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2017 Audubon Florida Conservation Action Agenda
Each year, according to tradition and practice, Audubon Florida leaders gather at the Audubon Assembly to express our annual conservation action agenda through a group of state and regional resolutions that address our public policy priorities. The agenda provides members, chapter leaders, directors, staff, and the public summary statements of our policy and conservation positions. We believe we are the only statewide conservation organization that uses such an open process for setting a policy agenda. Conservation priorities are broadly framed problem solution statements in the form of resolutions. They do not express every nuance of an issue and instead provide guidance through the year for state and regional work. The Conservation Action Agenda is approved by vote at the annual Audubon Assembly and subsequently is ratified by the Audubon Florida Board of Directors.
Regional Conservation and Statewide Policy Priorities
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. State policy priorities are recommended by Audubon Florida’s Board Public Policy Committee and staff to frame our approach to important issues and campaigns and to leverage our resources to the greatest effect. South Florida Audubon Society (SFAS) is one of four chapters that make up the Everglades Region.
Approval of the Resolutions
A presenter summarized key points of each resolution during the Audubon Assembly at the Friday afternoon session. Approval was granted by voice vote of those in attendance.
The 2017 priorities were approved at the recent annual Audubon Assembly held in October 2016. 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
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, in alignment with Audubon Florida and the Atlantic Flyway, using information derived from sound science, will mobilize volunteer leadership, members, conservation allies, community leaders, public officials and governmental agencies to:
• Educate chapter members, community members and decision-makers on the influences of climate change including impacts to water supply, ecosystems, shorelines, marine habitats, Everglades restoration, birds and other wildlife and other impacts on human and natural systems.
• Identify opportunities to advocate to expedite and improve Everglades restoration efforts throughout the entire Greater Everglades Ecosystem from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes to Florida Bay, and guard against threats to Everglades habitats such as fracking, urban sprawl and other intrusive activities.
o Water: Enhance water conservation efforts at an individual, local, municipal, state and federal level to improve freshwater deliveries to the Everglades with the correct quantity, quality, timing and distribution and to reduce demand on and damage to the natural system during dry periods;
o Wildlife: Improve performance of Everglades restoration projects to increase populations of wading birds, Everglade Snail Kites and other wildlife. Locally, contribute to the restoration and preservation of wildlife habitat, including reducing population of invasive species, so pockets of quality habitat exist within the urban environment;
o 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
o Funding: Advocate for intended use of Amendment 1 funds for restoration projects, including Everglades restoration. Increase funding for the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) by reaching out to elected officials and members of the SFWMD Governing Board.
• Participate in bird monitoring programs, increase and enhance the body of knowledge involving birds in the Everglades and Southeast Florida and use this knowledge to prevent further degradation and fragmentation to reestablish a contiguous migratory bird habitat that aid in increasing survival of resident and migratory species and • Halt threats to critical bird habitat, such as elimination of Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.
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South Florida Audubon Society
PO Box 9644
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33310
954 776 5585