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Mission and History

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The Florida Shorebird Alliance (FSA) is a statewide partnership of government and non-government organizations committed to advancing shorebird and seabird conservation in Florida through coordinated and collaborative work that helps identify and address important needs with regard to research, management, education, outreach, and public policy.

Because the FSA is a partnership organization, it accommodates a wide range of views on the best strategies to conserve shorebirds and seabirds. However, all partners share the same overall vision of establishing areas where seabird and shorebird populations are viable and managed in balance with human activities.

History

Protecting shorebirds and seabirds in Florida is no small task. Although the coastline stretches nearly 1200 statute miles, 13 million people live on or near the coast and another 50 million people visit the beaches annually on vacation. As a result, Florida’s shorebirds and seabirds have few places left to go due to widespread coastal development (See what Florida will look like in 2060, when the population is expected to double). Native coastal habitat is now largely confined to public lands where conservation is a higher priority, but not the only one. Even within these remnants, shorebirds and seabirds must regularly contend with several other human-related problems (e.g. pollution, pets, foot traffic).

Realizing that the conservation and management of these species is beyond the reach of any one agency or organization, various local and regional partnerships have been created in an effort to make the most of available resources. The partnerships are comprised of individuals and groups from the public, the private sector, and a wide range of government agencies. In general, partnerships meet on a regular basis to coordinate monitoring and management efforts to ensure important sites within their respective areas are adequately protected (Learn more about our partners).

Apart from participating in statewide surveys (e.g. Florida Snowy Plover Survey) and contributing data to FWC's beach-nesting bird database, the different partnerships largely operated independently prior to the formation of FSA in 2009. By linking these partnerships and forming a statewide network, the purpose of FSA is to facilitate increased information exchange (i.e. sharing experiences and ideas), better coordination of effort, and more consistency in monitoring and management at a statewide scale.



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