| U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland joined Audubon staff members Jerry Lorenz, PhD, State Director of Research, Kelly Cox, Esq., Director of Everglades Policy, Jon Paul Haydocy, Field Biologist at Everglades Science Center, and other Everglades stakeholders for an Everglades National Park-led tour of Florida Bay.
The field trip served as a fitting end to an exciting Everglades Coalition Conference, held in Coral Springs. Secretary Haaland’s Saturday evening keynote highlighted the importance of collaboration, federal investment, and tribal leadership in the restoration planning process.
More than two dozen attendees boarded boats for the tour of the park, rounding out the end of the Secretary’s first trip to the Everglades. The boats explored the iconic seagrass flats of Florida Bay, rich with tiny invertebrates and small fish, then motored to East Cape Canal (home of the groundbreaking restoration work described here). Participants spotted manatees, dolphins, American White Pelicans, crocodiles, and so much more.
“Audubon couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to get out on the water with Secretary Haaland in Florida Bay. Secretary Haaland immediately connected with the Bay and applauded our community’s collective efforts toward restoration,” says Cox.