Thursday, October 21, 2021


Least Tern Chick. Submitted photos

Least Tern Chick. Submitted photos

Two great opportunities for volunteering on the beaches of Collier and Lee County are upcoming: Shorebird Beach Steward and Rooftop Nesting Steward programs.

The Steward programs are in coordination with agencies that monitor shorebird nesting in Lee and Collier Counties: Florida Fish & Wildlife, Audubon, City of Marco Island, Collier County and Rookery Bay NERR.

Volunteers are needed to assist in educational outreach and monitoring of shorebird nesting in our area. Lee and Collier County have combined their efforts for training.

Last year’s Collier County Beach Steward program was very successful. We are hoping to continue this success in



Lee County and also incorporate rooftop monitoring in both counties.

Nesting shorebirds occur between April through August each year for the following species: Snowy Plovers, Wilson Plovers, Least Terns and Black Skimmers. Last year in Collier County, no Snowy Plovers were observed and Black Skimmers were in high numbers and nesting only on Marco Island. Wilson Plovers and Least Skimmers were in good numbers also.

Over the past years, roof top nesting has been documented at Coastland Mall, Gulf Coast High school, numerous Publix stores, Naples Daily News and the South County Water Reclamation Plant. These colonies need to be monitored for



chick mortality and numbers in the colonies.

New stewards and alumni stewards will benefit from the following training:


Saturday, April 30, 9 AM at Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park. At the Pavilion, Parking Lot 5


Saturday, May 14, 11 AM, Veterans Park Community Center, 1895 Veterans Park Drive, Naples.

If you are interested in being a Shorebird Steward, sign up for training or have additional questions, please contact: Nancy Richie, Environmental Specialist, City of Marco Island, or 239-389-5003 or Brad Cornell, SW FL Policy Associate, Audubon, or 239-280-6278.


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