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 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

 Prez Sez

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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April 2013 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

IIf you want to find out what our lawmakers are doing in Tallahassee I urge you to join the Florida Audubon Conservation Network and sign up for email alerts.  Another great source of info is the  Florida Conservation Coalition.  Some of the bills they are proposing are really over the top.  For example, one bill would not allow buying more conservation lands without selling off an equal amount of currently-owned lands first.  Another would let owners of property adjacent to state lands to basically take over the public lands.  We all need to get on this.   Continue reading>>


Conservation Update: ‪Keystone XL Pipeline‬ by Lee Bidgood

On March 1, the US State Department released a draft assessment of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The Department concluded that the pipeline would “not likely result in significant environmental effects”.
 
The Keystone XL pipeline links Canadian tar sands with US Gulf Coast refineries. It would carry a highly toxic oily compound known as bitumen. Pipelines often leak, sometimes severely despite precautions.  Continue reading>>


SJRWMD Update:  New Web Pages focus on Health of Indian River Lagoon System

If you are wondering why the IRL was so murky for the last two summers, check this out.  The St. Johns River Water Management District launched an updated section of its website devoted to challenges facing the health of the Indian River Lagoon. The pages also address work under way to investigate and address the challenges.


At itsyourlagoon.com, visitors will find regular updates as scientists work collaboratively among agencies to determine the cause of death of pelicans and manatees, and the loss of more than 30,000 acres of seagrasses in the lagoon.


  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.   Right now, you can start off the New Year by helping Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign place a critical conservation amendment on the November 2014 ballot. Continue reading>>


Next Meeting

The minutes of the Mar 20th meeting are online. Read them here. 

Our next meeting will be on the 17th of April, 2013.  Our agenda will be to elect a slate of officers for the next year and to determine the venue for next year's meetings.  Will they be at the Edgewater Library or at the Marine Discovery Center.


NOTE:  The meeting will be held at Capt Bill Rostok's Turtle Mound River Tours on the North side of the JB's Fish Camp parking lot near the water.  You had to have registered in advance to participate. 


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

 In April, we will had two field trips scheduled.  The one to Buschman Park and Sugar Mill Ruins (Port Orange) on Apr 13th HAS BEEN CANCELLED.  We are still planning to go to Princess Place Preserve on Apr 19th. The Spring Migratory Bird Count has been cacncelled by the USFWS. 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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March 2013 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

In 2010, when the Florida Forestry Division was publishing its master management plan, some Daytona Beach residents asked that the Tiger Bay State Forest, west of Daytona Beach, be opened to ATVs and other off-road vehicles. The Forest Service did not grant that request.   Late last year, the group tried a different tactic.  That was to get the City Commission to write a declaration of support for the activity in hopes that it would help persuade the Forestry Division to change its mind.  Now they are upping the ante by asking the County Council to do the same.  And they have some support already in the Council.  Continue reading>>


Conservation Update: ‪Keystone XL Pipeline‬ by Lee Bidgood

On March 1, the US State Department released a draft assessment of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The Department concluded that the pipeline would “not likely result in significant environmental effects”.
 
The Keystone XL pipeline links Canadian tar sands with US Gulf Coast refineries. It would carry a highly toxic oily compound known as bitumen. Pipelines often leak, sometimes severely despite precautions.  Continue reading>>


SJRWMD Update:  Public Lands Offer a Wealth of Recreational Opportunities by Ed Garland

If nature is your thing, consider visiting some of the scenic and unspoiled 700,000 acres of land owned by the St. Johns River Water Management District.


The District manages tracts of land that are important in protecting our water resources, keeping the land in its natural state. The land helps to filter out pollutants from runoff, prevent erosion and provide flood protection, and it serves as protected plant and animal habitat.

 Continue reading>>

 

Water Conservation and Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings time marks a change to the watering rules for lawns.  The rules are determined by the city or the county in which you live and the source of your water.  It is everyone's responsibility to know and follow the rules and to use the best practices for watering lawns.  One of the best practices is xeriscaping, also known as Florida Friendly Yards.  I hope you will do your part to conserve water, one of our most precious resources.  Don.


2013 Winter Shorebird Survey

We had an excellent winter shorebird survey this year, our fifth annual count; the weather was perfect, the birds plentiful and the counters enthusiastic and diligent.  Read the full report and check out the pictures submitted by participants at the birding story blog.


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.   Right now, you can start off the New Year by helping Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign place a critical conservation amendment on the November 2014 ballot. Continue reading>>


Next Meeting

The minutes of the Feb 20th meeting are online. Read them here. 

Our next meeting will be on the 20th of March, 2013.  Our speaker will be Stacy Bell of Volusia County Environmental will talk about Sea Turtles and the county Habitat Conservation Plan.     Here is her bio. 


NOTE:  The meeting will be held at the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach.  It is in the Former NSB High School at

520 Barracuda Blvd.


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 Trip

On Friday, Mar 22, we will tour the Peacock's Pocket and biolab roads of MINWR. In April, we will hsve two field trips.  One to Wekiwa Springs State Park on Fri, Apr 5th, and one to Buschman Park on Apr 13th and to Princess Place Preserve on Apr 19th. 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 had a field trip to Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County.  In early March, we went to Orlando Wetlands Park. We also conducted a bird walk at Dunes Park sponsored by the Volusia County Land Management folks, in particular Bonnie Cary.  Check out the stories and results on our birding story blog.


Upcoming birding and wildlife festival

The Galveston, TX, Featherfest and Nature Photofest is April 11-14.  Their website is here.


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February 2013 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Two things caught my interest recently:  The first is the continued push by Space Florida to obtain land for a commercial spaceport near the intersection of State Rd 3 and U.S. 1, and the other is the South Florida Water Management District's decision to assess its land holdings with the expectation of potentially selling some of them off.  Continue reading>>


Conservation Update: ‪Solar Power Developments‬ by Lee Bidgood

Solar power is growing rapidly in many places. For example,  Greece, despite its financial crisis is blossoming with solar systems based on Feed In Tariff (FIT) subsidies adopted in 2006. Greece ranks third among all nations with 0.142 kilowatts (KW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) per capita, trailing only Germany and Italy. 

Continue reading>>


SJRWMD Update:  Seeing the forest for the trees.
Technology and hands-on methods ensure accurate timber count  by Ed Garland

Paul Hudson and Chris Oman maneuver deftly through the thick undergrowth of the forest, intuitively dodging waist-deep palmettos and ever-present gallberry bushes to reach their target.


“I see it,” says Oman, gazing through the uniform rows of slash pines. “The ribbon is on that pine straight ahead.”  Continue reading>>

 

Thanks to Tad Fyock

Tad Fyock, a carver and photographer from NSB donated a carving of a Peregrine Falcon for use as a fundraiser.  Since we has such a small club and could not maximize its value, we partnered with the Space Coast Audubon and sold raffle tickets at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival.  Continue reading>>


Tomoka Science Fair

Each of the three Volusia Audubon clubs annually contributes $100 toward prizes at the Tomoka Science Fair for a total of $300.  We award a first prize of $100 and a second of $50 in Junior and Senior Divisions to the best environmental related projects.  This year the event was held at Atlantic High School in Daytona Beach on January 19th. Fred Mosher of Halifax River Audubon and Ken Gunn from SEVAS were judges.  Continue reading>>



2013 Winter Shorebird Survey

The 2013 Winter Shorebird Survey (WSS) is taking place Friday, February 8th.  As in previous years, our club is handling the beach between Smyrna Dunes Park and Canaveral National Seashore as well as  onshore and in the wetlands from Rose Bay south.  Beach walkers will start at 8:30 walking north to south in their section.  Boats, canoes, kayaks and vehicles will start at 8:00 and will finish no later than 11:00.


Ken Gunn is coordinating the project for our club.  Teams are almost complete and documents are being sent out to  team leaders.  Interested persons who are not already signed up may contact Ken by phone at 386-423-2334 or 386-478-3947, or by e-mail at gunnsatbeach@cfl.rr.com.  Both birders and non-birders are welcome.


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.   Right now, you can start off the New Year by helping Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign place a critical conservation amendment on the November 2014 ballot. Continue reading>>



Next Meeting

The minutes of the Jan 16th meeting are online. Read them here. 

Our next meeting will be on the 20th of February, 2013.  Our speaker will be Dr. Richard Raid of UF, Everglades Research and Education Center who will talk about Barn Owls.    Here is his bio. 


NOTE:  The meeting will be held at the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach.  It is in the Former NSB High School at

520 Barracuda Blvd.


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 Trip

We had two activities scheduled in February.  The Feb 9 trip to Marl Bed Flats has been cancelled. On Friday, Feb 22, we go to Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County.   Check out my blog post on this county park here.  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 had a field trip to Merritt Island NWR.  Check out the story and results on our birding story blog.



Kenya Opportunity

Tad Fyock and Ken Gunn are making a birding / animaling trip to Kenya March 13 to April 1, 2013.  We are looking for two to three additional people to make the trip with us.  Cost will be $6500 -$7000 per person plus airfare, depending on how many people they end up with and how many balloon rides they take to see the animals from above.  For more information, call Tad at 386-426-8793 or Ken at 386-423-2334.  For an itinerary, click here.



Upcoming birding and wildlife festivals


The Orlando Wetlands Park annual festival will be held on Feb 16th, 2013.  Their website is here.


The Big "O" Birding Festival on the shores of Lake Okeechobee will be held from Mar 12 to Mar 16, 2013.  Their website is here.


Sign up for our alerts and notifications


January 2013 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Last month I mentioned that state authorities sent letters to Washington trying to get NASA to relinquish 150 acres along State Road 3 to build a commercial spaceport.  On Sunday, Oct 28, Dinah Voyles-Pulver wrote an article for the Daytona News-Journal about the proposal.  I also mentioned we litigated that in 2008 and won.  Apparently it was also an issue in 1989.  Continue reading>>


Conservation Notes: No D,C. leadership on Climate Change by Lee Bidgood

Congress and the President act like a bunch of little kids upstairs in their house fighting over who gets the biggest piece of pie. Downstairs their house is on fire.
 
The world isn’t burning up yet, although wildfires are bad along with record-breaking and lethal heat waves, drought, deluges, floods and storms.  Continue reading>>


Everglades Nesting Wading Birds in Trouble

Something is wrong! Florida’s wading birds are moving from their historic nesting locations because the water is not right! Wood Storks are nesting at the Jacksonville Zoo. Roseate Spoonbills are suddenly showing up in  local ponds. A recent South Florida Water Management District report indicates more troubling news for the iconic birds of the Everglades.  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.   Right now, you can start off the New Year by helping Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign place a critical conservation amendment on the November 2014 ballot. Continue reading>>


SJRWMD: District Focused on Springs Protection by Ed Garland

For centuries, springs have been a powerful part of Florida’s allure, embodying a feeling of paradise. Springs are intertwined in Florida’s history, with one of the more famous examples being Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon’s purported quest in 1513 for the fabled spring known as the “Fountain of Youth.”  Continue reading>>


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on the 16th of January, 2013.  Our speaker will be Ms Rebecca Bolt, Wildlife Ecologist at Kennedy Space Center.  She will talk about Central Florida's land turtles.  Here is her bio.  Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.

Next Field Trip

We have two activities scheduled in January.  On Thursday the 17th, we will go to Longleaf Pine Preserve.  On Saturday, Jan 19, we go to Merritt Island NWR.   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.


December  Field Activities Report

We had two field birding activities in December, a field trip to Viera Wetlands and the Christmas Bird Count.  Check out the stories, pictures and results on our birding story blog.


28th Annual Volusia Soil and Water Conservation District Plant and Tree Sale

 It's time for the 28th Annual Volusia Soil and Water Conservation District Plant and Tree Sale to benefit local conservation projects and Volusia County 4-H!  Order your bare root seedlings now by going to the Volusia County Extension Office 4-H website, or calling 386-822-5778.  More information about the trees is available at the VSWCD websitel.  The sale will take place January 12 and 19 on Hwy. 44 in DeLand by the Volusia County Fairgrounds. 


Twenty types of trees are available this year and five shrubs, including Red Buds, Fringe Trees, Bald Cypress and Red Cedars.  For orders of ten or more, the cost per plant is $2.  Quantities are limited so pre-order today!


Kenya Opportunity

Tad Fyock and Ken Gunn are making a birding / animaling trip to Kenya March 13 to April 1, 2013.  We are looking for two to three additional people to make the trip with us.  Cost will be $6500 -$7000 per person plus airfare, depending on how many people they end up with and how many balloon rides they take to see the animals from above.  For more information, call Tad at 386-426-8793 or Ken at 386-423-2334.  For an itinerary, click here.



Upcoming birding and wildlife festivals

The Sapce Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival will be in Titusville, FL from Jan 23-28, 2013.  Their website is http://spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org/ .


The Orlando Wetlands Park annual festival will be held on Feb 16th, 2013.  Their website is here.

Sign up for our alerts and notifications


December 2012 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Last month I mentioned that state authorities sent letters to Washington trying to get NASA to relinquish 150 acres along State Road 3 to build a commercial spaceport.  On Sunday, Oct 28, Dinah Voyles-Pulver wrote an article for the Daytona News-Journal about the proposal.  I also mentioned we litigated that in 2008 and won.  Apparently it was also an issue in 1989.           Continue reading>>


Conservation Notes: No D,C. leadership on Climate Change by Lee Bidgood

Congress and the President act like a bunch of little kids upstairs in their house fighting over who gets the biggest piece of pie. Downstairs their house is on fire.
 
The world isn’t burning up yet, although wildfires are bad along with record-breaking and lethal heat waves, drought, deluges, floods and storms.  Continue reading>>


 

SJRWMD: Wading Birds Appreciate restored reefs by Ed Garland

A recent study found that many wading bird species use restored reefs in ways similar to natural (unrestored) reefs.


The report, “Wading bird usage of oyster reefs as a bio-indicator of ecological function of restored intertidal oyster reefs in Canaveral National Seashore (Mosquito Lagoon, Fla.),” was written by University of Central Florida undergraduate students William Gerrard and Noemi Rebeli Szabo under the direction of biology professor Dr. Linda Walters.


The restored reefs are the work of more than 27,000 volunteers, who over the past six years, have made “oyster mats” and deployed them on 58 impacted oyster reefs in the Mosquito Lagoon.


In addition to wading birds, 149 species of flora and fauna use the lagoon’s oyster reefs during some point in their life cycles, and oyster reefs stabilize shorelines and protect emergent shoreline vegetation.


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on the 21st of November 2012.  James 'Zach' Zacharias of the Museum of Arts & Science will talk about Prehistoric Volusia.  Here is his bio.  Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.

Next Field Trip

We have two activities scheduled in December.  On Saturday the 15th, we will go to Viera Wetlands.  On Saturday, Dec 29, we have the Christmas Bird Count.  If you want to help, please contact Dick and Gail at 428-0447.  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.


November  Field Activities Report


We had two field trips in November, one to MINWR and one to Deep Creek.  Check out the stories and results on our birding story blog.


28th Annual Volusia Soil and Water Conservation District Plant and Tree Sale

 It's time for the 28th Annual Volusia Soil and Water Conservation District Plant and Tree Sale to benefit local conservation projects and Volusia County 4-H!  Order your bare root seedlings now by going to the Volusia County Extension Office 4-H website, or calling 386-822-5778.  More information about the trees is available at the VSWCD websitel.  The sale will take place January 12 and 19 on Hwy. 44 in DeLand by the Volusia County Fairgrounds. 


Twenty types of trees are available this year and five shrubs, including Red Buds, Fringe Trees, Bald Cypress and Red Cedars.  For orders of ten or more, the cost per plant is $2.  Quantities are limited so pre-order today!


Kenya Opportunity

Tad Fyock and Ken Gunn are making a birding / animaling trip to Kenya March 13 to April 1, 2013.  We are looking for two to three additional people to make the trip with us.  Cost will be $6500 -$7000 per person plus airfare, depending on how many people they end up with and how many balloon rides they take to see the animals from above.  For more information, call Tad at 386-426-8793 or Ken at 386-423-2334.  For an itinerary, click here.



Upcoming birding and wildlife festivals

The Sapce Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival will be in Titusville, FL from Jan 23-28, 2013.  Their website is http://spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org/ .


The Orlando Wetlands Park annual festival will be held on Feb 16th, 2013.  Their website is here.

Sign up for our alerts and notifications


November 2012 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Last month I mentioned that state authorities sent letters to Washington trying to get NASA to relinquish 150 acres along State Road 3 to build a commercial spaceport.  On Sunday, Oct 28, Dinah Voyles-Pulver wrote an article for the Daytona News-Journal about the proposal.  I also mentioned we litigated that in 2008 and won.  Apparently it was also an issue in 1989.           Continue reading>>


SJRWMD Bigclaw Snapping Shrimp by Ed Garland

The bigclaw snapping shrimp is arguably the closest thing to an Indian River Lagoon denizen, seemingly gifted with superpowers.


One of 11 species of snapping shrimp in the lagoon, the bigclaw snapping shrimp (Alpheus heterochaelis) is the largest and most colorful member of the pistol shrimp family in the southeastern United States. A mere two inches in length, the bigclaw is typically a translucent green hue, marked by bright orange and blue along its legs, claws and tip of the tail.               Continue reading>>


SJRWMD Land Assessment Update

Last month I mentioned the fact that the St John's River Water Management District was conducting an assessment of all its land holdings with a view towards potentially identifying surplus lands and disposing of them.


On November 7,  I attended a meeting at the Volusia County Council Chambers.      Continue reading>>


Next  Meeting

Our next meeting will be on the 21st of November 2012.  Laura Seckbach Finn of Fly By Night, Inc will talk about Bats.  Here is her bio Hers is a 501(c)(3) corporation and can use donations of foods and materials.  For a list, click here.  Bring them to the meeting of possible.  Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs. 


Next Field Trip

We have two field tris scheduled in November.  On Saturday the 10th, we will go to Merritt Island NWR.  Quite a few duck species have begun to arrive.  On Friday, Nov 30, we will do a Deep Creek eco-tour. 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.


October  Field Activities Report

We had two field trips in October, one to Lake Woodruff and one to Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve and Spruce Creek Park.  At Lake Woodruff we saw three eagles, four woodpecker species,  and several warbler species.  At Spruce Creek we had Rose-breasted Grosbeak among others.  Check out the results on our birding story blog.


Kenya Opportunity

Tad Fyock and Ken Gunn are making a birding / animaling trip to Kenya March 13 to April 1, 2013.  We are looking for two to three additional people to make the trip with us.  Cost will be $6500 -$7000 per person plus airfare, depending on how many people they end up with and how many balloon rides they take to see the animals from above.  For more information, call Tad at 386-426-8793 or Ken at 386-423-2334.  For an itinerary, click here.



Upcoming birding and wildlife festivals

The Sapce Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival will be in Titusville, FL from Jan 23-28, 2013.  Their website is http://spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org/ .


The Orlando Wetlands Park annual festival will be held on Feb 16th, 2013.  Their website is here.

Sign up for our alerts and notifications


October 2012 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez


Welcome to a new season of the SEVAS.  We hope you had a great summer wherever you spent it.  Lots happened since we last met.  The NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY put out a new strategic plan. They also partnered with  ConservAmerica , a leading conservative pro-environment group, on a campaign based on common ground called “Because Conservation Doesn’t Have a Party.”  Our hope is to deliver hundreds of thousands of signatures on the American Eagle Compact to the winners of November’s elections.


Volusia County decided to finally start restoring the scrub habitat to favor Scrub Jays at the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve and mountain bikers  using the preserve objected strenuousy and threatened to take the county to court.  Florida Audubon is partnering with other conservation organizations to place on the ballot in 2014 a constitutional amendment to require the State of Florida to fund a Florida Forever program.  The St John's River Water Management District started a process of identifying whether or not its land holdings included some not needed for the purposes for which they were acquired and could potentially be sold off.  And most recently, the State of Florida is again trying to close access to MINWR and CANA for a commercial spaceport.


Continue reading>>


Conservation Notes: Solar Panels, by Lee Bidgood


Solar panels are popping up on US rooftops and fields nationwide. In the second quarter of 2012, the number of solar installations soared 116 percent over the second quarter 2011. A total new capacity of 742 megawatts was installed.
 
Solar power critics gripe and moan because taxpayers are subsidizing solar. Actually, US subsidies to all renewable energy industries totaled only one percent of the subsidies fed to fossil fuel industries!

continue reading>>


SJRWMD Conducts Land Assessment, by Ed Garland


As part of its work to protect water resources, the St. Johns River Water Management District has purchased land over the past 35 years that provides a variety of public benefits. Under Florida law, water management districts are authorized to buy land for several purposes, including flood control, conservation and the protection of water resources. The District owns approximately 600,000 acres of land throughout its 18-county service area.

Continue reading>>


DORIS LEEPER SPRUCE CREEK PRESERVE

No doubt you all saw Dinah Pulver’s articles in the News- Journal detailing the brouhaha at the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve. Just in case you didn’t, let me recap the issue.

Land acquisition for the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve was begun in 1982. The Nature Conservancy, The Trust For Public Land, Audubon of Florida and the St Johns River Water Management District were all instrumental in the efforts to piece together what is now a roughly 2,400 acre natural area that stretches from west of I-95 to the Halifax River, south of Rose Bay. The land is state owned for the most part but is managed by Volusia County. Martins Dairy Road pulls north off Turnbull Bay Road just east of Pioneer Trail. It dead ends in the parking lot for a portion of the Preserve that’s become very popular with mountain bikers and those riding horses on the property.

        Continue reading>>


Next  Meeting

Our next meeting will be on the 17th of October, 2012.  Check out the Meetings page for a full schedule of programs.  Our October speaker is Ray Jarrett, Sr. Biologist / Urban Forester, University of Central Florida and an  ISA Certified Arborist who will talk about  Plants of the Scrub Habitat.  Here is his bio.


Next Field Trip

Our October 20th field trip is to Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve.  It departs from the usual place at 8 a.m.  We may have another field trip on Nov 10.  Check out the field trips page for full details and a complete list of scheduled trips for the year.


September  Field Activities Report

Twelve people participated in the annual Fall Migratory Bird Count on Sep 12.  They counted 87 species and 5065 individual birds.  Highlights includud Red Knots and Veerys.  Check out the list here.


Four people went to Washington Oaks State Park and Matanzas National Monumnent.  Check out the results here.


Wandering Members

Ken spent the summer in Canada and later took a cruise with Garrison Kielor of NPR's Prairie Home Companion fame.  His posts are on the Birding Story Blog.


Also on the blog is a report of a trip Don and Maureen took paddling Lake Ashy to Wiregrass Prairie Preserve with the Volusia County staff.  It was a great opportunity for people to see the Volusia Forever properties first-hand with knowledgeable staff.


NOTE:  The Birding Story Blog is for members and friends to post stories and pictures of their birding adventures.  Even if they are in your own back yard.  If you have a story or pictures that you think might interest the viewers, please send them to me at president@sevolusiaaudubon.org. 


Kenya Opportunity


Tad Fyock and Ken Gunn are making a birding / animaling trip to Kenya March 13 to April 1, 2013.  We are looking for two to three additional people to make the trip with us.  Cost will be $6500 -$7000 per person plus airfare, depending on how many people we end up with and how many balloon rides we take to see the animals from above.  For more information, call Tad at 386-426-8793 or Ken at 386-423-2334.  For an itinerary, click here.


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June 2012 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

We just finished an exciting year and I hope you enjoyed it.  Thanks to all who participated in our success.  Hopefully you learned lots from the excellent speakers Ken got for us.  I also hope you enjoyed the field trips Dick and Gail organized.  Next year will be equally wonderful.  I encourage your participation, not only as observers but as doers.  We need your ideas and your help to continue your club.
 Continue reading>>


Conservation Notes: Media and Climate Change, by Lee Bidgood

Climate change deniers and belittlers still influence important newspapers.


Rolling Stone's April 27 issue features its interview of President Barack Obama. A welcome surprise was our President's statement that he expects climate change to be a major campaign issue.
Obama said, "I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we're going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way."


AP's advance copy of the interview report was published in the April 26 Gainesville Sun and in other newspapers, but AP omitted Obama's climate change discussion.


Liberal outlets including Climate Progress, Politico and CBS news did report Obama's key remarks on climate change.


Florida's future existence probably depends on restraining global warming. The issue needs publicity.


Lee Bidgood, Jr.,


Gainesville


Ed. note;  This was a letter to the editor from Lee to the Gainesville Sun published on Apr 30, 2012 entitled: "The Media need to get the truth out about Climate Change."



St John's Scientist wins National Wetlands Award by Ed Garland, SJRWMD

Ronald Brockmeyer is being recognized for his work to help restore wetlands along the lagoon.


The Environmental Law Institute has chosen Ronald Brockmeyer, an environmental scientist with the St. Johns River Water Management District, as the 2012 National Wetlands Award recipient in State, Tribal and Local Program Development.

Continue reading>>

New Florida Audubon Program:  Florida Special Places Articles

Robert Stamps sent the following email to Chapter Presidents.  Florida Audubon is starting a series of articles to blogs, newspapers, and other outlets to highlight Florida's Special Places.


"Dear chapter presidents,
 
Due in part to threats to many of Florida’s Special Places and a desire to get more people out to these natural areas so they grow a connection to them, Audubon Florida/Florida Audubon Society are working up a series of articles promoting these locations.  We hope you and/or your regional conservation committee members will help by writing about Special Place(s) in your part of the state.  Attached are the suggested author guidelines and an example that Stuart Langton sent out for writing columns for this Special Places series.  Please help with this effort, it just requires some time and careful wordsmithing.
 
Thank you,
Bob Stamps
Chair, Chapters’ Committee


Ed. Note: If you would like ot contribute an article, the guidelines are here.


Next  Meeting

Our next meeting will be on the 17th of October, 2012.  Check out the Meetings page later this summer for a full schedule of programs.


Next Field Trip

There are no more scheduled field trips for the summer.  Next activity will be the Fall Migratory Bird Count in September.  Check out the Field Trips page later in the summer for a list of next year's activities.


April Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the April meeting are posted here. 


May  Field Trip Report

We did not have a formal field trip in May but 12 people participated in the annual Spring Migratory Bird Count.  They counted 90 species and 4620 individual birds.  Check out the list here.


Restoration Bird Counts

The West Volusia Audubon Society has been spearheading the Restoration bird counts for the last several years.  In his latest summary to me, Harry Robinson reports that: " I am attaching the "spring" bird count data for Restoration. I did the count so late I am treating it as the summer count. I am hoping to do two counts in the fall. The main road is totally undriveable so I cannot ask for help yet.
 
The tree thinning in the western half of the area has been completed and the birds seem to be loving it. Most bird populations are very much higher this summer. I also found a singing male Bachman's Sparrow on the NW Spur which bodes well.At the moment the work appears to have been a success but it will await next summer counts to confirm this."


For a complete list of the counts over the years, check out this spreadsheet.


Farmton Update

In 2011, the Sierra Club filed suit against the County of Volusia to prevent permitting of the Farmton tract because of sprawl, unsuitablility for development for development, etc.  They created a YouTube video which you can watch here.  It is ten minutes long.


Wandering Members

This month, Ken posted two entries, one from Moncton, New Brunswick and one from Alberta.  Also, Randy Hitchcock posted a story about his seven day adventure in Costa Rica.  Check them out in the Birding Story Blog in the main menu. Don also posted an entry regarding his trip to Circle B Bar Ranch Preserve and Saddle Creek Ranch County Park in Polk County.


NOTE:  The Birding Story Blog is for members and friends to post stories and pictures of their birding adventures.  Even if they are in your own back yard.  If you have a story or pictures that you think might interest the viewers, please send them to me at president@sevolusiaaudubon.org. 

 

Edgewater Permaculture Society

Heidi and her son graced us with their presence at our pot-luck meeting.  She is involved with an informal non-profit called the Edgewater Permaculture Society.  They do plant swaps, community gardens, events that promote edible landscape and sustainability, etc... It's only 3 years old.  They will be hosting their next Garden Swap Party at Maynard-May Park (413 S. Riverside Dr.) here in Edgewater Saturday August 11 from 9am-11am. This is a free public event.  For more info, check out their website here.



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April 2012 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

It's a sIgn of the times.  The end of subsidies means the end of interest in solar power.    An email from Ken brought this home.  He had been trying to get Jesse Roche, author of the blog "Million Solar Rooftops" to be one of our speakers next season. Apparently, Jesse has abandoned the project because of dwindling interest in rooftop solar in Florida.  The primary cause apparently is the end of the state  subsidies for solar installations.  Continue reading>>


It's in the Air: National Audubon Society Campaign

The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to take a bite out of carbon pollution through proposed standards for new coal-fired power plants. With the unlovely name of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), this draft rule is nevertheless our next best shot at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change.

Continue reading>>

Conservation Notes: Sandhill Cranes, by Lee Bidgood

I was shocked that sandhill cranes are now hunted in more than a dozen states and other states are considering allowing these magnificent birds to be killed (New York Times Feb. 23, 2012). I found the website of a hunting organization proudly displaying piles of dead sandhill cranes with comments that they are delicious with a flavor like pork chops or prime ribs. Early in the 20th century, sandhill cranes were on a path to extinction, but widespread and popular protection enabled them to recover.   Continue reading>>


Florida's Aquifers: Water beneath our feet by Ed Garland, SJRWMD

A core sample of limestone from the aquifer shows the holes and cracks in the rock that allow water to move underground.


Florida, at times, seems as much a liquid state as it does terra firma. Slosh through its marshes and wetlands, and you’ll probably agree. We live in a land literally shaped by water, a peninsula boasting more than 1,197 miles of coastline and laced with 50,000 miles of rivers and streams, 7,000 lakes and more than 700 known springs.  Continue reading>>


Note from Ed Garland, SJRWMD

The SJRWMD posted excellent information on Feb 21 regarding waterwise landscaping on both our Facebook and Twitter sites. It includes a searchable plant database.  You can go to our home page at floridaswater.com and click on the Facebook or Twitter icons at the top of the home page or check out this link.


April  Meeting

The April meeting will be our annual pot-luck at Menard-May Park on Riverside Drive in Edgewater.  After the meal, we will have the election of officers for the next year.  We still have some vacant positions.  Please consider helping.  The eating starts at 5:30 p.m.  See you there.


April Field Trip

There are three feld trips in April.  One to Canaveral NS, one to Princess Place Preserve, and one to Tomoka State Park.  They all leave from the usual place.  Canaveral and Tomoka depart at 8:00 a.m. and Princess Place departs at 7:00 a.m.  For more info, check the "Field Trips" link in the left pane.


March Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the March meeting are posted here. 


March  Field Trip Report

We went to the Merritt Island NWR.   To see the full report and view some photos, check out the "Birding Story Blog" link in the left pane.


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February 2012 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

In this edition, Don thanks Ken for his yeoman work in organizating the club's participation in the Annual Shorebird Survey.  Then he writes about the seriousness of the water situation in Florida, given the development pressures and the political bent to permit anything businesses want.   Continue reading>>


Conservation Notes: Solar v. Nuclear, by Lee Bidgood

First some worrisome news:  According to NASA , the Arctic in 2011 broke its high temperature record set in 2010. The agency's temperature records go back to 1880. The Arctic has warmed considerably faster since the late 1970s.  As the Arctic warms, floating sea ice shrinks. On Sept. 9, 2011, Arctic sea had shrunk to just above the lowest area ever measured -- in 2007.  Continue reading>>


Wetlands are for the Birds by Ed Garland, SJRWMD

The association of Florida with wetlands is so deeply ingrained in the American psyche that the old joke about “buying swampland in Florida” still endures. Yet, the very gist of the joke implies that wetlands are worthless, an impediment to progress.  Continue reading>>


Hope for Scrub Jays by Ken

One of my field trips, during the Space Coast Birding Festival, was to Seminole Ranch Conservation Area just east of I-95 and between SR-46 and SR-50.  The property comprises over 29,000 acres and includes pine woods, South Lake, scrub land and lightly treed areas with palmetto ground cover.  The area is well managed and habitat is mostly maintained by controlled burning with some mechanical cutting.  Continue reading>>


Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a great way to learn about and enjoy your local birds, engage with family and friends, and join thousands across the country in submitting observations to the GBBC database.  Simply count any birds you observe in your backyard, local park or other location for just 15 minutes on one or more days between Feb 17 and 20, and report your findings online at http://birdcount.org. Learn more about participating in the GBBC here.   Share your GBBC experience throughout your social networks; for Twitter, use #gbbc. 


February  Meeting

The February meeting will be held on Wed, Feb 15 at the Edgewater library.  Our speaker will be Ms. Gina Holt, a raptor rehabilitator and environmental educator.  She has been involved in bird rescue and rehabilitation for ten years and providing environmental education classes with live birds for five.   For more info, check the "Meetings" link in the left pane.

February Field Trip

The field trip will be to Lake Apopka Restoration Area on Sat, Feb 18.  Meet at the usual place at 6 a.m.  Note the time change.  This is a two-hour drive and we need to meet a guide at 8:00 a.m. For more info, check the "Field Trips" link in the left pane.


January Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the January meeting are posted here.


January  Field Trip Report

We went to the gull fly-in  at Daytona Beach Shores.  Over 40 people participated from 4 Audubon clubs. Once again, Michael Brothers proved to be a wonderful guide and teacher.  To see the full report and view some photos, check out the "Birding Story Blog" link in the left pane.


Winter Shorebird Survey Report

We had a total of 30 people out counting of which at least six were first-time counters. We were in two cars, three boats, three kayaks (including one double) and had four teams walking the seashore. Personnel-wise it was a huge success. Citizen science is such a large part of the information gathering for the professionals, who use it to determine trends, set aside critical areas and in general look after the health and well-being of our feathered population.
 
Our bird count was down somewhat from previous years, partly because the wind had blown most of the shorebirds off the beach and we were not able to find them elsewhere, and partly because this appears to be a low year here for all birds – no one seems to have a good handle as to why yet. Maybe this statewide survey, together with other surveys around the country will provide clues. One big plus, however was that three teams, between them, located seven American Oystercatchers – great news!

To see the full report and view some photos, check out the "Birding Story Blog" link in the left pane.


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January 2012 eSkimmer News

 Prez Sez

Your executive hopes you had a great holiday season and wishes you a happy and prosperous 2012.  National Audubon is refocusing its efforts and maybe we should too.  Continue reading>>


Conservation Notes: Christmas Bird Count, by Lee Bidgood

National Audubon’s President and CEO, David Yarnold wrote a valuable commentary about the Christmas Bird count published on Christmas day in the Gainesville Sun. I don’t know if Volusia County media carried his op-ed, distributed by MCT Information Services. Continue reading>>


RESTORE Act

Recently the Senate has introduced legislation called “The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunity, and Revived Economies of the Gulf States Act of 2011” (the “RESTORE Act”). This Senate bill paves the way for Congress to do what voters expect: hold the parties responsible for the Gulf oil disaster accountable for restoring the Gulf by investing fines owed by BP and the other parties responsible for the Gulf oil spill into the Gulf region. Continue reading>>


FARMTON Update

It appears the Farmton folks blind-sided Volusia Couny by applying to the Florida Public Service Commission  for a permit to create a wastewater service area on its land in Brevard and Volusia counties. The application would allow the company to provide wastewater services for the Farmton developments, a requirement of the company's agreements with the two counties, rather than the use of septic tanks.  Continue reading>>


Wind Farms

Recent mass bird kills by wind farms and the potential for more slaughter provided the impetus for the American Bird Conservancy recently to petition the Department of the Interior to create mandatory regulations to protect migratory birds at wind energy facilities.  In addition, in 2011, Audubon led an effort to foster better planning of electric power facilities by helping ensure that power producers, power grid planners, and state regulators would have the information they need in order to avoid environmentally sensitive lands. Meanwhile, plans to build a 32-turbine wind farm near the coast of Washington in a key breeding area for a     threatened seabird have been halted.  Continue reading>>


January Meeting

The January meeting will be held on Wed, Jan 18 at the Edgewater library.  Our January speaker will be Dr. Kirsten Work, Associate Professor at Stetson University. Dr. Work has been an aquatic biologist at Stetson University for eleven years. For more info, check the "Meetings" link in the left pane.


January Field Trip

The January field trip will be to the gull fly-in at Daytona Beach Shores on Jan 27. car-pooling folks will depart from the usual place at 3:15 p.m.  We will meet Michael Brothers at Frank Rendon Park, 2705 S. Atlantic Ave., in Daytona Beach Shores.  We may see as many as 100,000 gulls on this trip. For more info, check the "Field Trips" link in the left pane.


Christmas Bird Count Report

Twenty-nine people split our fifteen mile diameter circle into 11 areas including one boat.  The weather was blustery and rainy for the start but moderated later in the morning.  We tallied 134 species and a total of 79,584 birds.  We thought that 5,860 Laughing Gulls was a lot, but that number paled in comparison to the estimated 50,000 Tree Swallows Clay found himself surrounded by.  For pictures of these swallows and a complete list of birds found, check out the "Birding Story Blog"link in the left pane.


December Field Trip Report

We went to Seminole Rest and then to MINWR.  We saw a couple of Common Loons as well as a Eurasian Widgeon.  To see the full report and view some photos, check out the "Birding Story Blog" link in the left pane.


December Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the December meeting are posted here.


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Nov 21, 2011.  Meeting minutes posted.

The minutes of the November 16th meeting are on line.  Read them here.


Nov 3, 2011.  November eSkimmer is online.

Read it here.


Nov 3, 2011.  Novermber meeting set.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 16th at 7 p.m. at the Edgewater Library.  See the meetings page for a map.  Our speaker will be Chad Truxal, acting Managing Director of the Marine Discovery Center in NSB.  His talk is entitled "Plethora of Plankton".  For more info, including his bio, check here.


Oct 26, 2011.  Meeting minutes posted.

The minutes of the Oct 19th meeting are on line.  Read them here.


Oct 26, 2011.  Field trip report.

The report of the Oct 22 field trip to Lake Woodruff NWR is in the blog.


Oct 4, 2011.  Birds of the beach and the IRL.

Don Picard will be presenting a program describing the birds people see while walking along the beach and paddling in the Indian River Lagoon along with anecdotes about many of these birds.  The program will be held at the NSB library on Saturday, Oct 8, at 10-12 a.m.  Come and bring a friend.


Oct 4, 2011.  October meeting set.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct 19.  Our guest speaker will be Charlie DuToit, a retired FL State Park field biologist.  His topic will be "The seasons of the Tomoka Marsh."  Read his bio here.  Come and bring a friend.    


Oct 4, 2011.  October eSkimmer is on line.

Read it here.


Sep 24, 2011.  Executive Committee Meeting.

An executive committee meeting was held on Sep 3, 2011.  We set goals for the next season and discussed ways to improve meeting attendance and to get our word out.  The minutes are posted here.


Sep 1, 2011.  Fall Migratory Bird Count.

The count will be held on Saturday, Sep 17th.  If you can volunteer ( and we do need volunteers) please contact Dick and Gail at 428-0447.


Aug 30, 2011.  Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival.

The festival will be held from Sep 21-25 and will be anchored at Curry Hammock State Park, MM 56.2, Marathon, FL. Additional information is available at their website.  They do not have on-line registration and cannot accept credit cards.  As of this writing, none of the events is filled.  If interested, call to verify the availability of  the events in which you are interested. and email the registration form.  They can pencil you in while your check is in the mail.


Aug 11, 2011.  Audubon Magazine Renewal Scam.

Several  members received mail notices asking them to renew their Audubon Magazine memberships by sending a renewal card and cash/check to Publishers Billing Association or to go to their website to use their credit card.  THIS IS A SCAM.  Do not pay them or go to their website.  National Audubon and Audubon of Florida have been notified.  If you get a card like this in the mail, throw it away.


Aug 11, 2011.  The August eSkimmer is online.

Read it here.


Jul 20, 2011.  Sentor Rubio on the EPA and Greenhouse Gases.

Last month I wrote an email to Senator Rubio asking him to support the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in relation to global climate change.  I thought you might enjoy his reply.  Apparently he believes politicians are more capable of regulating these emissions than professionals and scientists.


Jul 12, 2011.  Campgrounds update.

It seems like Governor Scott found out how many state citizens love their state parks and are concerned about this proposal and its fast-tracking.  He has decided to pull back on the project.  Great job, citizenry!


Jul 5, 2011.  New campgrounds for our state parks.

After being rebufffed over the idea of closing 53 state parks and then building golf courses in them (all to be designed by Jack Nicklaus) comes another idea of having campgrounds built in about 50 of them, the construction and management of which would be done by contractor/concessionaire.  To make matters even more interesting, the DEP, which manages the Florida Park Service has won approval to fast-track the idea.  Makes you wonder if they already have the contractor/concessionaire already lined up.


Our main concern is the potential effect on the sensitive resources the parks are supposed to protect, and whether or not they can withstand the additional visitor pressure.  I also worry that contractors like to bulldoze all the trees, shrubs, etc. from an area so there is nothing that will interfere with their heavy equipment.


Dinah Voyles-Pulver has written an article on the subject in the News-Journal.


Jun 11, 2011.  Still skirmishing over Farmton.

It was obvious that Farmton would be approved by the state after Gov. Scott decimated the DCA.  But that is not stopping the interest.  Check out the two part series on Farmton in the Hometown News Jun 3 and Jun 10. 


Now comes word that another humongous development has been approved in Orange/Osceola area.  It will include almost 30,000 residential units and 8.5 million square feet of commercial building.  The old DCA disapproved it, but guess what happened next?


Apr 12, 2011.  Farmton to reshape Southeast Volusia.

Check out Dinah Voyles-Pulver's great synopsis in the Sunday, Apr 10 Daytona News-Journal here.


Apr 12, 2011.  April meeting announced.

This is the last meeting of the year in the Edgewater Library.  The April 20 meeting will be our annual potluck dinner at 5:30 PM in the Menard-May Park in Edgewater.  At that time, elections will be held.  All officers currently serving have agreed to stay on.  We are, however, in need of a vice president and a conservation chair.  Anyone interested in serving in these capacities is urged to contact Don Picard or any other officer.


April 12, 2011.  The April eSkimmer is online.

Read it here.


Mar 27, 2011.  March meeting minutes are online.

Read them here.


Mar 10, 2011.  Golf Courses in State Parks.

So now we really know why Governor Rick Scott nixed the proposal to close 53

state parks a few weeks ago.   He figured his next proposal would so outrage

the fans of state parks that he better get some goodwill first.


Sen. John Thrasher of St. Augustine and Rep. Pat Rooney of West Palm Beach

each introduced bills to create the Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail, providing a

no-bid, exclusive opportunity for Nicklaus’ company to design golf courses

in, of all places, STATE PARKS!!!!


Please read the attached alert and the cited newspaper articles, vote in the

Orlando Sentinel poll contact Thrasher and Rooney, and pass the word to your

friends.

For more information, read here.


Mar 6, 2011.  March meeting announced.

Out March Speaker will be Tad Fyock , a bird sculptor / photographer, who now makes his home on Bethune Beach.   Last November, Tad and his son-in-law visited The Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.  He has developed an excellent slide show of his photographs from that trip and will further entertain us with comments on the flora and fauna being shown. 


Mar 6, 2011.  The March eSkimmer is online.

Read it here.


Feb 23, 2011.  House Guts Environmental Protection Agency.

House Republicans passed spending legislation that would, among many other things:


- Strip the Clean Air Act of its ability to reduce dangerous carbon dioxide pollution;

- Grant Shell and other polluters a free pass to drill in the Arctic; and

- Remove Endangered Species Act protection for the iconic gray wolf.

To read more and to take action, click here.


Feb 18, 2011.  Feb minutes are on line.

Read them here.


Feb 14, 2011.  Feb 19 Field Trip Set.

On the field trip page, the Feb 19 has been TBA. No more.  Michael Brothers of the Marine Science Center will lead our trip to the gull fly-in at Daytona Beach Shores.  It may be the largest congregation of gulls on any beach in the United States, as many as 30,000 gulls in any evening.  Vega, Thayer's, Franklin's, Glaucous, Iceland, Bonaparte's, and Black-headed gulls have been documented in addition to our usual species. 


Check out our Field Trip page for meeting details.


Feb 10, 2011.  eSkimmer Alerts!

In the past, eSkimmer alerts were few and far between.  However, the times and the politics have changed.  There are now many threats to our environment, our state and national parks, and our overall quality of life that we feel a need to bring them to your attention. 


Although our email inboxes are full of alerts from the various organizations to whose newsletters we subscribe, we are not sure that our readers want this.  So we will issue a maximum of two eSkimmer Alerts per month, one with the eSkimmer publication  and one at another time during the month if warranted.  If there are several issues we will combine them into a single alert.   Such is the case today.

The two issues are the potential loss of 53 Florida state parks and the use of longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

There is now a new section on the website dedicated to the eSkimmer Alerts.  Just click the ALERT! link in the left nav bar.


Feb 3, 2011.  Tomoka Regional Science Fair.

For the umpteenth year, the three Volusia County Audubon groups collaborated to provide judges and prizes for students having projects which meet our environmental/conservation agenda.  We did it again on Jan 27th.  Judges were Karyn Hoffmann WVAS, Fred Mosher HRAS, and Don Picard SEVAS.  We all had a great time interviewing the students and congratulate all of them for achieving the regional level.  Special congratulations go to our prize winners.  For a list of the winners, their schools and science fair titles, look here.


Feb 3, 2011.  February meeting announced.

Our February 16th speaker will be Mr. Ed Garland, a Communications Specialist with the St. Johns River Water Management District. Ed will be speaking about the District’s role in planning for future water supply needs and how people can do their part to protect this precious resource.  Read more here.



Feb 3, 2011.  The February eSkimmer is on line.

Read it here.


Feb 3, 2011.  Executive Committee Meeting.

An executive committee meeeting was held after the January general membership meeting.  The minutes are here.


Jan 25, 2011.  January minutes are online.

Read them here.


Jan 17, 2011.  Birds falling from the sky.

If you wondered about all the birds falling from the sky in the last week or so, you are not alone.  Here is a website that is chronicling the stories around the world of bird and fish die-offs.


Jan 6, 2011.  January eSkimmer is online.

Read it here.


Jan 3, 2011.  January meeting set.

Our January 2011 speaker will be Dr. Kirsten Work, Associate Professor at Stetson University.  Dr. Work has been an aquatic biologist at Stetson University for the ten years.  


The number and diversity of aquatic organisms, and a significant proportion of terrestrial organisms, is based on bacterial and algal production.  Why is this important? Land use changes can affect the architecture of nesting, roosting, and feeding sites for all birds.  However, land use changes also can affect the nutrient content and, in turn, the bacterial and algal density and diversity, of bodies of water.  Changes in bacterial and algal populations can affect the density and diversity of the fish on which many wading, swimming, and diving birds feed. 


For more info on Dr Work, look here.


Jan 3, 2011.  Happy New Year.

Your executive hopes you had a great holiday season and wish you all  the best for 2011.


Dec 19, 2010.  Minutes of the December meeting are online.

Read them here.


Dec 19, 2010.  Christmas Bird Count.

Our Christmas Bird Count will be conducted on Jan 2, 2011.  Meet at 7 a.m. at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach. To register early, contact Dick and Gail at 428-0447.  Check out the National Audubon press release here.


Dec 11, 2010.  December meeting set.

The December 15th meeting will feature Bob Montanaro who will take us through the adventures to two nesting pairs of Osprey.  This will include both still photography and video.  For more information, check here.


Dec 6, 2010.  The December eSkimmer is on line.

Read it here.


Dec 1, 2010.  November meeting minutes are on line.

Read them here.


Nov 8, 2010.  November eSkimmer is on line.

Read it here.


Nov 3, 2010.  November meeting set.

Our November speaker will be Dr. Terence Farrell of Stetson University.  Catching ringneck snakes and redback salamanders in his backyard obviously planted the seeds for his subsequent career choice. The title of his talk will be Herpetology for the Ornithologist.


Nov 3, 2010.  Save our Seas, Beaches and Shores.

The Florida Wildlife Federation, et. al., are starting a petition drive to place the issue of near-shore oil drilling on the Florida ballot in Nov. 2012.  If approved, the constitutional ban would apply to Florida's state waters, 3 miles into the Atlantic Ocean and 10 miles into the Gulf.  Currently, drilling is banned by state law, which can be overturned at any time.  The state House of Representatives voted to allow drilling in state waters in 2009.  Luckily, the Senate did not act and the ban was not lifted.


It will require 700,000 signed petitions for the issue to be placed on the 2012 ballot.  To download and send a petition, see their website at www.sosbs.org.


Oct 26, 2010.  Bird Rescue in NSB Needs Your Help.

The Bird Rescue in NSB/Edgewater link at left outlines the way it works here.  Part of the plan was for the Marine Discovery Center in NSB to transport the injured birds tor the Marine Discovery Center in Ponce Inlet via the NSB Water Taxi.  With the demise of the water taxi, there is no way to transport the injured birds to the recovery center at the MSC in Ponce Inlet.  If you can help transport injured birds, contact Stacey Bell of the Volusia County Environmental Agency.  To see her full email and contact info, read here.


Oct 7, 2010.  Loggerhead Shrike study.

Loggerhead Shrikes are declining across much of their range.  As part of a restoration effort, the Canadian government and its partners have sprayed the breasts of juveniles with green, blue or purple.  Adults have been banded.  They are trying to find out where the birds spend their winters.  If you see colored shrikes or banded shrikes, you are asked to contact them.  For more information, see their leter and email here.


Oct 7, 2010.  Fall Migratory Bird Count.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the fall count.  The results are posted here.


Oct 5, 2010.  The October eSkimmer is on line.

Read it here.


Oct 2, 2010.  October meeting set.

The first meeting of the new season will be on the 20th.  Our guest speaker will be Lisa Roberts, Executive Director of the Florida Wildflower Foundation.  The Florida Wildflower Foundation’s mission is to enrich lives with Florida’s native wildflowers.  She will  discuss the importance of using native plants in your gardening and landscaping and will explain how that contributes to the diversity in our environment.  Bring a friend (birder or gardener or both) and enjoy her presentation.


June 7, 2010.  Debra Woodall Powerpoint Presentation.

At the March Meeting, Dr. Woodall talked about the ocean currents, the good, the bad and the ugly.  Many folks wanted to see a copy of her presentation online.  It is here.


June 1, 2010.  Bird Rescue in NSB and Edgewater.

Bird  rescue in NSB and Edgewater is now a three-party operation.   For full details, check out this page or the link on the bottom of the left navigation bar.

May 7. 2010.  April meeting minutes posted.

Read them here.


Apr 7, 2010.  April eSkimmer is online.

Read it here.


Mar 20,2010.  March meeting minutes posted.

Read them here.


Mar 15, 2010.  Farmton to be reviewed at VCGMC.

The Volusia County Growth Management Commission will review the Farmton proposal at its meeting on March 24th at 7 p.m., at 123 West Indiana in Deland.  Here is the email I sent to the commission asking them to vote NO! on Farmton.


Mar 4, 2010.  March meeting set.

The March meeting will be held on March 17th.  Our guest speaker will be Dr. Debra Woodall of Daytona State College.  Her topic will be: "Ocean Currents 101- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."


Mar 4. 2010.  The March eSkimmer is online.

Read it here.

Feb 22, 2010.  Farmton update.

At the last meeting, I briefed on the latest updates to the Farmton project, including the meeting between Charles Lee, the Conservation Chair of Audubon of Florida ant the presidents of SEVAS, Halifax River and West Volusia Audubons.  The members voted unanimously to continue our objection to the Farmton project.  I sent an email to the members of the Volusia County Council asking them to vote the project down.  As you probably know, Farmton passed with a vote of four to two, with Andy Kelly and Carl Persis voting No!

As a result of our vote, I intend to send another email to the Volusia County Growth Management Commission before their meeting later this month asking them to vote NO on the project.  I will also send an email to the state Department of community Affairs asking them to renew their disapproval of the project.


Feb 22. 2010. Tomoka Regional Science Fair.

As has been our custom in the past ten years, the SEVAS partnered with the Halifax River and West Volusia Audubons to provide judges and prizes for the Tomoka Regional Science Fair.  We each contributed $100 to be distributed as $100 first prizes and $50 second prizes.  Our judges looked for the best senior and junior participants in projects involving environment/conservation/birding projects. Our congratulations to all the participants we judged and especially to the winners:

First place Senior: Kelton Williams, Deland H. S. "Environmental Effects on Banana Ripening and Sugar Content"
First Place Junior: Chase Antilla, Buddy Taylor M. S. (Flagler) "What duration of ultraviolet exposure kills bacteria?"
Second place Senior:  Katelyn Zeringue, Deland H.S. "What is the most effective fuel: B-100 bio-diesel, B-50 Bio-Diesel, or 0-Bio-diesel?"
Second place Junior: Michelle He, Creekside M. S. (Port Orange) "What are some natural ant repellents?"

Feb 22, 2010. February meeting minutes posted.

Read them here.



Feb 15. 2010. Volusia County Council and Farmton.

On Feb 17, the Volusia County Council will take up the Farmton issue for a second time. As you may recall, the state Department of Community Affairs rejected the proposal in December, and the county and Farmton went back to the drawig boards to attempt to please the DCA. Here is the email I sent to the council members asking them to reject Farmton.


Feb 10,2010. The February eSkimmer is online.

Read it here.


Feb 9, 2010. February meeting set.

The next meeting will be held on February 17th. Our speaker will be Dr. Michael Reiter, Associate Professor at Bethune-Cookman College. His topic will be "Global Warming and what we can do about it."


Feb 9, 2010. Winter Shorebird Survey.

SEVAS was invited by the Volusia County Environmental Section to assist in the Volusia County portion of the 2010 Winter Shorebird Survey sponsored by the Florida Shorebird Alliance.Thanks to all who participated in the survey on Feb 4-5. Read Ken's report and check out some of the great pics the folks took.


Jan 28, 2010. Announcing the Great Backyard Bird Count for 2010.

The next big citizen science event of the year is the Great Backyard Bird Count February 12th through 15th. This one is really as easy as 1-2-3 since it can be in your own backyard. This is a great way to get your children or grandchildren involved in. You can also use a park or other area to count birds in. And don’t forget large store parking areas. Help the kids learn the names of some species. Get friends involved, especially if they have yards with good natural areas or have feeders because they enjoy watching birds at the feeders. For more information, check out the eSkimmer or click here.


January 25, 2010. Farmton update.

The News-Journal reports that the revised Farmton plan will be discussed at the County Council meeting on Jan 18. It also mentions the petition being circulated on the web opposing the development. If you would like to sign the petition, see it here.


January 24, 2010. January presentation online.

Michael Brothers gave an incredible talk on the Natural History of Volusia County. Many of the members asked for a copy of his slides. Here is the full Powerpoint presentation (56 Mb) and here is a browser-friendly version which will be easier to download and will not require Powerpoint viewer.

January 24, 2010. January meeting minutes online.

Read them here.


January 13, 2010. The January eSkimmer is online.

Read it here.


January 13, 2010. CBC results announced.

Our thanks to the 31 volunteers who participated in the 110th Christmas Bird Count. Roughly 38,000 birds in 125 species were counted. Special thanks to Jeff Jones, Landfill Manager, who greatly assisted our team at the landfill. See the results in Microsoft Excel format or in Microsoft Works format.


December 31, 2009. January meeting set.

The next meeting will be on January 20th and will feature Mr. Michael Brothers, Director of the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet. Dr. Brothers will discuss the Natural History of East Central Florida.


Dec 31, 2009. We wish you all a Happy and healthy 2010.


Dec 22, 2009. Christmas Bird Count.

Our annual CBC will be held on January 2nd. If you would like to participate, please contact Gail Domroski or show up at the Brannon Center at 7:00 a.m. for team assignment.


Dec 22, 2009. Minutes of last meeting are on line.

Read them here.


Dec 22, 2009. Volusia Shorebird Partnership.

An organizational meeting of varous parties and government agencies interested in protecting nesting and resting shorebirds was held on 12 Dec 09. The minutes of the meeting are here.


Dec 4, 2009. The eSkimmer is on line.

Read it here.


Dec 1, 2009. Atlantic Flyway Initiative.

National Audubon is concerned about the loss of habitat from global climate change and rampant development along the Eastern Seabord. As a result, they are initiating a grass-roots, science-based program to map and protect important areas for birds and other animals, with emphasis on those that migrate seasonally. For more information, read the Atlantic Flyway Initiative document.


Dec 1, 2009. December meeting set.

The December meeting will be held on Wednesday, Dec 16. Our speaker will be Gary Knight, Director of the Florida Natural Areas Inventory.


Dec 1, 2009. Good news on Farmton!

The Farmton project for Brevard County was denied by the DCA with many of the same reasons we had. They will now take up the Volusia County part and are expected to decide by Dec. 24.


Nov 18, 2009. Letter to DCA on Farmton.

The Farmton project sailed throught the Edgewater City Council and the Volusia County Commission. Here is our letter to the Florida Department of Community Affairs denouncing the project.


Nov 18, 2009. November meeting minutes and presentation.

The November meeting minutes are on line. Dr Mosher, meteorologist and Prof at Embry-Riddle University gave an engaging and technical presentation on global climate change. A pdf version of his presentation is here. It is 13Mb, so a broadband connection is useful for the download.


Nov 16, 2009. Lee Bidgood elected Conservation Chair Emeritus.

In recognition of his past service to the club and the environmental community, Lee Bidgood has been elected to the post of Conservation Chair Emeritus. Congratulations, and thanks for all you have done and will continue to do.


Nov 6, 2009. The November eSkimmer is on line.

Read it here.


Nov 6, 2009. Climate change the subject of the November meeting.

Our guest speaker will be Fred Mosher, Ph.D., a meteorologist for the last 30 years and now Assistant Professor at Embry-Riddle University. For more about his background and his topic, click here.


Oct 12, 2009. The October eSkimmer is on line.

Read it here.


estuary day

Sep 26, 2009. Club supports National Estuary Day.

On Saturday, the club celebrated the National Estuary Day by participating in an event sponsored by the Marine Discovery Center at their facility in NSB. Dick, Gail, Fern and Don manned a booth and had conversations with lots of people hoping to engage them in our organization’s pursuits. Dick’s son, Richard, made a banner for our booth. Mayor Sally McKay read a proclamation from the City of NSB proclaiming the necessity of preserving and protecting the Indian River Lagoon as one of the most diverse estuaries in the country and a nursery for the ocean. She also graced our booth with her presence. Click the image for a larger view.


Sep 25, 2009. September meeting minutes posted online.

The minutes will no longer be read at the meetings in order to shorten the length of the business meeting. Check out the September meeting minutes
to see what you missed. It is a Microsoft Word .doc file.


Sep 11, 2009. September eSkimmer is online.


Sep 7, 2009. Announcement of Meetings.

The first meeting of the season will be on the 16th of September at the Edgewater Library at 7 p.m. NOTE the change. Meetings will be on the third Wednesday of the month this year. Meeting nights and presenters are on the Meetings page. Some of them are already posted. Field trips will be posted shortly. Join us in educational and engaging events.


Aug 9, 2009. Tell us your birding stories.

Our hosting service provides the capability to use the blog on our site. I am using it as a forum for members to tell their birding stories. It is live and there are stories from Ken and me. It allows pictures and movies too. So please send me your stories and I will post them. You can see it by clicking the Birding Story blog in the menu at the left.


Aug 9, 2009. Old stuff archived.

The site was getting a little long so I decided to cut it off and archive the old stuff. You can find it by clicking the News Archives link on the menu bar.


Jun 2, 2009. Plovers at Smyrna Dunes Park.

The Wilson's Plovers at Smyrna Dunes Park are apparently doing quite well. We saw two today, one female and the other is believed to be a juvenile. Check out the video clip. Note: It is a Quick Time movie and about 4 Mb. Let me know how it worked for you.


Jun 2, 2009. Myrtle Avenue Park butterfly garden.

Remember the Myrtle Avenue Park butterfly garden? We had our last meting of the year at the NSB Middle School. It is the Science Club, under the direction of teacher Barbara Hawes who will be doing it. Ray Jarrett from the State Dept of Agriculture attended and provided some great insight to the students on the way ahead. We will start planting in the fall when the students return to classes. All the approvals have been obtained.


May 19, 2009. Spring Migratory Bird Count results.

The Spring count was held on the 9th of May. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors. The participants counted 3812 birds from 89 species. Our thanks to all who participated. To see the tally sheet, click here.



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