>


Call for Volunteers

It is that time of the year again.  The April meeting is the one where we elect the slate of officers to manage the club for the following year.  We thank all the officers who have been filling leadership roles for many years, and especially thank Lamont and Leslie for volunteering to fill the Conservation Chair and Secretary positions for this year. 


It is time to get more volunteers to manage the club, or at least help.  We need some new blood to keep the club vibrant and ready to accept new challenges. 


If you look at the executive committee page on our website, you will see the positions that exist.  Some have been vacant for several years.  Many of us have been club officers for over ten years and  some of us have been filling  more than one position for a long time. 


Please consider helping us with just a few hours a month. 


Monarch Butterflies and Swallow-tailed Kites

1.) I attended a talk by Louise Zemaites and learned that they actually band butterflies,  More correctly, they label them but it is the same effect.  They paste a numbered label on the wing as you can see in the attached photos.  In Louise’s case it’s on Monarch Butterflies.  continue reading>>


Bird Iberia with SEVAS by Ken Gunn

Mark your calendars and plan to visit Iberia with SEVAS starting from Lisbon on April 15, 2016.


I am organizing a trip for 14 people to Bird Portugal next April with an optional extension - Catalonia for Couth and Culture.  The Bird Portugal portion is being planned for thirteen days and the Catalonia extension for about another week.


The Portugal trip will start and end in Lisbon and will be operated by Birds and Nature Tours, an excellent Portuguese based birding company.  I have been on a one-day trip with this company and was impressed with their organization and expertise.  Duration is being planned for 13 days in country and will include South Portugal hotspots as well as one location across the Spanish border.

continue reading>>

Minutes of February Meeting

The minutes of the February 12th meeting are on line here.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 12th of March 2015.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.   Our speaker is Heather Culp, Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute. Heather’s presentation is entitled "Florida’s Springs and the Sustainability of the Floridan Aquifer."  She will discuss the ecology of our Florida springs, flow reductions and nitrogen pollution.  She will close with ideas for restoration of our springs and protection of the aquifer.  Here is her bio.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


Next Field Trips

Our next field trips will be to Orlando Wetlands Park (Sat. Mar 14) and Biolab Road/Peacock's Pocket Road (Fri, Mar 27).  Meet at 7 a.m. in the Florida Shores Plaza parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) on the south side of the new Dunkin Donuts bldg. Bring insect repellent and rain gear as well as lunch, snacks and drinks. You do NOT have to be a member to attend.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


February  Field Activities Report

In February, we went to Seminole Rest on Oak Hill and Merritt Island NWR.  The Great-horned Owl nest now has chicks in it.  Great view. I think the ducks went South for the winter.  Check out the story and results on our birding story blog.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

     Big “O” Birding Festival , March 11-16, 2015   LaBelle, FL

15th Annual Orlando Wetlands Festival – February 21, 2015

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February 2015 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Off Highway Vehicle Use in Tiger Bay State Forest

We litigated this in 2013 when some citizens pressed a proposal to city governments and the County Council to provide proclamations in support of Off-Highway Vehicles in Tiger Bay State Forest.  The local cities did endorse the proposal, but the County Council wisely took the advice of their staff and the state Forest Service to deny such a proclamation. 


The Forest is comprised of 60% wetlands and over 800 acres of sensitive scrub habitat.  The Forest Service spoke before the cCounty Council and stated that: "Based on our assessment of resources on TBSF, input from the TBSF Liaison Group, the TBSF 10-year Resource Management Plan, and first-hand experience and knowledge of OHV programs, the FFS does not support OHV trails as a compatible use at this location."

Continue reading>>


The Rights of Nature and Amendment 1

by Lamont Ingalls

In his December 2014 “Prez Sez” column Don Picard commented on the long-term efforts of the Ecuadorian government to protect the natural heritage of the Galapagos Islands.  These efforts began in 1937 when the Ecuadorians set aside 97% of the islands as a national park.  Actions to protect and preserve the Galapagos followed on from the 1930s and have recently included implementation of conservation and access controls required to respond the UNCESO declaration in 2007 that this natural reserve was a “Reserve in Danger.”  In his first-hand report, Don noted that the government of Ecuador has done first-rate work in protecting the eco-systems of the Galapagos, and that this work could serve as a model of the application of the “political will” necessary to an active protection of our precious and unique eco-systems.   ccontinue reading>>


Monarch Butterflies and Swallow-tailed Kites

1.) I attended a talk by Louise Zemaites and learned that they actually band butterflies,  More correctly, they label them but it is the same effect.  They paste a numbered label on the wing as you can see in the attached photos.  In Louise’s case it’s on Monarch Butterflies.  continue reading>>


Great Backyard Bird Count

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. In 2014, Great Backyard Bird Count participants in 135 countries counted nearly 4,300 species of birds on more than 144,000 checklists!


We invite you to participate! Simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 13-16, 2015.You can count from any location, anywhere in the world.  To enter the data online, follow the instructions in http://gbbc.birdcount.org/get-started/.

continue reading>>


Tomoka Science Fair

As has been our pleasure for the last twelve years or so, SEVAS has joined with the Halifax River and West Volusia Audubon clubs to support the Tomoka Science Fair sponsored by the Volusia County Public Schools.  We each provide a judge and $100 in prizes for best and second best projects in areas of interest to our missions.  Each first prize winner (Sr and Jr) receives a $100 check and the second place winner receives a $50 check.


This year’s fair was held on January 30th at Atlantic High.  Judges included Fred Mosher from Halifax River, Eli Schaperow from West Volusia and me.  continue reading>>


Bird Iberia with SEVAS by Ken Gunn

Mark your calendars and plan to visit Iberia with SEVAS starting from Lisbon on April 15, 2016.


I am organizing a trip for 14 people to Bird Portugal next April with an optional extension - Catalonia for Couth and Culture.  The Bird Portugal portion is being planned for thirteen days and the Catalonia extension for about another week.


The Portugal trip will start and end in Lisbon and will be operated by Birds and Nature Tours, an excellent Portuguese based birding company.  I have been on a one-day trip with this company and was impressed with their organization and expertise.  Duration is being planned for 13 days in country and will include South Portugal hotspots as well as one location across the Spanish border.

continue reading>>


Used Cell Phones Can Help Save Mountain Gorillas

The following is an article that was published in the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International newsletter some time ago.  I have also learned that the Dian Fossey field workers in Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of the Congo sometimes use donated smart phones or tablets to keep field notes on the gorillas.  All in all, this is a very good cause and a painless way to help some wonderful people.


Text of the article follows: continue reading>>


Ken Gunn       


Need help to protect Wilson's Plover nests near Bethune Beach Park.

During the past two years Wilson's Plovers have nested on the beach near Bethune Beach Park in NSB.  On several occasions, Ken Gunn has had to admonish beachgoers  about their disturbing the plovers or their chicks.

When Black Skimmers were nesting on the beach near Ponce Inlet Park, the Halifax River AS  had folks take turns near the nest explaining about the nesting to visitors. 


The state FWC will be starting a beach stewards program hopefully in time for the next nesting season.  Training should begin in March 2015.  If you are interested in helping protect the nesting birds, their eggs and chicks, please let me know and I will pass your names to the appropriate folks at the County and FWC.  Email me at president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org.


Minutes of January Meeting

The minutes of the January 8th meeting are on line here.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 12th of January 2015.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.   Dr. Frederick R. Mosher, Associate Professor at Embry-Riddle University and a member of the Halifax chapter of the Audubon Society will talk on Tracking Birds with Weather Radar.  This talk will present information on interpretation of radar echoes, how to distinguish between bird flocks and precipitation, and how to access this weather radar information on your computer or smart phone.Here is his bio.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


Christmas Bird Count

A really big thanks to everyone who helped with the Ponce Inlet CBC this year. The 32 participants covered 515 miles by car, boat and walking and logged 97 hours. We ended with 138 species and 31465 individuals. Three reports after the dinner tally added: Red-headed Woodpecker, Marsh Wren, Sora Rail, Black Scoter, Great Horned Owl, Piping Plover, American Wigeon, Purple Sandpiper, Painted Bunting, Muscovy Duck & Northern Flicker. Due to great photographs the 3 rare birds: Common Merganser, Rusty Blackbird and the 5 Magnificent Frigate Birds were readily accepted. For those that missed it the Magnificent Frigate Birds were circling over the Captains Quarters in New Smyrna Beach late in the day.


Hope you enjoyed the day.


Dick & Gail

Next Field Trips

Our next field trip will be to  Riverbreeze Park and Seminole Rest on Friday, Feb 27. Meet at 7 a.m. in the Florida Shores Plaza parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) on the south side of the new Dunkin Donuts bldg. Bring insect repellent and rain gear as well as lunch, snacks and drinks. You do NOT have to be a member to attend.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


January  Field Activities Report

In January, we went to Merritt Island NWR.  We also visited the Lake Apopka  Restoration Area where we saw the Groove-billed Ani and the White-faced Ibis, life birds for many of us. Check out the story and results on our birding story blog.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

      Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 5-8, 2015

Orlando Wetlands Park Festival, Feb 21, 2015

Big “O” Birding Festival , March 11-16, 2015   LaBelle, FL

Palm Coast Featherfest, Feb 6-9


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January 2015 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Conservation Priorities for 2015

Happy New Year to all.  Your executive hopes you had a great holiday season and wishes you the best in health and happiness in 2015.

Now is the traditional time for us to make New Year’s resolutions.  I keep saying that I make resolutions so that I will have something to give up for Lent.  Oftentimes, resolutions go by the wayside because they do not become priorities.  And that is the difference between individuals and organizations.  Organizations set priorities.  Take for example the Florida Audubon.  

At the Audubon Assembly in 2014, the assembled throng voted and approved a set of Conservation Priorities for 2015 for Florida Audubon.  Some of these have a direct effect on us in Volusia County. Continue reading>>


The History, Intent and Challenge of Amendment 1

by Lamont Ingalls


This past November Amendment 1, the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, passed handily, with 75% of the voters casting a “yes” vote for this addition to the Florida Constitution.  The voting percentage was well past the 60% supermajority required to amend the state Constitution.  Additionally, the 4.2+ million votes for Amendment 1 were more than those received by any one candidate or other initiative on the ballot.  This was a bi-partisan issue; votes favoring this amendment outnumbered those for either major gubernatorial candidate by around 1.4 million.   continue reading>>


Used Cell Phones Can Help Save Mountain Gorillas

The following is an article that was published in the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International newsletter some time ago.  I have also learned that the Dian Fossey field workers in Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of the Congo sometimes use donated smart phones or tablets to keep field notes on the gorillas.  All in all, this is a very good cause and a painless way to help some wonderful people.


I will not be at the December meeting but if you bring your old phones and tablets to the meeting, Don will collect them and I will send them to the Fossey office.  I will also have contact information for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in case anyone wishes to be put on their newsletter list.


Text of the article follows: continue reading>>


Ken Gunn       


Need help to protect Wilson's Plover nests near Bethune Beach Park.


During the past two years Wilson's Plovers have nested on the beach near Bethune Beach Park in NSB.  On several occasions, Ken Gunn has had to admonish beachgoers  about their disturbing the plovers or their chicks.


When Black Skimmers were nesting on the beach near Ponce Inlet Park, the Halifax River AS  had folks take turns near the nest explaining about the nesting to visitors. 


The state FWC will be starting a beach stewards program hopefully in time for the next nesting season.  Training should begin in March 2015.  If you are interested in helping protect the nesting birds, their eggs and chicks, please let me know and I will pass your names to the appropriate folks at the County and FWC.  Email me at president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org.


Minutes of December  Meeting

The minutes of the December 11th meeting are on line here.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 8th of January 2015.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.   Dr George Burgess from the University of Florida is Director of the Florida Program for Shark Research and Director of the International Shark Attack File.  He will speak on the sharks in nearby waters and give his thoughts on shark bite causes and frequency.  Here is his bio.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.


Christmas Bird Count

We wil conduct the CBC on Saturday Jan 3.  We meet at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach ( the former NSB library) at 7 a.m.  If you would like to help, please meet us there.


Next Field Trips

Our next field trip will be to  Merritt Island NWR on Saturday, Jan 17, 2015.  Meet at 7 a.m. in the Florida Shores Plaza parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) on the south side of the new Dunkin Donuts bldg. Bring insect repellent and rain gear as well as lunch, snacks and drinks. You do NOT have to be a member to attend.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


December  Field Activities Report

In December, we went to Viera Wetlands.  Check out the stories and results on our birding story blog.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

      Everglades Birding Festival, Jan 15-19, 2015

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan 22-27, 2015

Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 5-8, 2015

Orlando Wetlands Park Festival, Feb 21, 2015


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December 2014 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

The Everglades is a test.  Will we pass?

"The Everglades is a test.  If we pass it, we may get to keep the earth.”  This quote has been attributed many times to Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, and early activist espousing the need to protect the Everglades and reverse the detrimental effects of agriculture, development and water diversion.  It apparently was actually said many times in the 1980’s by Joe Podgor, a president of the Friends of the Everglades.  In either case, the jury is still out as to whether we pass or fail.

Continue reading>>


Opposed to extension to Williamson Blvd.

by Lamont Ingalls


There is presently a lawsuit brought by Derek LaMontagne et.al. that opposes a proposed 2.5-mile extension of Williamson Boulevard south of Port Orange.  Opposition t0 this extension is principally due to the effects of road construction on this pristine wetland and recharge area within the Spruce Creek drainage.  On November 18th there was an administrative hearing at the Foxman Justice Center in Daytona Beach at which public comments were solicited.  At the request of my counterpart at the Halifax chapter (David Hartgrove) I gave the following public commentary.  I was proud to note that three of the four persons who commented on the suit were from Audubon chapters, including West Volusia and Halifax. continue reading>>


Used Cell Phones Can Help Save Mountain Gorillas

The following is an article that was published in the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International newsletter some time ago.  I have also learned that the Dian Fossey field workers in Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of the Congo sometimes use donated smart phones or tablets to keep field notes on the gorillas.  All in all, this is a very good cause and a painless way to help some wonderful people.


I will not be at the December meeting but if you bring your old phones and tablets to the meeting, Don will collect them and I will send them to the Fossey office.  I will also have contact information for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in case anyone wishes to be put on their newsletter list.


Text of the article follows: continue reading>>


Ken Gunn       


Need help to protect Wilson's Plover nests near Bethune Beach Park.


During the past two years Wilson's Plovers have nested on the beach near Bethune Beach Park in NSB.  On several occasions, Ken Gunn has had to admonish beachgoers  about their disturbing the plovers or their chicks.


When Black Skimmers were nesting on the beach near Ponce Inlet Park, the Halifax River AS  had folks take turns near the nest explaining about the nesting to visitors. 


The state FWC will be starting a beach stewards program hopefully in time for the next nesting season.  Training should begin in March 2015.  If you are interested in helping protect the nesting birds, their eggs and chicks, please let me know and I will pass your names to the appropriate folks at the County and FWC.  Email me at president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org.


Minutes of November  Meeting

The minutes of the November 13th meeting are on line here.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 11th of December, 2014.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.  Our speakers will be Drs Cindy Bennington and Karen Cole from Stetson University.  They are co-directors of the Volusia Sandhill Ecosystem, a teaching landscape created in 2010 adjacent to the Stetson Gillespie Museum to focus on the original sandhill ecosystem which existed in earlier times.  They will talk about the science being conducted there including the surveys of the biodiversity and their future plans for the area.  Here is their bio.

Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.

Next Field Trips

Our next field trip will be to  Viera Wetlands on Saturday, Dec 13, 2014.  Meet at 7 a.m. in the Florida Shores Plaza parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) on the south side of the new Dunkin Donuts bldg. Bring insect repellent and rain gear as well as lunch, snacks and drinks. You do not have to be a member to attend.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


November  Field Activities Report

In November, we went to   Merritt Island.  Check out the stories and results on our birding story blog.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

      Everglades Birding Festival, Jan 15-19, 2015

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan 22-27, 2015

Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 5-8, 2015

Orlando Wetlands Park Festival, Feb 21, 2015


Special Events

Michael Brothers, Director of the Marine Science Center, will present a program on the pelagic birding tour that he led last May.  It will be at the Marine Discovery Center in NSB on Thursday, Dec 18, 2014 from 6-8 p.m.  No charge, no reservations required. 


Seminole Audubon will have a special program commemorating the passenger pigeon AT 2 P.M., on Sunday, Dec 14, at the First Presbyterian Church, 320 S. Park Ave, Sanford, FL.



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November 2014 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

UN Report on Global Climate Change

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report on Global Climate Change on Sunday, Nov 2.  It is the result of an analysis of a vast archive of studies of climate during the last five years and has some dire warnings.  Among them is that: ‘Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.” In addition, the effects of global warming are already being felt in sea level rise, ocean acidification, and more extreme weather events that have begun to affect crop yields and water availability. The report also concludes that :"without additional measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even with adaptation, warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to a very high risk of severe, widespread and irreversible impacts globally."

Continue reading>>


Conservation Update: Birds and Climate Change

by Lamont Ingalls


"Become a climate messenger on behalf of Florida’s birds and wildlife. Get involved in your local and regional climate change planning efforts and provide input with local governments, regional planning agencies, and state agencies whenever opportunities present. Thank you in advance for relaying the message that Florida’s natural environment must have a future that goes hand-in-hand with the future of our built environment."

Eric Draper
Executive Director
Audubon Florida
continue reading>>


Amendment 1 Passes!

Amendment 1 passed the general election by a margin of 75-25.  Congratulations to those of you who collected signatures to get the amandment on the ballot and contacted voters to get out and vote.



Used Cell Phones Can Help Save Mountain Gorillas

The following is an article that was published in the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International newsletter some time ago.  I have also learned that the Dian Fossey field workers in Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of the Congo sometimes use donated smart phones or tablets to keep field notes on the gorillas.  All in all, this is a very good cause and a painless way to help some wonderful people.


If you bring your old phones and tablets to the November meeting, I will collect them and send them to the Fossey office.  I will also have contact information for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in case anyone wishes to be put on their newsletter list.


Text of the article follows: continue reading>>


Ken Gunn       


Need help to protect Wilson's Plover nests near Bethune Beach Park.


During the past two years Wilson's Plovers have nested on the beach near Bethune Beach Park in NSB.  On several occasions, Ken Gunn has had to admonish beachgoers  about their disturbing the plovers or their chicks.


When Black Skimmers were nesting on the beach near Ponce Inlet Park, the Halifax River AS  had folks take turns near the nest explaining about the nesting to visitors. 


The state FWC will be starting a beach stewards program hopefully in time for the next nesting season.  Training should begin in March 2015.  If you are interested in helping protect the nesting birds, their eggs and chicks, please let me know and I will pass your names to the appropriate folks at the County and FWC.  Email me at president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org.


Minutes of October  Meeting

The minutes of the October 9th meeting are on line here.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 13th of November, 2014.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.  Our speaker will be Ed Northey, Environmental Specialist II with Volusia Mosquito Control.  He will talk about the vocalizations, biology and ecology of the two species of turkey found in Florida. Here is his bio.


Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.

Next Field Trips

Our next field trips will be to  Otter Lake Trail in NSB on Fri. Nov. 14, 2014.  Meet at 8a.m.


Meet in the Florida Shores Plaza parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) on the south side of the new Dunkin Donuts bldg. Bring insect repellent and rain gear as well as lunch, snacks and drinks .You do not have to be a member to attend.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


October  Field Activities Report

In October, we went to Washington Oaks Garden State Park and Spruce Creek Park. Check out the stories and results on our birding story blog.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals


Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan 22-27, 2013

Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 5-8

Orlando Wetlands Park Festival, Feb 21, 2015


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October 2014 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Audubon Study on Birds and Climate Change

Your executive committee hopes you had a great summer wherever you spent it.  I also welcome our new Conservation Chair, Lamont Ingalls and our new Secretary, Leslie Sachs, and thank them for volunteering to help continue the club for another year.

Lots has happened since we last met and I admit that I had no involvement in it since I spent most of the Spring and Summer in the Northland. But the County Council discussed the fate of our springs and rivers and passed a reasonable ordinance on fertilizers on lawns.  We certainly applaud them for that.

Continue reading>>


Conservation Update: Birds and Climate Change

by Lamont Ingalls


We used to have four perfect seasons; now, we don’t know what to do anymore.
    -Local Farmer, Wright’s Store, Jamestown, TN; 1989

The September-October 2014 Audubon is a special issue focusing on “Birds and Climate Change.”  A close study of this issue has been disturbing and inspiring. In his introductory essay, CEO and President  David Yarnold states the sobering conclusions of a seven-year Audubon-directed study of the effects of climate changes on North American bird populations.
ccontinue reading>>


SJRWMD Update:  Understanding the Mystery of Florida's Springs by Ed Garland

Florida boasts more than 700 springs, the largest convergence of springs on Earth. For centuries, writers and explorers have waxed poetic about the state’s springs, Marjory Stoneman Douglas calling them “bowls of liquid light” and William Bartram characterizing them as “the blue ether of another world.”


Within the St. Johns River Water Management District, 96 springs have been identified and documented. The crystal-clear water from the springs, which maintain a year-round temperature of 72 degrees, is the source for many of north and central Florida’s rivers and streams. They provide the habitat for fish and wildlife, including manatees, alligators, limpkins, herons and turtles.


Springs are also indicators of the health of Florida’s aquifers, the primary sources of the state’s subterranean potable (drinking) water. In recent decades, the ecological structure and function of some springs have changed. The most apparent signs are high nitrate concentrations, decreased native aquatic plants, blooms of attached algae and reduced fish populations.
 continue reading>>


  Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign

The campaign is in full swing to get voters to the polls and to vote for Amendment 1.  They are also asking for donations and volunteers to get polling materials to the election sites.  If you are interested in either, go to their website.


Used Cell Phones Can Help Save Mountain Gorillas


The following is an article that was published in the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International newsletter some time ago.  I have also learned that the Dian Fossey field workers in Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of the Congo sometimes use donated smart phones or tablets to keep field notes on the gorillas.  All in all, this is a very good cause and a painless way to help some wonderful people.


I will not be at the October meeting but if you bring your old phones and tablets to the November meeting, I will collect them and send them to the Fossey office.  I will also have contact information for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in case anyone wishes to be put on their newsletter list.


Text of the article follows: continue reading>>


Ken Gunn       


Need help to protect Wilson's Plover nests near Bethune Beach Park.


During the past two years Wilson's Plovers have nested on the beach near Bethune Beach Park in NSB.  On several occasions, Ken Gunn has had to admonish beachgoers  about their disturbing the plovers or their chicks.


When Black Skimmers were nesting on the beach near Ponce Inlet Park, the Halifax River AS  had folks take turns near the nest explaining about the nesting to visitors. 


The state FWC will be starting a beach stewards program hopefully in time for the next nesting season.  Training should begin in March 2015.  If you are interested in helping protect the nesting birds, their eggs and chicks, please let me know and I will pass your names to the appropriate folks at the County and FWC.  Email me at president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org.


Executive Committee Meeting

We held an executive committee meeting to sort out various programs and other items for the coming year on Sep 30, 2014.  The minutes are on line here.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 9th of October, 2014.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.  Our speaker will be Jay Barnhardt, retired forensic pathologist and expert on wild mushrooms.   He wil provide techniques we can use to identify wild mushrooms using readily available tools. Here is his bio.


Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.

Next Field Trips

Our next field trips will be to  Washington Oaks Gardens State Park on Fri. Oct. 10, 2014.  Meet at 7a.m. We will also have a trip to Spruce Creek Park on Sat. Oct. 25, 2014.  Meet at 8 a.m.


Meet in the Florida Shores Plaza parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) on the south side of the new Dunkin Donuts bldg. Bring insect repellent and rain gear as well as lunch, snacks and drinks .You do not have to be a member to attend.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


September  Field Activities Report

In September, we went to Smyrna Dunes Park and Audubon Park/Green Springs. Check out the stories and results on our birding story blog.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals


Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan 22-27, 2013

Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 5-8


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May 2014 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

This is a report of the last meeting of the 2013-2014 season.  The meeting was held aboard the pontoon boat of Capt Bill owner of Turtle Mound Tours LLC.  It was a lovely evening a fine boat ride and a pretty sunset.  There were a few birds about including a couple of Oystercatchers.  The biggest find was a Peregrine Falcon perched atop the mangroves near Blue Hole. 


The only order of business was the election of officers.  Don reiterated his plea for volunteers to fill some of the vacancies and Lamont Ingalls volunteered to be Conservation Chair and Leslie Sachs volunteered to be Secretary.


The full slate of officers for the next season is (in order of positions on the executive board page):


Don Picard - President
Leslie Sachs - Secretary

Bill Cox - Treasurer

Don Picard - Newsletter Editor

Ken Gunn - Program

Gail Domroski - Field Trips
Lamont Ingalls - Conservation Chair
Dick Domroski - Membership Chair
Don Picard - Publicity


Thanks to the volunteers who continue to stay for years at a time to help with our work and special thanks to Leslie and Lamont for volunteering to join the team.


As you can see from the Executive Board page, There are still some vacancies and therefore some tasks not being performed.  If you would like to help with one of these, please let me know.


Have a great summer.


See you on the flip side.


Don


April 2014 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Summer is almost here and the April meeting is the last for the 2013-12014 season.  Migratory birds are working their way to summer breeding grounds and will soon be gone.  But that doesn't mean there is nothing left to do. There are lots of issues to contend with especially dealing with the health of our rivers and our springs.


On the positive side, the Florida Land Water Legacy campaign achieved status to be on the ballot in November as Amendment 1.  Now they are collecting money and soliciting volunteers to educate the public on the amendment.  If you would like more info, go to this link.  continue reading>>


SJRWMD Update:

  District offers water-saving tips for Water Conservation Month

PALATKA, Fla., April 1, 2014 -- April is Water Conservation Month in Florida, and the St. Johns River Water Management District is joining dozens of agencies and local governments to promote the importance of water conservation.


April has been formally recognized as Water Conservation Month in Florida for the past 16 years, as April is typically a dry month when water demands are higher due to springtime planting.


Lawn and landscape irrigation accounts for more than half of all residential water use. Districtwide lawn watering rules are designed to ensure the efficient use of water for landscape irrigation and specify the days when residents and businesses may water. These days depend on whether the property has an odd or even numbered address. continue reading>>


Marine Discovery Center Lagoonacy

The Marine Discovery Center in NSB will hold its annual Lagoonacy on Saturday, April 12th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  They bill it as a "celebration of the insanely fascinating and beautiful Mosquito Lagoon, with a day of fun, food, and festivities throughout Art and Marine Discovery Center."  For more info, sownload their brochure.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 10th of April, 2014.  It will be held at the Turtle Mound Tours, New Smyrna Beach from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  It will be a boat tour of the Mosquito Lagoon on the pontoon boat of Capt Bill of Turtle Mound Tours LLC.  On the South side of the parking lot and near the river at JB's Fish Camp on A1A in NSB, there is a fence with a gate that says Do Not Enter or some such.  That is the entrance to the Turtle Mound Tours. Eat at home or bag it.  No pot luck.  The only agenda item will be the election of officers for the 2014-2015 season.


DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS ON THE BOAT, YOU HAD TO REGISTER FOR THE TRIP AT THE MARCH MEETING.  Approximate cost will be $10 per person.


Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.

Next Field Trips

There are no more field trips scheduled for the rest of the season.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


March  Field Activities Report

The field trip to Kissimee Prairies and Three-Rivers State park was canceled for weather. Check out the results of previous field trips on our birding story blog.


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March 2014 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

It is at the March meeting where we nominate the slate of officers for the following year.  It is also at that meeting when I ask for volunteers to help run the club.  The same five of us have been performing the same duties for many years.  Much of the time, three of us are gone from the state and even the country.  This year we lost some executive committee members to illness, death and jobs.  We need your help.


We especially need a conservation chair. There are many issues that we need to keep track of from the health of the Indian river to Florida’s springs and fertilizer ordinances to the Shiloh Spaceport.  We need someone to help keep our hand in the game when these and other such issues are discussed in public forums.


Our united and public voices have won the day is issues such as golf courses and new campgrounds in state parks and the decision by the state DEP to stop pursuing the sale of public lands.  Our voices are important and we need someone to help guide them.


Please put your name in the nomination process in March.  Or check out the Executive Board page to see the other positions that are vacant.


Please help the club remain vibrant.


Don


Tomoka Regional Science Fair

For the umpteenth year in a row, the three Audubon clubs of Volusia County got together to support the Tomoka Science Fair sponsored by the Volusia County School system.  We each provided $100 and a judge and looked at the projects from an environment/conservation/birds perspective.  It took place on Feb 8 at Atlantic High School in Port Orange.  Congratulations to the winners.  Continue reading>>


SJRWMD Update:

 

Cooperative funding fuels projects that protect Florida’s water: Funding boosts 23 regional projects
by Ed Garland

In Marion County, up to 1.5 million gallons a day of treated wastewater is discharged to a remote area where it soaks into the ground. The problem: the disposal site is near Silver Springs and contributes to high nitrogen levels and impaired water quality at the historically crystalline springs.


Soon, work will be under way to upgrade the facility so that the wastewater will be treated to “reclaimed effluent standards” before it is pumped to two golf courses where it will keep the grass lush and green while locating the reclaimed water further from the springs.  continue reading>>

Polar Bears v. Murres and Eiders:Knock-on Effects of Global Warming, by Ken

A scientific paper by Samuel Iverson, a PhD candidate at Carlton University in Ottawa, Canada, describes a previously undocumented knock-on effect of global warming.


The number of days of ice cover in the Eastern Arctic area of Hudson Straits and Northern Hudson Bay has declined by sixty days – freezing thirty days later in the fall and melting thirty days earlier in the spring.  The effect of this on Polar Bears is well known.  The bears cannot get offshore to catch seals for an extra month in the fall, making them thinner, and hence weaker, when they do get out.  Secondly, the ice often melts from below them when they are far from land, making it necessary to swim longer distances to reach land and safety.  Not all of them make it!

continue reading>>


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 13th of March, 2014.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.  Our speaker will be Tad Fyock, a petroleum geologist who retired and turned sculptor and photographer.  He will present his impressions of a three week   biring trip to Kenya and the gorillas of Rwanda. Here is his bio.


Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.

Next Field Trips

Our next field trip will be on Mar 28 to  Three Lakes Wildlife Mgt Area/Joe Overstreet Road.  We hope to see Whooping Cranes along with Caracaras and Red-cockaded Woodpeckers and Snail Kites.  We leave at 7 a.m. from the Market Square parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) between Dunkin Donuts and Chik-Fil-A. It will be a long day so bring snacks, lunch and water.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


February  Field Activities Report

In February, we went to Orlando Wetlands Park.  Check out the story and results on our birding story blog.


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Responsible Bird Photography


Breeding season gets off to an early start in Florida—and where there are adult birds in showy breeding plumage and adorable chicks clamoring to be fed, wildlife photographers are sure to follow. While many of us enjoy glimpses into the secret lives of birds, we don’t often think about the ecological risks involved in taking wildlife photos.


Each year, Audubon biologists, wardens, and volunteers spend countless hours educating photographers who have approached nesting birds on our sanctuaries too closely—disrupting their natural behaviors and threatening the birds’ health and the safety of their chicks. Many photographers just don’t realize what the impacts can be…and unfortunately a small, harmful minority care more about killer photographs than the birds.


If you are a wildlife photographer, make sure you are educated on the issues, so the birds will be there to photograph for years to come. And if you are an admirer of wildlife photography, learn about the issues so you can choose wisely which photographs to praise and which photographers to patronize.



Jonathan Webber

Conservation Campaign Manager

jwebber@audubon.org <mailto:jwebber@audubon.org>

 

February 2014 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez


SHILOH SPACEPORT PROPOSAL

Space Florida, a state agency, has $60 million to develop and build a commercial spaceport and woo commercial rocket launch companies to central Florida.  Despite the fact that there is plenty of space available on the Kennnedy Space Center and Canaveral  Air Force Station, and despite the protests and explanations of the sensitivity and archeological importance of the area, they have settled on an area in MINWR named Shiloh at the intersection of U.S. 1 and State Route 3. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO TRY TO DEFEAT THIS BAD PROPOSAL!  HERE IS WHY:  Continue reading>>

SJRWMD Update: 

Capturing an oral history of Florida’s springs: Experiences enhance understanding of science

by Ed Garland

In 1956, Ike was president, a gyrating Elvis Presley sang “Hound Dog” on the Ed Sullivan Show and Detroit was churning out shark-finned automobiles dripping in chrome. That year, 19-year-old Roosevelt Faison got a job piloting glass bottom boats at the Silver Springs attraction in Ocala, an occupation that he decided would be his lifelong career.  continue reading>>

Christmas Bird Count

Many Thanks to all who helped with the Ponce Inlet CBC. We had several new participants this year that allowed us to divide into 13 teams and do a more through coverage of our circle. We had 38 participants count 141 species and over 43000 individual birds. Our evening dinner checklist of 143 species included a Red-throated Loon & a Barn Owl that were not seen. All data has been entered on the Audubon website and is available for all to view.


If you would like us to email you the 6 page list let us know.


Thanks Again


Dick & Gail Domroski


  Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 13th of february, 2014.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.  Our speaker will be Don Chalfant, a retired teacher talking on birding humor.  Here is his bio.


Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.

Next Field Trips

Our next field trip will be to  Mullet Lake/ Lake Proctor on Feb 7.  We leave at 7 a.m. from the Market Square parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) between Dunkin Donuts and Chik-Fil-A.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


January  Field Activities Report

In December, we went to MINWR.  Check out the story and results on our birding story blog.


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January 2014 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez


Lee Bidgood Update

I noted in the December Conservation Notes that Lee was serially ill with advanced lymphoma.  According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, he passed away on the 11th of December.  The environmental movement lost a pioneer.  We will miss him.  Our condolences and best wishes go to Catherine and the rest of his family.

The Indian River Lagoon

Water is Florida's engine. It has been chugging on for centuries providing critical resources for Florida's settlement, early manufacturing,  transportation and tourism.  But as time passed, man did things to the water.  Continue reading>>


Conservation Update

There has been a lot of publicity about wind energy and the killing of Bald Eagles.  Recently, a subsidiary of Duke Energy was fined for killing the eagles, and more recently the DOI is about to publish a realy bad rule for the regulation of the industry.  So I thought it important to ensure you are aware of the official National Audubon position on wind energy and eagle conservation but publishing the comments of David Yarnold, president of the NAS.  Here are his remarks.  Please note his call for action in the penultimate paragraph.   Don


"I wanted you to be aware of my opinion piece that was published in Politico on Monday that the editors entitled “Don’t Throw Bald Eagles Under the Bus,” as well as Tuesday's New York Times story, “A Struggle to Balance Wind Energy with Wildlife.”  It’s a fair and thoughtful look at the Department of the Interior’s failure to accept a deal that would have protected eagles while supporting renewable energy deployment.   ccontinue reading>>



SJRWMD Update:  District Board approves Blue Spring, Volusia lake flows and levels prevention and recovery strategy

The St. Johns River Water Management District's Governing Board today approved a comprehensive strategy to protect Blue Spring and six Volusia County lakes from current and potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals. The Volusia minimum flows and levels (MFLs) prevention and recovery strategy calls for groundwater withdrawals to be maintained at or below sustainable limits, or for impacts from groundwater withdrawals to be mitigated through reclaimed water, aquifer recharge and water supply projects, as well as through conservation and regulatory measures. continue reading>>


Christmas Bird Count

Audubon's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the longest-running citizen science wildlife survey in the world. The count began in 1900 when Dr. Frank Chapman, founder of Bird-Lore magazine, which evolved into Audubon magazine, suggested an alternative to the holiday “side hunt,” in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most small game, including birds. Chapman proposed that people count birds instead. This will be the 114th edition of the count.


We can still use help.  To learn more about the count, go here.  To join us, please contact Dick or Gail at 428-0447.


Guest Column by Jake Sachs:Nero Fiddling While Rome Burns

Nero is fiddling while Rome continues to burn. That is my impression of the concerted effort to build a private commercial spaceport in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. We already know that the Indian River Lagoon is in big trouble from pollution.

One proponent of this horrendous venture claims that a spaceport will be a net gain for the environment.. By what stretch of the imagination can this be so? Wildlife exists here in spite of NASA's activities and has endured with the help of the United States Fish &

Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.   continue reading>>



West Volusia Audubon Special Event

Field Trip for Monday, January 6, 2014.

A morning event and an afternoon event.

 

On Monday, January 6, 2014, West Volusia Audubon will be hosting a two part field trip day.  The morning event will be "Birding at Smyrna Dunes Park".  The afternoon event will be a Marine Discovery Center "Eco Boat Tour" ccontinue reading>>


  Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 9th of January, 2014.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.  Our speaker will be Dr Eric Stolen, IMA-NASA talking on Florida Vultures.  Here is his bio.


Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.

Next Field Trips

Our next field trip will be to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 18.  We leave at 7 a.m. from the Market Square parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) between Dunkin Donuts and Chik-Fil-A.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


December  Field Activities Report

In December, we went to Viera Wetlands.  Check out the story and results on our birding story blog.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan 22-27, 2014

Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 5-8, 2014


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December 2013 eSkimmer News

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How Green can Wind Farms be if They Kill Eagles?

The New York Times reported on Nov 23 that Duke Energy agreed  to pay $1 million in fines as part of the Justice Department’s first criminal case against a wind power company for the deaths of protected birds.  The company was charged with killing 14 golden eagles and dozens of other birds at two wind projects in Wyoming since 2009.  The company acknowledged that they constructed the wind farms in a manner that the knew beforehand could kill birds.  In the plea deal they also agreed to set up monitoring by new radar technology as well as field biologists looking for raptors and directing the shutdown of wind turbines when birds are about to be hazarded.  They will also have to file for an eagle take permit.   Continue reading>>


Conservation Update

In response to my monthly call for inputs to the eSkimmer News, I received the following email from Catherine Bidgood:


"Dear Don,


I’m very sorry to tell you the news about Lee.  He has an advanced case of lymphoma and is in Skilled Nursing at Oak Hammock.  He swears he has no pain but when moved, the nurses swears he does.  Being in Hospice, they will not force him to take pills he does not want.  Several nurses have said a lot of veterans react that way.  They try to stay away from pain killers as long as possible.  We found out not very long ago and have been swamped by decisions and visits from family.  We are so thankful that we live here at O.H. where all the facilities are located so close to our house.

 

His kind of Lymphoma is very aggressive and we don’t expect he’ll live very long.

 

We loved our years with Audubon in New Smyrna Beach and we loved all of you.

 

Catherine Bidgood"
ccontinue reading>>



SJRWMD Update:  District Board approves Blue Spring, Volusia lake flows and levels prevention and recovery strategy

The St. Johns River Water Management District's Governing Board today approved a comprehensive strategy to protect Blue Spring and six Volusia County lakes from current and potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals. The Volusia minimum flows and levels (MFLs) prevention and recovery strategy calls for groundwater withdrawals to be maintained at or below sustainable limits, or for impacts from groundwater withdrawals to be mitigated through reclaimed water, aquifer recharge and water supply projects, as well as through conservation and regulatory measures. continue reading>>


Christmas Bird Count

Audubon's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the longest-running citizen science wildlife survey in the world. The count began in 1900 when Dr. Frank Chapman, founder of Bird-Lore magazine, which evolved into Audubon magazine, suggested an alternative to the holiday “side hunt,” in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most small game, including birds. Chapman proposed that people count birds instead. This will be the 114th edition of the count.


We can still use help.  To learn more about the count, go here.  To join us, please contact Dick or Gail at 428-0447.


  Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign

As you know from attending chapter meetings or reading our monthly newsletter, Southeast Volusia Audubon  joined Audubon Florida in support of Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign.  Protecting our waters, cherished natural areas and wildlife are fundamental to a healthy and vibrant Florida.  The campaign is nearly over, but there is still time to sign a petition if you have not done so.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, the 12th of December, 2013.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.  Our speaker will be Dr Marc Compere, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,  speaking on solar applications.  Here is his bio.


Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.

Next Field Trips

Our next field trip will be to Viera Wetlands on Dec 14th.  We leave at 7 a.m. from the Market Square parking lot in Edgewater, (at the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Indian River Blvd) between Dunkin Donuts and Chik-Fil-A.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


November  Field Activities Report

In November, we went to Apopka Conservation Area and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  Check out the story and results on our birding story blog.


Birding and Wildlife Festivals


Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan 22-27, 2013

Laredo Birding Festival, Feb 5-8


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November 2013 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED!

Christmas Bird Count:  can we count on you to help?
Our numbers are dwindling and some of those that we are losing are among the most active.  We need to recruit new volunteers to help the club and also for citizen science projects such as the Christmas Bird Count and Winter Shorebird Survey.  Citizen Science is important because VOLUNTEERS gather and provide  the data to be used by scientists who will then analyze them.  The resulting reports show the health of the bird populations and help inform decisions by regulators and lawmakers about conservation issues.   Continue reading>>


SJRWMD Update:  Gizzard shad harvest reduces nutrient pollution in St. Johns River system

The St. Johns River Water Management District's Lake George gizzard shad harvest removed more than 9,000 pounds of phosphorus and 28,000 pounds of nitrogen from the lake in Volusia and Putnam counties that is part of the St. Johns River system.

Removing gizzard shad from Lake George will help to meet the necessary downstream nutrient loading reduction essential to meeting state water quality standards and reduce the severity of algal blooms in the lower St. Johns River.  continue reading>>


  Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign

As you know from attending chapter meetings or reading our monthly newsletter, Southeast Volusia Audubon  joined Audubon Florida in support of Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign.  Protecting our waters, cherished natural areas and wildlife are fundamental to a healthy and vibrant Florida.  The campaign is nearly over, but there is still time to sign a petition if you have not done so.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on the 14th of November, 2013.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.  Our speaker will be Deborah Ferraro, from the Merritt Island National Willife Refuge.  Her presentation will be on the Florida Panther.  Here is her bio.


Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.

Next Field Trips

Our next field trip will announced at the meeting.  We leave at 7 a.m.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


October  Field Activities Report

In October, we went to Spruce Creek Park.  Check out the story and results on our birding story blog.


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October 2013 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

I hope everyone had a great summer and is ready for another season of education, science and activism.  Lots of things have happened since we last communicated.   Continue reading>>


Conservation Update: ‪Dangerous Climate Changes Worsen

‬ by Lee Bidgood

On Sept. 27, 2013, the IPCC (international Panel on Climate Change) released its fifth assessment of global climate change. This one followed the fourth issued in 2007.
 
Like earlier IPCC reports, the fifth warned of extreme dangers from rising greenhouse gas emissions. Average global temperatures could rise 8 or 9 degrees F while sea level could rise three feet this century. The changes could be even worse if stored arctic methane and carbon dioxide were suddenly released by rising arctic temperatures and changing conditions there.  Continue reading>>


SJRWMD Update:  District Launches Springs Protection Initiative by Ed Garland

Demonstrating the state’s commitment to long-term springs protection, the St. Johns River Water Management District began a Springs Protection Initiative in late 2012 that combines science, projects, planning and regulatory programs to reduce nitrate loading and protect spring flows. 


The District has been working with other agencies for many years through various programs to increase knowledge and understanding about the region’s springs, while also working to protect springs systems. continue reading>>


  Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign

As you know from attending chapter meetings or reading our monthly newsletter, Southeast Volusia Audubon  joined Audubon Florida in support of Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign.  Protecting our waters, cherished natural areas and wildlife are fundamental to a healthy and vibrant Florida.  Continue reading>>


Don Gets His by Dick and Gail Domroski

RECOGNITION that is. At our annual end of year meeting April, 2013 we enjoyed an Indian River Lagoon Cruise with Capt Bill Rostok's of Turtle Mount River Tours. Our traditional pot-luck dinner was replaced with hors d'oeuvres, snacks and sandwiches so we didn't miss a minute of Capt Bills narration and stories about the history of the lagoon and its inhabitants.  continue reading>>


Next Meeting

rostok_sunsetAt  the April 2013 meeting, we enjoyed an evening cruise aboard Capt Bill Rostok's boat in Mosquito Lagoon.  We re-elected the same slate of officers as last year and they graciously accepted.  Don also got a special recognition by Florida Audubon.

Our next meeting will be on the 10th of October, 2013.  It will be held at the Marine Discovery Center on 520 Barracuda Dr, New Smyrna Beach from 7 to 9 p.m.  Our speaker will be Mike Boulware, from the Florida Museum of Natural History.  He is the Living Exhibit Specialist at their Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.  He will speak about butterfly conservation and butterfly gardening.  Here is his bio.


Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  You Do NOT have to be a member to attend our meetings.

Next Field Trips

Our next field trip will be to Gemini Springs Park and Green Spring Park in the Deltona/DeBary area.  We leave at 7 a.m.


Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year with links to the destinations if available.  You do NOT have to be a member to attend our outings. 


March  Field Activities Report

In March, we had a field trip to Merritt Island NWR and Orlando Wetlands Park. Again the folks at Orlando Wetlands Park were gracious enoough to give us all a tour in their wagon. Check out the stories and results on our birding story blog.


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