Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22, 2014. What are your plans for making our planet a better, more ecologically sound place to live?
Red knots are not doing well. Depending on the source, the population of this migrating shore bird has declined by 75 to 90 percent since the 1980s, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened a comment period on its proposal to list the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Millions of wading birds - Spoonbills, Egrets, Herons and Storks - once dominated Everglades landscapes. Now their numbers have been reduced by 95%. Although a few species are showing some rebound, others just don’t have enough dependable foraging habitat to feed their young. This spring issue of State of the Everglades provides an update on 2013’s wading birds. Take a moment to check out our latest report for a comprehensive and concise examination of recent successes and other progress in the fight to restore the River of Grass.
Scraps, especially skeletons, puncture the birds’ pouches and crops. This leads to infection, starvation, and painful death. Removing the hook and line is crucial! I have seen x-rays of critically ill pelicans with EIGHT hooks in their crops. Would you want eight fish hooks in your stomach? The monofilament line must be removed so the bird does not become tangled in it and strangle or lose a limb to a ligature. Remember, treat all creatures as you would want to be treated.
A hearing on the CERP (Everglades restoration) plan is being held April 10 in Palm Beach County. Audubon Florida is seeking people to attend the meeting to show support for the CERP plan. There are more details at the link.
The Crosstown Parkway Bridge route 1C will go through our State Park. It is the worst route for the environment & the river, which we all are trying to clean up. The Savannah Preserve State Park’s Halpatiokee Canoe & Nature Trails is important to keep the river clean & prevent flooding that’s prevalent in this area. The Environmental Impact Statement says that route 1C has: the highest direct wetland acreage impact among the alternatives; relatively high acreage of upland impacts; the highest potential impact to threatened and endangered species & unavoidable impacts to essential fish habitats. The second highest construction costs of the six routes. This park is part of the Floodplain Restoration area, which is contained in CERP, an Everglades restoration plan. It is designed to provide water quality improvements in the Indian River Lagoon & the St. Lucie River Estuary. The Fish & Wildlife Commission found that the project area is located within a biodiversity hotspot and contains priority wetlands. US Fish & Wildlife Service stated that it is inappropriate to construct a new transportation facility
within protected conservation lands, and such an action is contrary to the reason that the lands were originally acquired, and the use of conservation lands for a transportation facility would be contrary to its goal of maintaining habitat for fish and wildlife in the region. One route only requires the purchase of 18 more properties than the route that goes through our State Park. The homes that the city has already purchased can be used to house some of the residents that are displaced from another route.
We will fight to stop route 1C. Help us by contributing to our legal defense fund to save Halpatiokee Trails. Please join The Conservation Alliance of St. Lucie County Inc. by sending your membership dues of $20 &/or a contribution to P.O. Box 12515, Ft. Pierce, FL 34979-2515. For more info go to http://www.conservationallianceslc.org/.
Jay Watch training sessions are FREE to participants
All trainings will be held in the morning. Site specific time, location, and other information can be obtained by contacting the person listed for each training.
~An overview of Florida Scrub-jay behavior and review of the survey protocol will be followed by field practice with the Scrub-jays~
Saturday, April 26—Royce Ranch/FWC, Highlands County Contact: Jacqui Sulek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Saturday, May 3—Duette Preserve, Manatee County Contact: Jacqui Sulek <email@example.com>
Saturday, May 10 — Cross Florida Greenway, Marion County Contact: Jess Rodriguez <Jess.Rodriguez@myFWC.com>
Saturday, May 10 — Lyonia Preserve, Volusia County Contact: Jacqui Sulek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Saturday, May 31 — Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Martin County Contact: Rob Rossmanith <Robin.Rossmanith@dep.state.fl.us>
Saturday, May 31 — Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek State Park and FFA Leadership Training Center, Polk County
Contact: Jacqui Sulek <email@example.com>
Saturday, June 7—Prairie Shell Creek Preserve, Charlotte County Contact: Jacqui Sulek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Participants will learn :
About Florida Scrub-jay cooperative breeding behavior
Population trends and factors affecting population stability
Standardized Jay Watch survey methods employed statewide June 15 —July 15
The problematic relationship between Lake Okeechobee and the Indian River Lagoon may have taken a step toward reconciliation Friday in a federal court in New York.
Great news! The back pumping of agricultural waste water into Lake Okeechobee must stop!