Peace River Audubon Society is involved with conservation matters, both nationally and locally. Locally, the society is working with the Environmental Lands Acquisition Advisory Council (ELAAC) to preserve and protect environmentally sensitive land that is vital for our future. As part of this endeavor, we have created a presentation entitled “The Charlotte Harbor Way of Life”. It is our intention to show this to as many local residents as possible through their local housing associations, clubs, and other organizations. We hope this will make the voters sufficiently aware of the importance of preserving environmentally sensitive land so when it is placed on the ballot in 2006, a vast majority will support it. This ballot initiative, if passed, will create a fund that the county commissioners will be able to utilize to purchase environmentally sensitive land in danger of being developed.
We are also involved in the fight to control the expansion of phosphate mining in the Peace River watershed, which poses a threat to our drinking water supply and the future of Charlotte Harbor on which our tourist industry depends.
Recently, we have taken a leading role in the efforts to save the 92,000 acre Babcock Ranch from development.
Our fund raising efforts are mainly directed toward the environmental education of fourth grade students in Charlotte County as they are the future custodians of a state. This program is conducted by the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center of which we are corporate founding members.
One of our long term undertakings is the care and maintenance of Audubon Pennington Park in Port Charlotte, a small preserve which is home to a good cross section of local flora and fauna. We maintain walking trails in the park which are open to the public.
Currently, we are working with local, county, state and national organizations to create a long distance wilderness trail from coast to coast in Florida . The trail would begin here on the west coast at Charlotte Harbor and would continue eastward to Lake Okeechobee, where it would join the national network of trails, one of which continues to the Florida east coast.
A group of our members have recently completed a 12 month survey of birds, mammals and reptiles seen in an area known as the Charlotte Flatwoods. This area is being developed as an environmental park by the county. Our members are also involved in shore bird surveys along the Charlotte County coastline.
The society is very involved in the preservation of two endangered local species, the Florida Scrub Jay and the Gopher Tortoise. We have recently donated over $4,000 from our Scrub Jay habitat fund to be used in a joint effort with a local conservancy to purchase vacant lots in an area with nesting scrub jays.
Our members are involved in various national efforts to protect our environment from harmful legislation.
If you are not a member and you feel, as we do, that protecting our local environment for the future of our grand children is important, then please join us at Peace River Audubon Society, where together we can make a difference.