2019/20 Programs

You're invited to attend!

Due to renovations occurring within city buildings, SPAS will not be holding our 2019-20 meetings at The Sunshine Center.

Our new venue will be right next door at The St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club.



  • SPAS meetings are held at The St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club , 559 Mirror Lake Dr. N. | St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
  • Meeting are held the 3rd Tuesday of the month,
  • Meet and greet begins at 6:30 p.m., programs begin at 7 pm.
  • Free parking is available on south side of the building
  • SPAS programs are free and open to the public.

2019/20 Program Schedule

September 17

Sandy Reed, Tampa Audubon : Waterbird Entanglement Prevention

Upon a birding trip to view Razorbills at the Sunshine Skyway Pier, Sandy Reed had a stunning revelation. She first witnessed Brown Pelicans entangled in fishing line - a sight she found impossible to unsee. According to FWC, entanglement in fishing line is the leading cause of death for Brown Pelicans. At the suggestion of Ann Paul, Audubon Florida's Coastal Island Sanctuaries, Sandy initiated the Bird Protection Committee as a collaborative effort of individuals and organizations to brainstorm means to reduce injuries and mortality to birds from fishing line. Some of the answers are amazingly simple and effective, however finding solutions is similar to pulling a thread on a sweater. A "mis"quote of John Muir describes our pelican journey well: “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

October 22

Shelley Vickery, Birds in Helping Hands : Wild Life of a Rehabber

Birds in Helping Hands is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator located in Seminole, Florida, providing wildlife care in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando counties. They work closely with local sheriff and police departments, Florida State Parks, the SPCA, hotels, marinas, veterinarians, tree trimmers, residents, and visitors to capture injured and orphaned wildlife, and provide them with professional, around-the-clock care before releasing them back into nature. Their focus is education through awareness.

Shelley Vickery will speak about the history of the organization, the species that receive their care, and how you can help!

November 19

Alyssa Vinson, UF/IFAS Manatee County: Common Invasive Plants of Southwest Florida

Alyssa will describe the most common invasive plant species of southwest Florida. She will also discuss native alternatives for landscapes and the management..

The program will be led by Alyssa Vinson, the Residential Horticulture Agent for the UF/IFAS Manatee County Extension. She holds an M.Sc. in Ecological Restoration from the University of Florida and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida. She has worked in education and the environment for more than ten years. Her current passions include gardening with her four year old daughter and learning more about the intricate ecology of soils.

December 17

Peter Clark, Tampa Bay Watch : Tampa Bay Watch Program

Peter Clark is the founder and President of Tampa Bay Watch, a non-profit environmental stewardship program established in 1993 to restore and protect the Tampa Bay estuary. Tampa Bay Watch relies on the efforts of community volunteers - individuals of all ages who participate in projects such as salt marsh plantings, oyster bar creation, and coastal cleanups, demonstrating environmental stewardship in its purest form.

In addition to the volunteer habitat restoration projects, Tampa Bay Watch has a large-scale environmental education program entitled "Estuary EDventures" in which students K-12 throughout Tampa Bay visit the Tampa Bay Watch Marine Center for hands-on educational experiences. Tampa Bay Watch is currently in the design and construction phase of the Discovery Center on the new St. Petersburg Pier.

January 21

Jim McGinity : Where O’ Where Can the Songbirds Go?

Migratory Bird Banding Project in West Central Florida: What challenges do migratory songbirds face on their biannual migrations north and south each year? Come learn about migration from the perspective of one of our favorite groups of birds: warblers, tanagers and other Passerines. This program will review the findings of the 8-year study of the migratory birds in Hammock Park, Dunedin, discuss the future of the project, and end with a visual and auditory “songbird quiz” to close out the program.

Jim McGinity is a biologist and environmental educator with a life-long passion for birds. He started bird watching at the age of seven and has shared his love of birds with people of all ages while working at nature/environmental centers in four different states (Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida) over the past 30 years. Jim McGinity is a long-time educator, bird watcher and master bird bander who has run migratory bird banding stations in Wisconsin and Florida. He is very interested in collaborating with local Audubon chapters, researchers, and banders around the state of Florida to contribute to our knowledge of neotropical migrants and how we can conserve them for future generations.

February 18

Rebecca Ruthberg, MS student USF: Shorebird Distribution and Red Tide

As part of her MS thesis, Rebecca Ruthberg conducted nonbreeding shorebird surveys at Anclote Park, Clearwater Beach, Indian Shores Beach, and Ft. De Soto's north beach during the red tide outbreak from September - November 2018. The federally-threatened Red Knot were of a special interest not only because of their protection status, but also because they are particularly sensitive to the toxins. Using her own distribution data of nonbreeding shorebird species, Red Knot mortality data collected from local rehabbers, and the fish kill data collected from public waste services on Pinellas County beaches, she aims to represent the severity of the outbreak through her research .

March 17

Alli Smith, Audubon of the Western Everglades: Owl Watch Program

Audubon Owl Watch Program

April 21

Season Wrap-up . Dinner, followed by a night hike at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. Details TBA.

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