Beach Stewardship Program

Black Skimmer and Chick - Venice Area Audubon Society
Photo by Missy L. Christie
Black Skimmer and Chick.

Venice Area Audubon Society (FL) members volunteered through the Charlotte County Shorebird Steward Program to meet with people on the beach and provide education about beach nesting birds and how to help promote successful nesting. Stewards were stationed near nesting bird sites with spotting scopes and binoculars where nesting activity can be observed without causing a disturbance. They distributed literature and provided information on nesting behaviors, how various disruptions impact nesting success, and ways to reduce disruptions. The steward program continues to reach a targeted audience; vacationers, beachgoers and beach-front property owners. Most people are grateful to learn of the unknown treasure on their beach and alter their behaviors. Some of these same people have become stewards. During the 2009 season, a solitary pair of black skimmers nested for the first time in the area.  Ongoing success of snowy plovers producing fledglings has also been documented.