Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;

January 2018 RCC Report

In early January Interim Executive Director Julie Wraithmell held a conference call with chapter leaders to summarize Audubon Florida’s focus for the 2018 legislative session.   Governor Scott recommended funding for conservation, but it is up to the legislature to determine the numbers.  Senator Bradley introduced SB 370 and SB 204, including $100 million to Florida Forever and $75 and $50 million, respectively for springs and the St Johns WMD.  No corresponding bills have been introduced in the House at this writing.


Water quality issues remain of high importance to AF and will be constantly monitored


Senate Bill 574 and House Bill 521 which would prohibit cities and counties from protecting trees with local tree ordinances are under close watch.


Members of the Central FL Regional Conservation Committee met on January 14 to discuss continuing efforts with local land advocacy and visits with legislators in their hometown offices.  Seminole Audubon Society is educating legislators by showing them conservation land which absorbed the flood waters from Hurricane Irma as nature intended vs. developed areas where homes and businesses were flooded following the storm because they were built on flood-prone properties.


Audubon Florida recently kicked off a new initiative “Parks, Not Paper Clips” which focuses on advocacy to ensure Amendment 1 dollars are used to purchase conservation land, not for administrative costs.


The most effective way that local chapter members can assist Audubon Florida is to subscribe to the weekly e-mail version of “The Advocate.”   This mailing is distributed during the legislative session and gives a running update on areas of interest to AF members.  It also provides information on how to engage with your local legislators on important issues.  If you aren’t already registered, please do so here.



Paula Wehr

CFL RCC Representative on AF Board of Directors