|Outlet: Yahoo Finance
Headline: SeaWorld Conservation Fund Surpasses $19 Million in Grants; Ten New Grants Made to Marine-Specific Programs in 2021
Excerpt: The SeaWorld Conservation Fund today announced its reached a milestone of more than $19 million in grants to organizations focused on the conservation of animals and their ecosystems. This includes 10 new grants made in 2021 for marine-specific programs spanning animal conservation and crisis, marine fish sustainability, marine aquatic debris cleanup, preservation of freshwater habitats, and a project to end lethal fishing gear entanglements by advancing ropeless fishing.The Fund supports projects that protect marine habitats as land and marine animal populations continue to face threats from both natural and man-made destruction. The 2021 grant recipients addressing these crises include: Audubon Florida for marsh and prairie restoration at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
Outlet: Wink CBS News Ft. Myers
Headline: Checking the pulse on the panther population
Excerpt: Three Florida Panthers have died in Southwest Florida this year so far, but there are ways to prevent losing even more. The Florida panther is iconic in the Sunshine State and is considered endangered. It’s also one of two native cat species in Florida. The other is the bobcat. Adults are brown, about 5 to 7 feet long, weighing between 60 and 160 pounds. One of the top causes of death to these cats happens to be on roadways, and those from the environmental and transportation worlds have come together to help. Brad Cornell with Audubon Florida added, “Road mortality is a big threat to panthers and lots of other wildlife, Florida black bears and anything that comes across our highways.” We asked, what is something that can help? More wildlife crossings, which are meant to help panthers and other wildlife navigate under the road is one option.
Outlet: Naples Daily News
Headline: Conservation Collier moves forward with land buying program
Excerpt: County commissioners voted 3-2 to move forward with Conservation Collier’s list of recommended land purchases, the first since voters overwhelmingly agreed to extend a 10-year tax for the program.Brad Cornell of Audubon of the Western Everglades and Audubon Florida as well as Meredith Budd of the Florida Wildlife Federation also urged commissioners to buy the Aqua Colina lands before it is too late.
Outlet: Ft. Myers News-Press
Headline: Never say goodbye: Bird advocates hold out hope that ivory-billed woodpeckers still live
Excerpt: They once plied the swampy canopies of the Southeastern United States, living in tree cavities and drumming away at the hardest surfaces they could find. But there hasn't been a reliable account of an ivory-billed woodpecker in nearly eight decades, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is ready to give up on the bird and declare it extinct."It's very hard to prove something doesn't exist," said Julie Wraithmell, director of Audubon Florida. "It's been the Holy Grail bird my whole life, and it breaks my heart to let that go. I think I'll always hold out hope that in some remote forest that there are a few birds hanging on. For all intents and purposes, it's extinct, but I refuse to give up."
Outlet: Southwest Florida Spotlight Magazine
Headline: Corkscrew SIGHTINGS: Blue-winged Teals are long-distance migrants
Excerpt: As I surveyed the restoration work in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary’s back country, I noticed small ducks in an open water patch, often dipping their heads beneath the water’s surface. Suddenly, the flock of about 20 birds arose rapidly from the water and quickly flew off. Flashes of blue on their wings told me I was looking at blue-winged teals (Spatula discors).The sanctuary is open daily, and tickets must be purchased online. Visit Corkscrew.Audubon.org/visit.
Outlet: Naples Daily News
Headline: Guest opinion: Celebrating the conservation of inland wetlands
Excerpt: For World Wetlands Day, I celebrate the conservation of inland wetlands, and all they provide for our community: absorbing the nutrient pollution that can otherwise feed red tide at the coast, reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire, absorbing floodwaters in storm events, and protecting some of the Sunshine State’s most iconic wildlife. Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a Ramsar Designated Wetland of International Significance and is open for visitors 365 days a year. Lisa Korte, PhD, is the Sanctuary Director.
Outlet: Tampa Bay Times
Headline: What’s the deal with wood storks? Meet Florida’s strange, scaly wading birds
Excerpt: Florida is home to many wading birds — the graceful great blue heron, the candy-pink roseate spoonbill, charming little white ibises with bright red beaks. None look as prehistoric as the wood stork. Historically, Florida has been home to the largest concentration of wood storks in the country, said Shawn Clem, research director of Audubon Florida’s Western Everglades Research Center at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Wood storks are drawn to the Sunshine State for its coastal areas and wetlands, which provide an ample feeding ground. The Tampa Bay area’s local population is stable, and larger than it was in the past, said Mark Rachal, the coastal islands sanctuaries manager for Audubon Florida. As the super colonies of wood storks that once lived in South Florida spread north, our local population increased. In 2003, there were about 500 nesting pairs in the Tampa Bay region. A 2019 count documented about 1,000 pairs.
Headline: Publix and National Audubon Society complete first phase of Everglades restoration initiative
Excerpt: Publix and the National Audubon Society today announced the results of the first phase of their collaboration in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary of the western Everglades. To date, 200 acres of invasive willows and other plants have been removed from the Sanctuary in an effort to restore the natural landscape. According to a third-party evaluation, the phase one removal will allow more than 44 million gallons of water per year to be returned to the wetland’s ecosystem, the equivalent of nearly 67 Olympic-size swimming pools. In addition, Audubon Florida has reported evidence of wildlife in the restored area. Cameras set up in the Sanctuary and drones flown overhead have captured images of two male deer locking horns and a black bear in an area that was once too dense to move through.