A Message From Our President
Happy New Year
January is a time when we reflect on our choices of the past and make promises for future change. Usually those promises are personal in nature; get more sleep, lose weight, exercise more. As you consider your plan, incorporate a change that is other-related. Did you know that each day in the United States, people throw away as many as 390 million plastic straws? Made from petroleum, the straws are not biodegradable and harm our precious marine wildlife when they end up on the beaches and in the ocean.

Kudos to the city of St. Petersburg, Florida, which last week banned the use of plastic straws city-wide. Take a stand and “skip the straw”. Carry your own paper straw or other reusable form. Another suggestion is to quit the single use bottles (water especially) and switch to a reusable container. On December 19, the EU signed a provisional agreement to ban 10 major single-use plastic products (i.e. cutlery, plates, straws, takeout containers, cups and drink containers). One small step by the global human creates a giant step towards environmental protection. Together we do make a difference.
Wishing you and yours peace, health, and happiness,
Terry Bledsoe, President
Thank you for your continued dedication to our organization.
Plants of Canaveral National Seashore
By Don Spence and Friends of Canaveral
Free with a $100 Sea Turtle Membership for 2019
This beautiful guide contains photos and plant descriptions of approximately 180 species of algae, vascular plants, and ferns. There are also descriptions of the plant communities in the Seashore.
If you would like to become a member, renew your membership, or purchase a gift membership for a friend or family member click the button below:
If you have any questions about the renewal process, please don’t hesitate to contact our membership director, John W. Peel, at 386-423-8275 or  friendsofcanaveral@gmail.com . As always, we thank you for your continued dedication to our cause. We look forward to serving you for another year!
Did You Know?
Congress created Canaveral National Seashore in 1975. The park includes 58,000 acres of barrier island, open lagoon, coastal hammock, pine flat woods and 24 miles of undeveloped beach.
Final Sea Turtle Nesting Numbers
2018 Final Count = 4,535
2017 Final Count = 12,272
Eldora Ghost Town
Founded in 1877 in what today is a part of Apollo Beach (Canaveral National Seashore) south of New Smyrna Beach, Eldora was named after two of its pioneer residents, sisters Ellen and Dora Pitzer. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Mosquito Lagoon, the town was in the heart of the water route that took many settlers south. It thrived in the roadless era.
Indian River Lagoon - Phillip's Natural World

Nature photography by plant ecologist and natural history blogger, Phillip Lott

Read more
Wading among rattlesnakes, mosquitoes, and the sharp-edged leaves of dense-growing saw palmetto to bring in the annual September harvest of berries was dirty, hot, dangerous labor. The men in this photo, taken near the drying yards north of Eldora, wear heavy woolen clothing to protect them from the harsh environment of their work.
  • JAN 9 - Public interaction with the shore: Run outs, swift currents, rips with Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue

  • JAN 16 - Nesting Sea Turtles in NSB with NSB turtle Trackers

  • JAN 23 - Canaveral National Seashore
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Accessible Areas During Shutdown
Some Canaveral National Seashore Areas are accessible such as Seminole Rest Historic Site, some areas in Mosquito Lagoon and the Apollo Boat Ramp; however access may change without notice, there are no NPS-provided services. Gates to the seashore are closed.

Roseate Spoonbills 
In the 1860s, spoonbills were virtually eliminated from the United States as a side-effect of the destruction of wader colonies by plume hunters to be made into hats & fans. They are still vulnerable to degradation of feeding and nesting habitats.

The roseate spoonbill is protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act and as a State-designated Threatened species by Florida's Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.
The Roseate Spoonbills get their name because of their hue (rose-colored) and the shape of their beak – it is long and rounded at the end, similar to a soup ladle that helps them scoop up their food. Sometimes the birds are bright pink and others are a lighter shade of pink. Their pink color is a result of eating crustaceans that have fed on algae.

An original painting by John Peel
A group of roseate spoonbills are collectively known as a "bowl" of spoonbills.
  • Forages by wading in shallow muddy water, sweeping bill from side to side with mandibles slightly open, detecting prey by feel. Sometimes picks up items that it has found by sight.
  • Small fish, aquatic invertebrates. Diet is mostly small fish such as minnows and killifish, also shrimp, crayfish, crabs, aquatic insects (especially beetles), mollusks, slugs. Eats some plant material, including roots and stems of sedges.
  • Breeds mainly during winter in Florida, during spring in Texas. Nests in colonies. They are serially monogamous, keeping the same mate for an entire breeding season, but not for life. Courtship displays include ritualized exchanges of nest material, dancing, and bill clapping.