Audubon Florida News

President’s Notes: An Island View

posted on April 9, 2012 in President's Notes

Please enjoy this recent update from Audubon Florida executive director Eric Draper as he explores Bingham Island:

I was excited the other day to take Hillie Mahoney, Bob Merrill and Bob’s family on a boat and waking tour of Bingham Island, an Audubon Sanctuary located in Lake Worth immediately across from Hillie’s beautiful home.  Audubon holds a long-term lease on the island from the Bingham Family and is charged with maintaining it for its natural beauty and bird habitat value.

Our first sight on nearing the island was a dancing Reddish Egret.  Although it retreated to the treetops during the boat tour, Hillie told me that she has seen the bird many times.  Arriving at the island, part of which forms the causeway of the Southern Boulevard Bridge to Palm Beach, I could see why Hillie wanted her grandsons to see and explore the island.

After working our way through a well-worn cut through the island and noticing the oysters on the roots of the mangrove trees we pulled around to a sandy bank on the lagoon side.  Bob and his sons were quickly moving along a trail through the island while our captain and guide, Audubon biologist and sanctuary manager Ann Paul picked shore litter.

Lake Worth Lagoon in that area receives considerable discharge from the C-51 canal, which carries stormwater drainage and a lot of debris from as far away as the Everglades.

I was very excited to see the boys captivated with crabs on the island.  They seemed to sense that Bingham Island is indeed a special place, part of a very special water body – Lake Worth.

Hillie and Bob have taken a special interest in Audubon and have helped ensure that our Everglades science staff have safe boats to carry out their research duties.  Thank you!

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