Last Month's Newsletter

ARTHUR R. MARSHALL LOXAHATCHEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

SCHEDULED PROGRAMS        September 2018

Public Meeting on New Visitor Services Plan

Thursday, September 20, 5:30 p.m.
Location: Wellington Community High School Theater, 2101 Greenview Shores Blvd, Wellington

A draft of the new Visitor Services Plan is expected to be released on September 10, followed by a 30-day public comment period. Refuge staff invite you to attend a public meeting on September 20 where they will discuss the plan and solicit your comments.

The Visitor Services Plan and accompanying Environmental Assessment will identify the issues, goals, objectives, and strategies for management of the Visitor Services program at the Refuge over the next 15 years. It will include an evaluation of the 25 recreational enhancements that were proposed in the recently signed License Agreement with the state of Florida and the public comments that were submitted earlier this year in writing or at the public meetings in May.

The presentation that was given at the meetings in May can be viewed here:
www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Loxahatchee-Visitor-Services-Planning-May19_22-Public-Presentation(1).pdf

A summary of the comments submitted at those meetings can be viewed here:
www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Public-Comment-Summary-from-May-2018-Public-Scoping-Meetings.pdf

Check the Refuge website for more information on the Visitor Services Plan and how to submit comments on or after September 10:
www.fws.gov/refuge/ARM_Loxahatchee

Tram Tours of the Marsh

Every Sunday, Wednesday & Thursday, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. except Thursday, September 27
Every Sunday, Monday & Wednesday, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, September 25, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. & 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Friday, September 7 & 21, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. & 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 29, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Take an open-air Tram tour with our volunteer naturalist for a unique view into the wildlife, marshes and cypress swamps of the Refuge. Your guide will talk about the Refuge, its birds and other wildlife, the ongoing research in the mini-Everglades impoundments of LILA, and answer all your questions in the comfort of your shaded electric tram. Meet at the Visitor Center front desk 15 minutes prior to the tour.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Call the Visitor Center at 561-734-8303.

Guided Canoe Tours

Every Saturday, 9:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Meet at the Lee Road Boat Ramp to enjoy a beautiful canoe tour through a portion of the Refuge interior. You may rent a canoe for $35 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: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW49VXaOvGU&feature=related

Moonlight Guided Canoe Tours

Saturday, September 22, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 20, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 24, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 22, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Meet at the Lee Road 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 $35; you may not bring your own. (One canoe seats 2 to 3 people.)

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED - Call LOXAHATCHEE CANOEING at 561-733-0192.

Roving Wildlife Photographer

Every Saturday, 9:30 a.m.

Take a guided walking tour of some of our most beautiful spots in the Refuge. View and photograph wildlife in its natural settings with our volunteer roving photographer, Ira Rappaport. Ira will show you areas where some of the most recent sightings of wildlife have been reported and other locations that might make for great photo opportunities. Bring water, comfortable closed-toe shoes or sneakers, a hat to block the sun, sun screen lotion, binoculars, and your camera. The tour can be from 3-5 miles. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Roving Naturalist on Cypress Swamp Boardwalk

Tuesday, September 11 & 25, 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 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.

Events are listed on the Friends website at www.loxahatcheefriends.com/events/events.shtml

9th Annual Juried Art Contest - Loxahatchee Visions - Volunteers Needed!

Entries accepted: Sunday, October 28 - Saturday, November 3
Reception and Award Presentation: Sunday, November 11, 1:00 p.m.

The contest is open to all artists. Each artist may submit one or two works of art, inspired by "Loxahatchee Visions." Any media or mixed media may be used, with the exception of photography. (Save your photographs for next year's photo contest!) Each entry must be framed and ready for hanging. Wrapped canvas edges are fine. Size limit is 36" on each side, including frame.

Prizes will be awarded in 2 categories - Youth/Student (through high school) and Adult (age 18 and older).
First prize - $250; Second prize - $150; Third prize - $100.

The entry fee is $10 for Friends members, volunteers and Refuge staff, and $25 for non-members. The fee is waived for Youth. Bring your artwork along with the entry form and entry fee in an envelope labeled "Friends Art Contest" to the Visitor Center.

For the Contest Entry Form and the complete set of rules, go to:
www.loxahatcheefriends.com/upload/Lox2018ArtContestForm.pdf

Would you or someone you know would like to help organize this contest? Please contact us at info@loxahatcheefriends.com!

International Coastal Clean-Up & National Public Lands Day - Volunteers Needed!

Saturday, September 22, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Spend the morning outdoors, celebrate volunteerism on public lands, and help keep our Refuge beautiful! Volunteers are needed to help collect and remove trash, litter, and debris from Refuge roads, trails, and other public areas. Litter is not only unsightly, but also a hazard for wildlife!

Please wear closed-toed shoes or boots, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and bug spray, and bring a refillable water bottle. Long sleeves and long pants are recommended. Bring your own gloves or you can borrow ours. Students can receive Community Service hours. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old or accompanied by a parent or guardian. Meet in the Marsh Trail parking lot.

For more information or to register, contact Cathy Patterson at capatterson51@loxahatcheefriends.com or 561-301-5056.

Fee-Free Day - National Public Lands Day, September 22

The Department of the Interior is waiving admission fees at all National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and all other federal fee areas for National Public Lands Day, September 22.

Audubon Society of the Everglades: Restoring America's Everglades: Current State of Affairs and Next Steps

Tuesday, September 4, 7:00 p.m.
Speaker: Celeste De Palma, Director of Everglades Policy, Audubon Florida
Location: Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, 6301 W. Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, Rooms 101 and 102

At the monthly meeting of the Audubon Society of the Everglades, learn the latest about Everglades restoration from Audubon Florida's Celeste De Palma. Celeste oversees Audubon Florida's Everglades science and policy team, coordinates and implements Everglades policy efforts with staff across Audubon Florida's programs and leads Audubon Florida's advocacy efforts with Congress, federal agencies, the Florida Legislature, state agencies, and Everglades Restoration decision makers such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District. Celeste was instrumental in leading a consortium of non-profit environmental groups in a 2-year struggle to save our Refuge from takeover by the state. Her efforts culminated in the signing of a 20-year lease agreement with the state that keeps the Refuge intact and ensures that all of its approximately 145,000 acres will remain managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a National Wildlife Refuge.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Light refreshments at 6:30 p.m. For more information visit www.auduboneverglades.org or contact Paton White at 561-818-7574 or President@AudubonEverglades.org.

Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group: Tools & Methods for Urban Landscaping, Ergonomic Earthwork & Wild Land Maintenance

Tuesday, September 18, 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Location: Mounts Botanical Garden, 531 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach

The September meeting of the Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group is a joint meeting with the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Native Plant Society and features Brian R. Said, discussing common household and hardware items and yard equipment that can easily be transformed into labor saving landscaping devices. Brian holds numerous patents in recreational products as well as tools used in ocean engineering, naval architecture, biomedicine and aerospace. He is also an experienced guide, charter captain, and certified rescue diver with particular expertise in glacial and ice mechanics, mountain travel, undersea technology and ocean sailing!

Light refreshements will be served. A native plant raffle will follow the meeting. The meeting is free and open to the public.

The Everglades: Spirit of the Land - Photo Exhibition by Phoenix

Exhibition: Tuesday - Friday, 10 am - 5 pm and Saturdays 10 am - 3 pm, now thru Friday, September 28
Artist Talk: Saturday, September 15, 3 pm
Location: Bailey Contemporary Arts west gallery, 41 NE 1st St, Pompano Beach
(located inside Blooming Bean Coffee Roasters)

The majesty and the frailty of the Florida Everglades are captured in this exhibit featuring 20 photos by award-winning nature photographer and Friends member Phoenix Marks. As gallery curator Juliana Forero explains, "Phoenix has a great understanding of how light and timing work in photography. It's evident that for some of the photographs exhibited, she waited for the 'decisive moment'... working the composition in her brain and waiting for the 'it' that would make the photo worth the shot."
www.cultureowl.com/miami/escoop/view/the-everglades-spirit-of-the-land-photographs-by-phoenix

Here's what The Pelican had to say (on page 21):
pelicannewspaper.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Pelican-8.3.18-pages-1-24.pdf

View some of her photography at:
www.PhotographsByPhoenix.com.

Friends Luncheon - Save the Date!

Saturday, December 8, 12:00 noon
Location: Iberia Grill, 3745 S Military Trail, Greenacres

All are invited to join the Friends for a delicious buffet-style luncheon with open bar and silent auction at the Iberia Grill on Saturday, December 8. Buffet is $30 for Friends members and $35 for non-members.

Please RSVP to info@loxahatcheefriends.com. Make check payable to "Friends of Loxahatchee Refuge" and mail to P.O. Box 6777, Delray Beach, FL 33445 or pay online (select Operating Fund):
www.loxahatcheefriends.com/contributions/contributions.shtml
And if you have any items you would be willing to donate for a silent auction, please let us know!

Dynamic Composition 1-Day Photography Workshop

Saturday, January 12, 9:00 - 12:00 noon, Visitor Center Theater

Back by popular demand, award-winning photographer Lance Warley is presenting a photography workshop on Dynamic Composition: Tools to Create Evocative Images, for any level photographer or visual artist interested in adding greater depth and emotional impact to your photos.

Email one of your photos for an optional critique to Lance by December 14. File size limit 500KB.

Space is limited. Please contact Lance to reserve your spot. Entry fee is $20 per participant, with all funds donated to the Friends of the Refuge.

Lance Warley lwarley213@gmail.com 561-945-2074 www.lancewarleyphotography.com

34th Annual Everglades Coalition Conference

Thursday, January 10 - Sunday, January 13
Location: Bakers Cay Hilton Resort, Key Largo

For more information and to make reservations: www.evergladescoalition.org/conference

Does Your Group Need a Speaker?

The Refuge is reaching out to our local community with an exciting opportunity. Several experienced Refuge volunteers have formed a Speakers Bureau to provide information and education about the Refuge to local residents. If your group is interested in hosting a speaking engagement, we would be happy to work with you. The presentation is approximately one hour in length and designed for a lay audience. You will learn fascinating facts about Everglades wildlife, plants, and habitats as well as the many recreational and educational opportunities that exist on the Refuge. Programs are free and can be arranged during the day, in the evening, or on weekends. For more information or to schedule a presentation, please call or email Sue Rowe, 207-440-0121, sue.rowe769@yahoo.com or Steve Henry, 561-735-6021, steven_s_henry@fws.gov.

Land and Water Conservation Fund Expires September 30 - Take Action!

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is the nation's most important conservation and recreation program. Congress created the LWCF a half-century ago to guarantee our country's natural, historical and outdoor recreation heritage. It reinvests offshore energy revenue into conservation; it has saved places in nearly every state and every county in the U.S. It expires September 30, 2018. Please contact your Congressional representatives and urge them to reauthorize this fund!

Both the National Wildlife Refuge Association and the National Parks Conservation Association have set up Action pages that you can use to contact your representatives:
www.refugeassociation.org/action/#/96
secure.npca.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2035

Or you can contact them directly:
To contact your Representative, go to www.house.gov, type your zip code at the top of the screen and click "LOOK UP", then click on your Representative's name;
To contact your Senators go to www.senate.gov, select your state under "Find Your Senators" at the top of the screen, then click on your Senator's name.

Endangered Species Act Under Threat - Take Action!

Current proposals to weaken the Endangered Species Act would remove protections for species that are newly listed as "threatened," allow economic considerations instead of science to determine whether or not a species should be saved, and make it harder to designate unoccupied habitat as "critical habitat," making it easier for companies to build roads, pipelines, mines and other industrial projects in areas determined essential to a species' survival. Climate change would be exempted from key parts of the law, making it more difficult to protect the polar bear and the many other species threatened by climate change.

Animals that have been protected by the act include the Florida panther, manatee, Key deer and American alligator. The alligator is considered one of the act's big success stories. The act has helped numerous bird species recover and be delisted, including the Brown Pelican, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. About 100 bird species are currently protected under the act, including the Whooping Crane, Piping Plover, and Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

You can use the Nature Conservancy's Action page to ask your members of Congress to oppose weakening the Endangered Species Act:
support.nature.org/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=00000000.app211a?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=252&src=e.action.252.loc_cta

Or you can contact them directly:
To contact your Representative, go to www.house.gov, type your zip code at the top of the screen and click "LOOK UP", then click on your Representative's name;
To contact your Senators go to www.senate.gov, select your state under "Find Your Senators" at the top of the screen, then click on your Senator's name.

Trouble in Paradise - Nathaniel Reed's Final Project

Last month a coalition of environmental and public interest organizations in Florida released a report entitled "Trouble in Paradise," an initiative started by Nathaniel Reed, a conservationist and co-founder of 1,000 Friends of Florida who died recently. After outlining the daunting environmental challenges facing Florida, the report identifies six priorities for the state's next set of leaders: conserving natural lands; safeguarding the water supply; promoting water conservation; protecting and restoring water quality; managing growth; and addressing climate change and community resilience. It then lays out specific, practical recommendations for meeting each of these challenges. The report also highlights four at-risk resource areas: the Apalachicola River and Bay, Florida's springs and springsheds, the Greater Everglades ecosystem and the Indian River Lagoon.

Previous generations of farsighted leaders in both parties created and refined effective programs for solving environmental problems. But over the years, a number of those programs were weakened or outright eliminated. Florida lawmakers dismantled the state's growth management agency and slashed funding for the five regional water management districts in 2011. They rolled back enforcement actions against polluters. They reduced support for local efforts to address water quality. They gutted funding for the state's nationally recognized land conservation program, Florida Forever.

Throughout the report, the authors call for enforcing environmental protections "already in place," sufficiently funding agencies responsible for overseeing those duties, appointing "strong and effective" agency leaders and passing legislation "to restore and improve workable programs and address current and future challenges."
www.heraldtribune.com/news/20180815/report-outlines-floridas-major-environmental-concerns
www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/fl-op-viewpoint-florida-environmental-to-do-list-20180815-story.html

The report is available at:
troubleinparadiseflorida.org

Nathaniel Reed's extraordinary lifetime of accomplishments makes for fascinating reading in this obituary:
nativefishcoalition.org/blog/2018/7/17/the-passing-of-nathaniel-reed-heroic-champion-of-fish-wildlife-and-the-environment

Stay Out of the Water!

If you're new to Florida and you just read the headlines from the east coast, the west coast and the inland lakes, you might think twice about venturing into the water.

1) Blue-green algae is still killing aquatic life on both coasts, as freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee to relieve pressure on the Herbert Hoover Dike exacerbate the problems in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. Martin County has reported beach closings and 73 patients at last count who were treated for respiratory and other symptoms linked to blue-green algae. Blue-green algae thrives in fresh water that's rich in nutrients which primarily come from fertilizer runoff and septic tanks.
www.mypalmbeachpost.com/weather/hurricanes/just-lake-okeechobee-dangerous-rise-into-peak-hurricane-season/dLhxg0vC9oC0FzQmZCom7K/
www.palmbeachpost.com/news/toxic-blue-green-algae-forces-several-martin-county-beaches-close/S8ZxMC4o7s8ZqU9oyMADiN/

2) Red tide, caused by another type of algae, is causing massive fish kills and respiratory problems in people on the Gulf coast from Naples to Tampa. Red tide is also responsible for numerous sea turtle, manatee and dolphin deaths. Like blue-green algae, red tide algae thrives in nutrient-heavy conditions like those caused by fertilizer runoff, but unlike blue-green algae, it lives in higher salinity water.
www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article217654845.html
www.cnn.com/2018/08/16/health/toxic-algae-bloom-health/index.html
Get the current red tide status from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission here:
myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

3) Brown tide, caused by an organism similar to the one that causes red tide, is now being reported in part of the Gulf coast already hit by red tide. Brown tide can merge with red tide and become red tide's food source.
www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article217278635.html

4) Sargassum is a thick, brown seaweed that has stained beaches and swept through inlets on Florida's east coast from the Keys to Fort Pierce. In places where it gets too thick it can rot and form dead zones and it's not great for swimming in, but at least it's not toxic.
www.mypalmbeachpost.com/weather/why-ugly-thick-brownish-seaweed-cursing-south-florida-beaches/yILMtAMMlxxOXqqYz5H1ZO/

5) Alligator attacks are on the rise, as population and development in Florida increase in areas used by alligators. People have also been known to feed alligators, causing them to lose their fear of people and to associate us with food. Don't ever feed an alligator!
www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/Alligator-attacks-are-on-the-rise-in-Florida-Thank-humans-scientists-say-_171148245

Hybrid Pythons Found in Everglades

U.S. Geological Survey researchers examined 400 pythons captured in South Florida, from the Big Cypress Swamp to the Everglades, and were surprised to find that 13 of them had genetic markers from Indian pythons. The others appeared to be closely related Burmese pythons, as expected. Unlike the swamp-loving Burmese python, Indian pythons prefer high, dry ground, raising fears that a hybrid of the two could expand its range farther than either of the two ever could.
www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article217109205.html

Shop on Amazon and Support the Friends!

Shop at AmazonSmile and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the Friends, at no extra cost to you! Bookmark this link:
http://smile.amazon.com/ch/59-2152926
Or, if you don't have the link handy, just go to smile.amazon.com and select "Friends of the Arthur R Marshall Loxahatchee Natl Wildlife Refuge" (You can just search for "Loxahatchee" but don't try to spell out "National" or it won't work!)

Like Us on Facebook!

Thanks to Bradley Rosendorf we have a very active community of Friends on Facebook:
www.facebook.com/loxahatcheefriends
Please spread the word and ask the folks you know to "Like" us!

Join the Friends!

If you're not already a Friends member, why not join now? Your support helps fund Refuge programs and special projects, and helps make our annual Everglades Day possible. Dues are only $25 per person or $40 for a family membership. All members receive our biannual newsletter Gator Tales and a 10% discount in our gift shop. You can sign up online at:
www.loxahatcheefriends.com/membership/membership.shtml

Help Us Grow!

Tell your friends about this hidden treasure! How many of them know we have a piece of the Everglades right here in Palm Beach County? Bring them out, and encourage them to join the Friends. Better yet, give them a gift membership!

***

If you would like to be removed from this mailing list, please reply to this email.

Elinor

Elinor Williams
Friends of Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
www.loxahatcheefriends.com
www.facebook.com/loxahatcheefriends

"There are no other Everglades in the world." ~Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Celebrate with us, The Friends of Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, 1982-2018

Friends

Refuge

Get Involved

Gifts

Learn More