Critical Wildlife Area signs go up in Brevard County
Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: http://bit.ly/2E6Ehm2
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has installed in-water markers around two Critical Wildlife Areas in Brevard County. Stick Marsh CWA and BC49 CWA have new signs alerting boaters to the status of these islands.
“These CWAs are a strategic conservation tool for many of Florida’s imperiled bird species,” said Michelle van Deventer, CWA coordinator for the FWC.
These CWAs support significant numbers of nesting birds, including brown pelicans, great blue herons and great egrets, as well as state-threatened roseate spoonbills and tricolored herons, and federally-listed wood storks.
The locations of these CWAs are:
- Stick Marsh CWA – Two tree islands in the St. John’s Water Management Area’s Stick Marsh/Farm 13 Reservoir in Fellsmere, west of Vero Beach. Hundreds of state-imperiled roseate spoonbills and tricolored herons join snowy and great egrets to nest from Jan. 1 to July 31 each year.
- BC49 CWA – This CWA, in the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserve near Grant, supports large numbers of nesting birds from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, including federally-listed wood storks, and state-imperiled roseate spoonbills and tricolored herons.
The posting of these CWAs is a continuation of an unprecedented conservation effort by the FWC to protect vulnerable wildlife species in the state. In November 2016, the Commission approved a proposal to designate 13 new CWAs and improve five existing CWAs. Prior to the approval, FWC staff held public workshops across the state to gather feedback and improve proposals. CWAs play an integral part in the protection of sensitive wildlife by minimizing human disturbances that can disrupt critical life activities such as breeding, feeding and migration.
Markers are installed around the CWAs at distances ranging from approximately 25 to 50 feet from emergent lands. Vessels and fishing are prohibited within posted areas. A violation would constitute a second-degree misdemeanor. FWC staff will be working closely with partners to ensure educational material regarding the locations and regulations for each new CWA are readily available.
To learn more about Florida’s CWAs, visit MyFWC.com/CWA