Pascagoula River Audubon Center
Moss Point, MS
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Share the Shore!
With Independence Day weekend ahead, many residents and tourists will be heading to the beaches and islands, and we want everyone to remember the birds.

Beaches are habitats to shore birds, many of which are nesting at this time.  Our Coastal Birding Stewardship team has been hard at work monitoring nesting colonies and identifying areas that should not be disturbed.

So, as you head out this weekend, be sure to remember that your weekend site is in the habitat of shore birds.  Here are some tips to remember while enjoying your beach time:-Watch for signs and do not enter nesting areas;

-Keep dogs leashed and follow no-dog ordinances in Harrison County;

-Do not light fireworks near nesting colonies, instead enjoy a public show;

-Clean up all trash, including firework debris;

-Do not feed wildlife while at the beach;

-If the birds are reacting to your presence, you are too close.

Please give the birds space over this long holiday weekend.
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Happy Independence Day!
PRAC will be closed for the Independence Day Holiday weekend, July 2-4. We will return for regular operation hours July 5.  Enjoy a safe weekend with family and friends.
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Camps, camps and more camps!
Regardless of sun, rain, wind, clouds, thunder or lightning, summer camps at PRAC are a GO!

Summer 2022 will go down in history as the year of the camps including GEO camps, art camps, discovery camps, camp field trips and camp for teachers. July 1 brings with it the end to our first Discovery Camp with two more left for the summer.  Sandra Eisler also has one more three-day Art Camp.  Space is still available for all camps.  Give us a call at (228) 475-0825 for more information.

PRAC staff would like to extend a huge thanks to all the volunteers who make the weeks successful, Wayne Lee’s Grocery in Pascagoula for the donation of paper bags, and Wicked Fish Bait Shop in Gulfport for the bait.  Shout Out also to Samantha with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries!

We are still looking for volunteers for camps the week of July 11-15 and July 18-22.  Volunteer for a day, a few days, a week or both weeks. We will be glad to put you to work.  

 
Photo by Cole Moody
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Coastal Sights Exhibit Remains
The beautiful work of Artist Herb Willey remains on exhibit in the Moss Point Fine Art Gallery.  Not only are his original paintings for sale, but he also has a large number of prints and note cards available.  Many of the paintings depict sights that are seen regularly around the gulf coast.  

Stop by during regular business hours to check out his beautiful work that will remain until August 2.
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PRAC Wins Community Service Award
The National Audubon Society’s Community Service Affinity Group offered a grant to center’s within the Audubon network for funding of a special community service project.  The  mission of the Community Service Affinity Group is to motivate and enable employees to effectively serve community needs and to promote a more inclusive and accessible organization.

PRAC was awarded the grant for its Special Summer Volunteer Project.  This summer PRAC staff welcomed two pre-teen student volunteers and a student of the Passage USA program offered by the University of South Alabama. These volunteers provide a needed resource in planning and executing camps, daily operations and special projects.

Stop by to visit our awesome summer volunteers.  
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Take the Two-Lane Road
As multi-lane interstates and highways began to stretch across the country, many two-lane roads were forgotten and rarely welcome travelers. But those two-lane roads offer a glimpse into a simpler time and encourage the imagination to wonder what types of memories were created along the tree-lined streets.

Marvin Cunningham, better known as “Bubba” to local residents, took that two-lane road in a time when life seemed to be going faster than he could keep up.  During his travels over the past 20 years, Bubba has traveled through each of the lower 48 states along two-lane roads.

”I’ve seen some beautiful sites in all the states,” Bubba writes. “But being a Mississippi native, I have always considered Mississippi to be the state with the most beauty and colorful history in the United States.”

His book, Two Lanes, is a pictorial collection of barns, corn cribs, houses and other vacant buildings from throughout the state.  The photos are not labeled by location on purpose.

”I want to leave it to the readers’ imagination to wander back in a time to the stories each picture can tell,” Bubba said. “I want the reader to say, ‘I know that House’ or ‘I remember playing in that barn’.”

The Pascagoula River Audubon Center is proud to host a book-signing reception and distribution of this book. The reception will be from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 21. Books may be purchased for $24.95 plus tax, and Bubba will be on hand to sign.

The reception is free and open to the public. Light snacks and beverages will be served.
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FY23 Begins Today!
Fiscal year 2022 has ended, and today begins fiscal year 2023.  Thanks to all of you who are part of our flock, our very successful educational programs and the beauty of the facility as a wedding/celebration venue, we had an awesome year.

But the best is yet to come.  Our Advisory Committee is beginning to brainstorm new opportunities for funding on site and in collaboration with existing facilities and programs.

Remember, no gift is ever too big or too small, and everyone is important at PRAC.
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Pascagoula River Blueway Revival Nears Completion
The Pascagoula River Audubon Center of Moss Point was awarded a $5,747.45 grant from the Mississippi Coast National Heritage Area (MS Coast NHA). The grant was made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and annual Congressional appropriations to the National Park Services that passes funds to National Heritage Area (NHA) entities.

This grant is a portion of the $138,642.50 in grants the Mississippi Coast National Heritage Area funds awarded in 2020 and has been used to re-install six mileage signs and ten point of interest signs to the Pascagoula River Blueway and to install eight Blueway Gulf Coast National Heritage Area signs on the Escatawpa River.

The final two pieces of the project will soon be placed near Rhodes Bayou.  These interpretative signs showcase the history of the sawmill lumber company locations around the local waterways and facts identifying various marsh plants.

For more information about these projects, visit the Mississippi Coast National Heritage Area website by clicking here!
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Citizen Science: Tap Water Testers Needed!
Safe, affordable water is vital to every community. But confidence in Mississippi’s water system has been shaken by high-profile cases of lead contamination and concerns about the risk of a group of chemicals, known as PFAS, that have been linked to weakened immune system response and increased cancer risk.

The lack of clean drinking water is endangering its residents. Jackson and several other cities are under federal consent decrees to stop pollution from their worn-down sewer and wastewater systems. Consumer Reports and the Mississippi Spotlight are partnering to test Mississippi’s water and need volunteers in certain areas to gather tap water samples for testing to help identify potential problem areas in the state’s water system.

The Mississippi Spotlight is a collaborative of top newsrooms in the state, which includes the Clarion Ledger, the Jackson Advocate, Jackson State University, Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, Mississippi Public Broadcasting and Mississippi Today.

To register as a volunteer, click HERE!
Source: Consumer Reports: Partner With Us on Water Safety
save date
2022 Hummingbird Festival Plans are Underway
Even in the heat of the summer, PRAC staff is already planning for fall migration of the hummingbirds.

This year’s Hummingbird Festival will take place September 22, 23 and 24.  As in the past, the festival will kick of Thursday evening with Hummingbird Happy Hour followed by two days of festivals. 

Friday, September 23, the festival is open to the public but has special passports for school children on fieldtrips. Saturday, September 24, will continue the fun for the general public.

The festival will also coincide with the Fall Native Plant Sale, but the sale will open the weekend prior to the festival.

We are currently booking food and merchandise vendors along with exhibitors.  Anyone interested in joining the fun, click HERE!

Stay tuned for more information.  
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Pascagoula River Audubon Center
5107 Arthur St., Moss Point, MS 39563
(228) 475-0825 | pascagoula.audubon.org

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