Port Orange, FL- A public workshop is being hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to share information and get public input on designating a new Critical Wildlife Area in Port Orange. Melissa Tucker, from the FWC Species Conservation Section, said the Port Orange Colony has been monitored since 1997. There are six species there and three of them, the brown pelican, the little blue heron and the tri-color heron, are state-listed species.
Tucker said since 2011, there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of brown pelican nests counted, with numbers falling from 550 to 160 in 2015. She said they are trying to determine what led to the decrease.
Information gathered at the workshop will be used to make the determination of whether the FWC needs to limit access to the area. Tucker said they are hoping to hear from everyone that might use the area. That includes boaters, anglers and bird lovers.
Port Orange Colony is an island in the Halifax River which is less than 200 feet from a boat ramp and is therefore subject to considerable traffic. FWC staff are proposing to limit public access to the island year-round and provide an in-water buffer that ranges from 25 to 200 feet to provide separation from the heavy boat traffic.
The Tuesday workshop for the Port Orange Colony is from 6:30 P.M. until 8:30 P.M.at the Piggotte Community Center at 504 Big Tree Road in Daytona Beach.
(Photos courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)
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