We had a small but enthusiastic crowd come out on Earth Day to hear a presentation by Libby Cagle and Roger McDaniels about their most recent trip to Africa. Libby showed slides of the species they encountered and recounted details of their 50 day trip to Kenya, Madagascar, and Tanzania. This included how Libby broke her leg while being chased by a lion… not really. But you’ll have to ask her how she really did it.
As visitors will tell you one of the most striking features of the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve are its views. Whether you are on top of the observation tower, out at the dock, or on the bridge at the salt pond the views are stunning. The one exception was the view from the Education Center conference room. The reason for this was that the picture window looking west toward the Gulf was damaged.
The Friends started raising funds to replace the window in 2016. Thanks mostly to a single, very generous donation the window has been replaced. This time-lapse video shows the installation. The view is back!
Thanks to everyone who made a contribution and helped us meet our goal. Special thanks to the anonymous donor whose single contribution allowed us to make repairs much sooner then we thought possible.
The Audubon Society has a free, award-winning field guide app. Versions are available for Apple iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle. To learn more visit: www.audubon.org/apps
As you visit the Preserve checkout the Nearby Observations feature of the app. To access this feature select Find Birds with eBird from the app Home menu. Select Yankeetown as your location and then Nearby Observations for a list of recent sightings.
We had a great turnout at the Preserve on January 21, 2017 for Ann Paul’s talk on Colonial Nesting Birds. Thanks Ann!
Ann, a native Floridian, has worked for Audubon’s Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries (FCIS) since 1991 and is the Tampa Bay Regional Coordinator. Ann is an expert in waterbird populations and management of coastal habitats for wildlife. She currently serves on the board of the Tampa Bay Conservancy and is past president of the Tampa Audubon Society.
Each year the Friends have an annual New Year’s Day picnic at the Preserve. It is a time to find out what is happening at the Preserve, meet new people, and catch-up with friends. We had a nice gathering on Sunday, January 1, 2017. Come join us next year!
The Friends of the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve joined the Inglis Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 10th, 2016. The theme was “The Night Before Christmas.” We put our best elf attire on to create “Elf Town.” We all had a great time wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, especially the children of all ages. And we won 2nd place!
Parade video can be viewed here.
The 8th Annual Rubber Duck Race took place on Sunday, November 20, on the Withlacoochee River. The enthusiastic 399 ducks were delighted to be on the river once again. They thank all their sponsors for supporting the Friends of the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve. The race is a principle fundraiser for the Friends. All proceeds of the race go towards supporting the maintenance and improvement of the Preserve. Duck #204 charged ahead of the group to take first place. The proud sponsors were the Runnels family of Gulf Hammock. They won $200. The lazy duck this year was Duck #80 sponsored by Heidi & Mark Osborne of Yankeetown. They received $50. Both parties donated their winnings back to the Friends. We sincerely thank them for their generosity.
Author Roger Drouin recently toured the Preserve guided by David Kaplan and Katie Glodzik from the University of Florida Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences. Using information from his visit he discusses the effects of rising sea levels on Gulf coastal forests in this article in Yale Environment 360.
A steady increase in sea levels is pushing saltwater into U.S. wetlands, killing trees from Florida to as far north as New Jersey. But with sea level projected to rise by as much as six feet this century, the destruction of coastal forests is expected to become a worsening problem worldwide.
Yale Environment 360 is a publication of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
The Inglis / Yankeetown Lions Club, in cooperation with the UF / IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station have installed two Monofilament Recycle Bins in Yankeetown. One bin is located at Yankeetown’s boat basin park and the second is at the boat ramp at the end of Hwy 40. The Lions Club will collect and send the line to a monofilament recycle center.
The Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program is dedicated to reducing the environmental damage caused by discarded fishing line. Improperly discarded monofilament fishing line causes devastating problems for marine life and the environment. Marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and birds can be injured from entanglements, or might ingest the line, often resulting in death. Human divers and swimmers are also at risk from entanglements. Monofilament fishing line can last up to 600 years in the environment.
Help keep waterways tangle free by recycling fishing line responsibly!