2016 Audubon Florida Conservation Action Agenda

Audubon Florida organizes its state policy and regional conservation plans to express both our policy agenda and to give members, chapter leaders, board members, staff and the public summary statements of our policy priorities and conservation goals in the form of short resolutions that are approved at the fall Audubon Assembly and subsequently by the Audubon Board. 

Audubon’s Florida chapters are organized into seven geographic and ecological regions and meet together as Regional Conservation Committees (RCCs). Chapter leaders, supported by policy staff, recommend conservation priorities that reflect a commitment to work together and prioritize regional efforts. South Florida Audubon Society (SFAS) is one of four chapters that make up the Everglades Region. 

The 2016 priorities were approved at the recent annual Audubon Assembly held in October 2015.  There are overall statewide conservation priorities and then there are regional priorities which are presented by area. See the table of contents for further explanation. 

State Policy Priority Areas:

Important Bird Areas and Waterways Conservation

Coastal Conservation and Stewardship

Greater Everglades Ecosystem
Water for the Environment
Climate Change

Regional Conservation Priority: EVERGLADES
While individual chapters work on various issues and activities in their specific regions, the following goals reflect a shared commitment across the four chapters encompassed within the Everglades Regional Conservation Committee (RCC). The Audubon chapters in the Everglades Region will mobilize volunteer leadership, members, conservation allies, community leaders, public officials and governmental agencies to:

Climate Change
Educate chapter members, community members, and decision‐makers on the influences of climate change including impacts to water supply, ecosystems, shorelines, Everglades restoration, birds, and other impacts on human and natural systems.

Everglades Restoration
Identify opportunities to advocate for, advance, and improve Everglades restoration efforts throughout the entire ecosystem, including the Northern Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries, Indian River Lagoon, Lake Worth Lagoon, the Central Everglades and the Water Conservation Areas, Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Biscayne Bay, Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, and Florida Bay.
Water: Enhance water conservation efforts at an individual, local, municipal, and state level to provide more water for the Everglades and reduce demand on and damage to the natural system during dry periods;
Wildlife: Improve performance of Everglades restoration projects to increase populations of wading birds, Everglade Snail Kites, and other wildlife. Locally, contribute to the improvement of wildlife habitat so pockets of quality habitat exist within the built urban environment;
Ecosystem Protection: Promote the prompt return of more historical freshwater flows in order to improve habitat quality, protect low‐lying and coastal areas from rising sea level, and contribute to efforts to reduce emissions causing climate change; and
Funding: Advocate for increased funding for the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) by reaching out to elected officials and members of the SFWMD Governing Board.

Bird Conservation
Continue participation in bird monitoring programs, working to increase and enhance the information and knowledge base available about birds in the Everglades and southeast Florida; and increase the utilization and coordination of this knowledge to prevent further degradation and fragmentation of bird migration habitat, and contribute to the connection of habitats to increase survival of year‐round and migratory species.

(See summary below and click on the above link for more information.)  





Habitat loss
Threats to biodiversity
Legal protections under unprecedented attack
Narrow base of support for action




Putting Working Lands to Work for Birds
Sharing Our Seas & Shores
Saving Important Bird Areas
Shaping a Healthy Climate
Creating Bird-Friendly Communities


Increase population and reproductive success of 42 bird species
Improve habitat of 15.8 million acres 
Engage 1 million people to take action


Wildlife and Protected Species

The foundation of Audubon, the protection of birds and wildlife, form the basis of all other conservation goals.  Sustaining the populations of native species requires broad-scale efforts to protect habitat and reduce human impact on wildlife populations.  For details on Florida Wildlife Policy and what you can do to help, go to Wildlife

Land Conservation and Public Land Management

From urban development to invasive species, our open spaces and natural ecosystems are in danger.  Through responsible stewardship, we can do our part to reverse this alarming trend.  For information on local, state, and national policies and resources being applied to these issues, click here.  For a list of invasive plants, click here.  For facts on why we need to renew our thinking, click here.

 Water for the Environment

Water is no longer the commodity it once was.  Our desire for clean, safe, and available water resources means we must better understand where water comes from and how it can best be managed and conserved.  We all have a part to play.  For policies of National Audubon and Audubon of Florida as well as Broward County information on this topic, go to

Growth Management and Transportation

Rapid population growth stresses our natural resources and paves the way to new development and new roads.  Through constructive partnerships, we can meet the needs of our society and our environment.  For Audubon of Florida goals related to this issue and National Audubon resource information, click here.


 Global Climate Change and Energy

Global climate change is the result of worldwide temperature increases and changes in precipitation patterns over the 20th century.  Find out more about this issue and what you can do to help by clicking here

For links to other websites discussing this issue, click here.


For a description of how laws are made and changed as well as information on Federal and state environmental laws related to our natural resources, click here.  


Audubon Action at Audubon of Florida tracks policy bills being presented to  the Florida  legislators.  Here are sample bills tracked in 2009.

Audubon Florida News Blog / Advocate Newsletter also covers legislative and Advocacy issues for Florida.

Favorable bills that passed

Crescent Loophole Fix
(SB 2430)

Seagrass and Coral Reef Protections  
(HB 1423/SB 2618)

Conservation Lands - Amendment 4
(HB 7157/SB 2244) 

Favorable bills that did not pass

Springs Legislation  
(SB 274, SB 2120)

Clean Car Standard
(SB 1994)

Open Beach Access 
(SB 488/HB 527)

Unfavorable bills that passed

Growth Management
(SB 360)

Airports and Wildlife
(HB 1065/SB 1864)

Reducing Public Comment on Wetlands Permits and Water Management Land Acquisition (SB 2080)

HB 73 shortens decisions on environmental permits from 90>45 days

Unfavorable bills that did not pass

Limited Federal Wetlands Review
(HB 1123/SB 2016)

Near Shore Oil Drilling
(HB 1219) 

Public Interest End-run on Wetlands
(HB 1349)

Public Land Management Privatization and Transfer of CAMA to FWC
(HB 1355/SB 2636)

Sample Recommendations to a New President and New Congress

Statement by former President/CEO John Flicker regarding issues needing attention by the New President and New Congress.

"Voters in this historic election cast their ballots not only for change,  but for a new era of hope for our environment, and the people, birds, and other wildlife that depend on it.  Washington has been ignoring critical environmental issues for too long.  President-elect Barack Obama and a more environmentally aware Congress offer the promise of leadership and fundamental change that could usher in new protections for America's great natural heritage, and a new lease on life
for species in decline.

Despite real reason for optimism, we cannot take conservation gains for granted.  Audubon is committed to helping the new Administration and Congress to live up to their great promise; and to make conservation, clean energy and green jobs part of America's path to a brighter tomorrow.

Through our local chapters, state offices and national grass roots efforts, Audubon will join with others in the environmental community to ensure that our newly elected leaders lead the way on issues vital to our environment, our economy and diversity of life on Earth." 

NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY(sample recommendations continued)

Presidential Appointments

President Obama should start by appointing to key environmental positions within his Administration qualified leaders who will defend our clean air and water, protect habitat and endangered species, aggressively address global warming, and steward our great natural heritage for future generations.

Scientific Integrity

The Department of the Interior should systematically review and reverse decisions made by the past Administration under the Endangered Species Act that were influenced by political considerations and not based on sound science.

President Obama should send a clear signal to everyone in his administration to restore and respect scientific integrity in all environmental decisions.

Global Warming and Renewable Energy

President Obama has said that:  "We cannot afford more of the same timid politics when the future of our planet is at stake."  He's right.  We welcome the opportunity to help him deliver his promised $150 billion plan for clean energy technologies that would protect our environment and stimulate the economy, creating up to 5 million new green jobs.

The Congress should pass legislation providing significant incentives for development of renewable energy such as a strong Renewables Portfolio Standard and a long-term extension of the Production Tax Credit, and pass significant legislation to address global warming with a comprehensive cap-and-trade program.

The new Administration and Congress must lead a transformation in American energy production and use through investments in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.  This can minimize the fluctuation of gas prices while protecting our beaches, coastal ecosystems and the Alaskan landscape from the threats of oil and gas drilling.

Endangered Species Conservation

We'll work with the Administration to secure reversal of the Bush administration's weakening of the Endangered Species Act, such as the controversial decision to allow agencies to self-consult regarding the impacts of federally-approved projects on endangered species.

Congress should pass new tax incentives to encourage private landowners to work toward recovery of endangered species.

Bird and Habitat Conservation

The Administration and the Congress should reinvest in the National Wildlife Refuge System and address the unacceptable $3.5 billion maintenance backlog crippling this critical tool for conservation.

The Congress should pass legislation to conserve neotropical migratory birds and address the steep declines in America's common birds that are disappearing from parks, farms, and backyards across the country.

Ecosystem Restoration

The Administration and the Congress should fund significant new restoration projects to improve the status of America's great natural ecosystems:  The Mississippi River, the Everglades, Long Island Sound, and the Great Lakes.

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