Paving of Marsh Trail Parking Lot
Paving of the Marsh Trail parking lot is expected to begin Monday, May 6. The Marsh Trail parking lot and the roads leading to it will be closed for approximately two months while the work is performed. There will also be increased traffic and construction activity on Lee Road. Visitors or groups wishing to use the Marsh Trail will need to go to the C-6 pavilion parking lot (site of the old admin building) and walk toward the LILA
impoundments, entering the Marsh Trail from the west side as shown in this map:
SCHEDULED PROGRAMS May 2013
Guided Canoe Trips
Saturday, May 11, 8:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Saturday, May 25, 8:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Meet at the Headquarters Boat Ramp to enjoy a beautiful canoe tour through a portion of the Refuge interior.
You may rent a canoe for $32 from Loxahatchee Canoeing or bring your own. (One canoe seats 2 to 3 people.)
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Call the Visitor Center at 561-734-8303.
Enjoy this 3-minute video made on the canoe trail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW49VXaOvGU&feature=related
Full Moon Guided Canoe Trips
Friday, May 24, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 22, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 20, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 17, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Meet at the Headquarters Boat Ramp to enjoy a guided moonlight canoe tour through a portion of the Refuge interior. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants and bring a flashlight and bug spray.
Canoe rental from Loxahatchee Canoeing is $32; you may not bring your own. (One canoe seats 2 to 3 people.)
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED - PLEASE CALL LOXAHATCHEE CANOEING at 561-733-0192.
Guided Bird, Butterfly and Wildflower Walks - Meet at C-6 Pavilion
Every Friday and Sunday, 7:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Join our volunteer naturalist for an early morning nature walk and see how many birds and and other critters you can spot. Learn about our migratory and year-round residents of the Refuge and their habitat. Your guide will discuss the marsh ecology, answer your questions and identify the birds, butterflies, plants, reptiles and anything else you might find along the way. Meet at the pavilion next to the C-6 impoundment (site of the old admin building).
Roving Naturalist on Cypress Swamp Boardwalk
Tuesday, May 14, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 28, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
A volunteer naturalist will be strolling around the Cypress Swamp Boardwalk, answering questions and discussing flora and fauna of the swamp.
***Programs subject to change, for more information on any of the activities and programs, please call the Visitor Center at (561) 734-8303 or the Administration Office at (561) 732-3684.
Check the Refuge event calendar online at:
The calendar can also be viewed by going to http://www.fws.gov/loxahatchee and selecting “Calendar of Events” on the right side.
"Florida Hawksbill Project" by Lawrence (Larry) D. Wood
Tuesday, May 7, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, 6301 W. Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach
More than 8 years ago, Larry Wood initiated the first in-water study of hawksbills in Florida right here in the Palm Beaches! Join the Audubon Society of the Everglades for their monthly meeting to learn more. Larry currently directs the Comprehensive Florida Hawksbill Research and Conservation Program at the Palm Beach Zoo. An opportunity to work at Loggerhead Marinelife Center brought Larry to Florida in 1988 where he established nesting surveys in northern Palm Beach County. At that time the center was in a small building in Juno Beach with just a few tanks outside for turtle rehab. His enthusiasm fostered community and volunteer interest for turtle nesting along Juno Beach and rehabilitation of injured turtles. This led to construction of a new facility designed for rehabilitation and education. Thousands visit each year.
A lifelong interest in herpetology took Larry to Miami University of Ohio, where he pursued a degree in zoology. At Florida Atlantic University he completed the undergraduate and Master’s programs and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Integrative Biology Doctoral Program. He published "A Field Guide for Sea Turtle Nesting Surveys", a full-color comprehensive guide to conducting sea turtle nesting beach research.
The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information visit: http://www.auduboneverglades.org
The Northern Everglades Watershed and its Impact on South Florida
Saturday, May 11, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Location: Refuge Visitor Center Auditorium
Join the Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group at the Refuge for a light breakfast and a stunning DVD about the newly designated Northern Everglades Preserve. Travel with filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus along the Kissimmee River and surrounding regions. Meet the “Keepers of the Land” and experience a sense of place in the vast open spaces in the cattle country of Florida's private and public lands. Although many stories have been told about the Everglades – from drainage to restoration – few have been told about where it all begins: the Kissimmee River Basin.
Late addition – Charlie Pelizza, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Project Leader for the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area will be with us to provide the details and latest update on this momentous project. He has the inside info!
Sierra Club meetings are FREE and open to the public, bring a friend. *The entrance fee for the Refuge has been waived, just say you are there for the Sierra Club meeting. Reservations not required.
Questions or concerns contact KayGates@bellsouth.net or 561-742-9219.
Summer in the Everglades for Young People
Friday, June 28, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Water and Water Activities (slogging)
Friday, July 12, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Wildlife Animals and Plants (art project)
Friday, July 19, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Scavenger Hunt in the Everglades
The Arthur R. Marshall Foundation is offering a Summer in the Everglades experience for young people ages 7 - 12, free of charge, with field trips, hands-on activities, crafts and games. Space is limited, so please register early by contacting Diana Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561)233-9004.
Boat Dock and Bank Closed to Fishing
The Headquarters Area Lee Road boat dock and bank are closed to fishing. The 200-foot fishing pier remains open to fishing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is closing the boat dock floating platform, the smaller concrete fishing platform and bank in an effort to reduce the interaction that is occurring between anglers and alligators as a result of people feeding the alligators.
L-40 Levee and Canal Partially Closed - Site 1 Impoundment Project Has Resumed
Construction has resumed on the Site 1 Impoundment project!
The L-40 Levee and Canal is closed from Loxahatchee Road north for three miles to boating, hiking, bicycling, and all other public use. The closure is due to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction of a reservoir southeast of the Refuge. This project, known as the Site 1 Impoundment Project, will capture and store storm water that would otherwise be lost to tide during dry times and preserve clean water in the Refuge.
Loxahatchee Road itself remains open. Only the L-40 dike and canal is closed from around the gate area. Hunters and other visitors can still access the parking area and the marsh except for the canal and levee going north.
For a map of the closed portions of the L-40 Levee go to:
Alligator Hunt Delayed
The alligator hunt planned to begin in August of this year is expected to be delayed because of a settlement agreement resulting from a 2003 lawsuit (Fund for Animals v. Williams) that requires the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to combine all new and expanded proposed hunts on National Wildlife Refuges into one annual National Hunt Package.
The Service is combining more than two dozen new and expanded hunts nationwide into a comprehensive package with limited staff because of a recent hiring freeze. This is a complex process requiring the Service to ensure cumulative impacts of these proposed new hunts nationwide do not adversely affect a species. Once the effects of these national hunts are assessed, the National Hunt Package will be released for a 30-day public comment period. The Service will review, evaluate, and address comments before making a final determination on the hunts that will be published in the Federal Register later this calendar year.
Bird Feeding Frenzy!
Conditions must have been just right in the pond behind the Visitor Center a couple of weeks ago, because the birds had a party and invited all their friends! Here are Kay Larche's photos…
And it even made the news!
6-Month Bird Count Summary
Rick Schofield, who has been leading the early morning bird walks on Wednesdays, has been reporting monthly counts of all the species they've found on eBird. Here's what they found here from November, 2012 through April, 2013:
For some of the more commonly-sighted species an "X" appears in the report due to the difficulty of keeping track of the actual counts.
A big thanks are due to Rick for taking responsibility for the Wednesday bird walks after the retirement of long-time bird walker Fred Test, and to Kristen Murtaugh for taking over the Saturday bird walks after the retirement of even longer-time bird walker Pat Canning. Thanks to Rick especially for filling in while Kristen was on vacation after the Palm Beach Post advertised bird walks for Saturdays that would otherwise not have been covered!
Views from a Kayak
A kayaking blogger shares his experiences on the Refuge's 5.5-mile canoe trail last weekend…
One lesson learned is to check on the conditions at the Visitor Center before attempting the entire 5.5 mile circuit, as parts of it can be tough going when the water is low and the vegetation is thick.
Successful Lee Road Cleanup
Sun Sentinel reporter Jan Engoren was on hand for the Lee Road cleanup on April 13 and got us some great press, with quotes from Friends board members Kay Larche and Steve Horowitz…
New Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Visits Refuge
The new Secretary of the Department of the Interior Sally Jewell honored us by choosing ours as the first National Wildlife Refuge she has visited since being sworn in on April 12 of this year. She was treated to an airboat ride into the interior of the Refuge with staff, followed by a question and answer session and light breakfast on the pavilion behind the Visitor Center. She is listening and learning all she can to understand which issues are the most urgent and which issues she can realistically hope to address during her tenure. She is quite committed to Everglades restoration, and hopes also someday to be able to upgrade the staff uniforms to something more lightweight and quick drying. Coming from the outdoor gear retailer Recreational Equipment Inc., where she was most recently CEO, she knows just the thing! Sadly, she was nearly eaten up with bugs when she exchanged the bug-resistant shirt she was wearing for the shirt staff presented her as a gift.
We got a few seconds of air time 45 seconds into this weekly video from the Department of Interior…