Sewall’s Point is for the Birds! SLR/IRL

 

Sewall Point, Arthur Ruhnke ca. 1950. courtesy of Sandra henderson Thurlow.
Sewall’s Point, Arthur Ruhnke ca. 1950. Photo courtesy of historian Sandra Henderson Thurlow.

This is one of my favorite historic aerial photos of Sewall’s Point; I have used it before. It is on page 11 of my mother’s book “Sewall’s Point a History of a Peninsular Community on Florida’s Treasure Coast.”

Taken in the 1950s, the peninsula is basically undeveloped. The spoil islands, from dredging the Intercostal Waterway, sit to the east of the island lone and unattached…

One very special spoil island is in this photo as well. I think it is the one furthest north: Bird Island, or MC 2, is a small spoil island now off the Archipelago. Comparing the photo above and below you can see the changes to the east side of Sewall’s Point and Bird Island.

Aerial Sewall's Point's east side. JTL 2013.
Aerial Sewall’s Point’s east side. JTL 2013.

I visited Bird Island yesterday with the Florida Wildlife Commission preparing for a field trip for their board who is meeting in South Florida this week. Bird Island was the first Critical Wildlife Area in the state of Florida designated in 20 years in 2014. This was an enormous accomplishment!

Kipp Fröhlich who was aboard boat yesterday said, “Yes it is amazing, we still don’t totally understand why the birds choose this particular island!” This is true. There are many to choose from.

One thing is for sure, the birds and humans love it here! It is a wonderful thing when wildlife  and humans can reside together. Thank you FWC!

With Ricardo Zambrano who oversaw the coordination of the CWA along with MC, Sewall's Point, Sunshine Wildlife Tours.
With FWC’s Ricardo Zambrano who oversaw the challenging goal of getting the idea off the ground and then achieving CWA status with the leadership of Martin County’s Deb Drum, Mike Yustin and team, the Town of Sewall’s Point, and stakeholders such as Sunshine Wildlife Tours, the commercial fishermen, and many others. After much work and broad support and years..the board of the FWC made the final approval.
Ansley Taylor, Dr Carol Rizkalla, Ricardo and Kip Frohlich. Dr Carol was instrumental in research for the success of the CWA.
Ansley Taylor regional volunteer, Dr Carol Rizkalla, Ricardo Z. and Dep. Dir. Kipp Frohlich from Tallahassee. Dr Carol was instrumental in research for the success of the CWA.

 

Photo by Greg Braun who documented all bird life and nesting for MC during the designation.
Photo by Greg Braun who documented all bird life and nesting for MC during the designation.
Happy wood storks on nests.
Happy wood storks on nests! JTL 4-12-16 There were Roseate spoonbills nesting too.
Spoonbills in mangroves. JTL
Nesting spoonbills in mangroves 4-12-16.  JTL

FWC Bird Island report: http://myfwc.com/news/news-releases/2015/january/28/bird-island-cwa/

Former blog on Bird Island with details on bird life: https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/05/09/bird-islandindian-river-lagoon-one-of-floridas-most-important-avian-breeding-grounds/

3 thoughts on “Sewall’s Point is for the Birds! SLR/IRL

  1. I read that wood storks require 400 POUNDS of fish to raise their young. How can you exspect anything to survive unless YOU bring the environment back to the way it has been for thousands of years.

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  2. I almost never see wood storks feeding in lagoon . They feed in canals along roads that have calcium runoff. I don’t think your lagoon has enough fish in it to feed an ally cat much less a healthy bird population. Everything is good here. Fat pelicans have developed a new way of fishing. We have thousands of docks and now there are at least 2 on every dock. When fish swim by they dive in.Its simple and uses little energy. Blue herons that are totally selfish now show total unselfishness in careing for their young. I will head to where ACID caused fish kill tomarrow

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