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Birders Invited to Help with Annual Count Delete 12/02/2012 at 4:29pm

Birders Invited to Help with Annual Count

The South Florida Water Management District invites area birders to assist with the 112th Christmas Bird Count on Stormwater Treatment Areas. Everglades STAs are renowned bird-watching havens in south Florida.

Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) are the water-cleaning workhorses of Everglades restoration. They have also become renowned havens for wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is joining with the Hendry-Glades Audubon Society as the group conducts its portion of the 112th Christmas Bird Count in STA-5 in Hendry County. This is the Hendry-Glades Audubon’s fifth year conducting the count at STA-5.

Data collected during the annual bird counts — which span North America and beyond — are critical to studies of the long-term health and status of bird populations, according to Audubon. The STAs, managed by the SFWMD, attract large numbers of birds and also provide the public with a variety of recreational opportunities, such as hiking, biking and excellent bird watching.

During the 111th Christmas Bird Count, Audubon teams in STA-5 and the surrounding area documented 105 species and more than 96,400 birds.

Beach Project Nears Completion Delete 12/14/2011 at 6:30pm

Photo courtesy of Florida Dredge and DockBeach Project Nears Completion

The beach restoration or renourishment is in its final days. The work has reached Crescent Beach Family Park and sand placement is anticipated to be completed by Monday, December 19th.

The beach between Lynn Hall Park and Crescent Beach Family Park has been temporarily closed to pedestrian traffic due to a sea wall limiting the contractor’s maneuverability.

The 1.2 mile beach project began in May at Bowditch Point Park. A jetty or groin was placed at Bowditch Point Park to help deter sand erosion.

Tilling of the newly placed sand is required by regulatory agencies to mitigate sand compaction. Tilling operations are expected to be completed by Tuesday, December 20th. Plans call for beach raking to be done again in February.

County Sinks Swim Center Delete 12/13/2011 at 4:34pm

County Sinks Swim Center

The main topic of discussion at the Board of County Commissioners' (BoCC) final meeting of 2011 on Tuesday morning was the fate of the swim center. Negotiations between the National Swimming Center Corporation (NSCC) - the group seeking to change the City of Palms Park (former home of the Boston Red Sox) into an Olympic caliber swim center – and the county have gone back and forth for the better part of two years and were supposed to have been finalized by the end of this year. A last minute request for another 60-day extension that came in on Tuesday morning, however, caused the Board to unanimously agree to end negotiations with NCSS - citing frustrations with the many changes to the proposal and unclear financing. The commissioners also voted 4-1 (Mann dissenting) in favor of purchasing two small parcels totaling $55,750 as part of the Conservation 20/20 program.

The discussion on the swim center came up during the Administrative Agenda. Commissioners reviewed a report by the Isaac Sports Group – a consulting firm that the BoCC contracted with in October to review the NSCC's proposed Business Plan and talked about the request for another extension that came in that morning.