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


Pelican Nesting islands behind Dolphin View hazarded by proposed development.


A proposal to purchase and develop the city of NSB property on the North Causeway where city offices and the Marine Discovery Center were, and from which the MDC runs its eco tour pontoon boat cruises, was made by the owner of the adjacent marina.  His proposed development would include, among other things like hotel, restaurant and store,  a long boardwalk, open to the public as well as  lots of boat slips going parellel to shore in both easterly and westerly directions, and included spurs that went straight to the roosting/nesting mangrove islands behind the Dolphin View Restaurant.

It was discussed by the City Commission on September 6th.

Prior to the meeting, I sent an email to the city commissioners addressing the issue of the extensions that went to the mangrove islands.  I pointed out that we and our colleagues had been surveying those islands for nesting Brown Pelicans for about ten years and we have found upwards of 100 nests per year with one to two chicks per nest, along with the many other species nesting there that we did not survey.  I stated that the proximity of the docks and slips to the islands had a high potential for disturbing the nests because people would cause them to flush by throwing sticks and rocks and making noises, and the boardwalks would provide an easy path to the nest for predatory animals such as feral cats and raccoons.

I spoke at the City Comission meeting and expressed those concerns and, like in the email, asked the commissioners to reject the extensions going to the islands.

When I sat down, the lawyer for the developer showed me a map and pointed to the extensions and asked me if they were the ones I was concerned with.  I said "yes" and he conferred with the developer.

During his presentation to the attorney said that removal of those extensions tot he islands could be eliminated without problems.  After the meeting, he introduced me to the developer who was very gracious and did not realize the potential impact on the birds on the islands.  He was fine with removing the extensions.