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President's Message - July 2023

Life on earth, here!

I think about that a lot – as a human living in Florida, as a person living on Earth, and now, as I write a short note for the Tampa Audubon Newsletter, The Avocet.

Years ago, a highlight to my week was watching David Attenborough’s excellent television series, Life on Earth, on PBS. The amazing videos of special places were the focus of the program. Programs like these have continued to delight me, all these years later. I was a child whose teaching included the words “Brighten the corner where you are.”

Today, these two ideas have merged to lead me to help protect the habitats throughout the United States and Florida. I do this through my small, but regular, financial support of conservation organizations, as Florida Ornithological Society president and by working with organizations that are state-focused. I also do this in Hillsborough County through long-term committee work with the Agency of Bay Management and Hillsborough County’s Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program, and in the Tampa area as president of the Tampa Audubon Society and the Florida Birding and Nature Festival.

This work gives me a lot of joy and a sense of purpose, as I have retired from my career as a biologist for Audubon Florida. I know I can’t save the world alone, but I think that this focus is critical as our world is saved acre-by-acre, habitat-by-habitat and species-by-species.

A healthy environment is critical for our wildlife to survive, raise their young, migrate to summer nesting and winter foraging habitats, and carry on their life histories as designed by eons of evolution. Place-based action protects the habitats needed by birds and wildlife, but also the special places that provide the clean air and water we need for ourselves and our children and grandchildren. These special places also provide a refuge for me and other society-stressed humans. They reduce our anxiety and day-to-day concerns by offering us places to walk in the woods, kayak along a river, and ride a boat on the bay.

Thank you for helping to protect our Life on Earth, here, in Florida and in your own neighborhoods, by your membership and participation in the Tampa Audubon Society! I truly believe that working together, we do make a difference for Life On Earth, here!


Ann Paul, President

Tampa Audubon Society


Living in Texas years ago, I always remember a quote from the Port Aransas mayor, who said, “I don’t see what the big deal is about Whooping Cranes. We’ve got plenty of them around here.” Saving them there is just the point.


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