Summer is heating up at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center
Pascagoula River Audubon Center
Moss Point, MS
Changes ahead
Changes are on the Horizon for YOUR Audubon Center
As the Pascagoula River Audubon Center embarks on its new fiscal year beginning July 1, the staff is making changes based on YOUR feedback. The changes are designed to continue to provide the best possible experiences for our local and traveling guests.

Even facing closures and social distancing due to Covid-19, PRAC had a great year as a venue rental, welcoming many school groups, summer camps that are filled to capacity, admission waived for guests, and many successful events.  

Launching into a new fiscal year, the Center will once again be requiring admission fees for admittance. Adult admission is $5, senior and military admission is $4 and admission for children is $3. But, admission for members is always FREE. Whether you have a senior couple membership or are one of our flock financial supporters, you enjoy free admission, discounts on camps and events, 10 percent off retail items in the gift shop, and discounted kayak rentals.  

It is easy to renew your membership or to make a donation!  Visit our website by clicking HERE to choose how you would like to remain a member of the flock!

Remember that PRAC is a 501c3 non-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible.  Donations made to PRAC are used for local programs and operations.
Summer Hours at PRAC
The daily operational hours of PRAC through July 31 will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Due to weekend venue rentals, we are unable to open on Saturdays unless it is by appointment.  As programming and staff continues to change, additional hours may be added.  Please monitor Facebook posts and our website to stay updated on events and schedules.  
Kayakers Invade Rhodes Bayou
The kayaking bug has hit locals and travelers alike!  Anyone living near Rhodes Bayou and Beardslee Lake has probably seen large groups of kayakers enjoying what is in the local waterways.  With 10 single kayaks and 4 tandem kayaks, PRAC is able to launch 18 people at one time to explore the waterways.

This self-guided activity has become so popular that it has become important to call ahead to reserve kayaks.  Calling ahead at least 24 hours in advance is usually enough time, but large groups planning to kayak should make reservations early.

Kayak rental rates are $20 for single and $35 for tandem.  The rental includes life vests and paddles and allows for a 3-hour adventure. Members, however, receive a discount on kayak rentals.  Member rental rates are $5 for a single and $10 for a tandem, but reservations are still required.

"My Ocean Odyssey" to be featured in Gallery
Help PRAC welcome Artist Loren Chavez and her exhibit “My Ocean Odyssey” during an art reception July 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. She said an odyssey is a journey on which many things can happen, and her life journey has taken many turns.

Chavez grew up around the water and oceans. Her parents were both water safety instructors with the American Red Cross. Consequently, she said she swims like a mermaid.

”I even spent my early years helping teach students how to swim under my parent’s watchful eyes,” she recalls. “I was a victim in my father’s lifesaving courses, laying at the bottom of the pool for a water “rescue”. I’ve helped children overcome their fear of going underwater by holding hands and blowing bubbles together.”

Water, both fresh and salt is important to to her even today. I kayak, paddleboard, canoe and swim in a variety of areas and is happiest in the ocean.
“The ocean! My love affair with the ocean began at the tender age of 6 in the Philippines,” she said. “My father was stationed there at Clark AFB. Since I was an only child at the time, they took me when they went SCUBA diving. My parents adored SCUBA diving! I stayed with the Bangka (boat) driver on the surface. I got to play in the water as long as I stayed in the arm of the boat. While my parents swam below, I played in the bubbles above in the crystal clear water.”

She spent many happy hours in the Philippines, scouting, going to school, and swimming on weekends. Her next attraction to the sea was the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. It was a television program that was on later and on a school night, but her parents allowed her to break bedtime rules.
“I painted as a child, using oils and paint by number kits. While living in Ohio, I was painting in oils, and my baby brother came in my room and opened my turpentine,” she said. “My parents were scared and tossed all my art supplies involving oils.” My art went in other directions, singing, musical instruments, theater, sewing, so my creative spark was not diminished.”

As a mother of three children, scouts, baseball and dance classes became her life.  She worked as a professional seamstress to support the family until the journey took an unfortunate turn.

”We were hit by a drunk driver in 1993. I was seated in the passenger side talking to my husband when we were rear ended at a stop light. Thankfully, even though we were all checked out okay, I did not feel normal any more,” she said. “After testing, we discovered that I have two herniated discs in my neck, and nerve damage in my right arm from the accident. I should not be able to create as well as I do, but God! God stepped in and gave me the strength and stamina to go back to my first love, painting.  More specifically painting the sea and its creatures. The creatures that fill my mind and come from my brush remind me of the importance of our oceans, rivers, and lakes. I pray you enjoy the journey with me!”

The art of Linda Fayard will be displayed through July 2, and the new art will be in place shortly thereafter.  

For more information about Chavez, click HERE

Black Skimmers on the Beaches Need YOU
Black Skimmers are a year-round resident of the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Their nesting season begins in the summer months, between early June and September. Black skimmers are the only representative of the skimmer family within America and are most easily recognized by their unique bill.

Their bill is red and black, knifelike, and quite large. The lower mandible is longer than their top mandible which allows for the skimmer to ‘skim’ the surface of the water as the bird flies along. They enjoy foraging – during dawn and dusk each day – for fish that can be up to 5 inches long like mullet and pipefish.

During the summer, beachgoers will see Black Skimmers nesting with Least Terns, as the terns are more aggressive in protecting their nesting areas which the skimmers benefit from. They can be audibly distinguished by their ‘barking’ vocalizations. Nesting skimmers are very vulnerable to disturbances, so it is important that careful attention is given, so as not to cause any unnecessary disturbance while visiting the beaches.

Careful considerations while visiting the beaches along Coastal Mississippi can include keeping your distance from colonies, obeying dog ordinances and leashing pets while on the beach, disposing of fishing line and waste in the proper areas, and not feeding wildlife.

If you are interested in volunteering with Audubon visit:
Audubon Mississippi Volunteer.

Get to snapping!
Calling all Photographers!
The Pascagoula River Audubon Center is hosting its annual Nature Photography Contest, but this year there will be a CASH prize for the best of show in three categories.

Thanks to a generous donation, PRAC is able to open this contest to youth, teens and adults and offer a $50 cash prize to the best of show in each category. But, to win, digital photos must be received by July 10, 2021.  There is a $5 per photo entry fee, and those chosen for the exhibit will be notified by July 23.  A reception to meet exhibiting photographers will be set for August 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. and the photography exhibit will remain in the River Room until October 1.

For more information about the submitting photos, please click HERE
Pascagoula River Audubon Center
5107 Arthur St., Moss Point, MS 39563
(228) 475-0825 |

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