Protecting Native Water Birds
The Alafia Bank Bird Sanctuary is one of Mosaic's longest standing environmental commitments in Florida. In the 1920s, the Alafia River was dredged to connect the river to the main shipping channel, during which two islands — Bird Island to the east, and Sunken Island to the west — were created off the shore of the Alafia River near the company's Riverview facility. Over the past 75 years, Mosaic and its predecessor companies have maintained a partnership with Audubon of Florida to create and maintain the largest water bird sanctuary in Florida, home to gulls, terns, skimmers, nesting herons, egrets, ibis, roseate spoonbills and brown pelicans, among other birds.
Through this partnership, Mosaic provides Audubon of Florida with financial support to employ a staff to maintain and monitor the Sanctuary's islands, home to 8,000 to 18,000 pairs of native water birds. Both organizations use the Sanctuary and the knowledge gained from the habitat to help the public understand the importance of the colonial water birds and the responsibility Mosaic has in protecting the birds and their environment.
Recently, the sanctuary was re-named in honor of the late Richard T. Paul, a dedicated Audubon manager and one of the original members of Mosaic's Citizen Advisory Panel. Throughout his life he passionately protected the islands and the wildlife associated with the sanctuary.
"The Richard T. Paul Boardwalk and Sanctuary is an irreplaceable habitat for colonial water birds," said Ann Hodgson, manager of the Sanctuary for Audubon of Florida. "We appreciate Mosaic's continued support in protecting the islands and admire the company's commitment to maintaining the environment and educating the public on the importance of Florida's ecosystems."
Three to five times a year during the annual migratory seasons in spring and fall, Mosaic invites local Audubon chapters in Florida to visit thousands of acres of the company's reclaimed lands to participate in private bird watching tours. During the day-long tours, the visitors from Audubon can enjoy the beauty of nearly 100 species of shorebirds and water birds in their secluded habitats.