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The Florida Birding and Nature Festival extends a sincere thank you to our sponsors who have generously contributed financial aid and in-kind services. Without their support this Festival would not be possible.
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Hillsborough County - Conservation and Environmental Lands Management• hillsboroughcounty.org The Conservation and Environmental Lands Management Division manages more than 61,000 acres of environmentally sensitive wildlife habitat and corridors acquired through the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP).

Hillsborough County - Economic Development Department, Tourism Program The Tourism Development team supports Hillsborough County’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry through administrative support to the Tourist Development Council and strategic partnerships. Additionally, the team supports local historic preservation, heritage and ecotourism and related economic development.

The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship about our natural environment.

The Tampa Audubon Society (TAS) was established in the 1940's. Besides Tampa, TAS serves the Tampa Bay area including Brandon, Odessa, Riverview and Seffner. TAS is an active chapter whose mission is to conserve and restore our ecosystems, focusing on birds, wildlife, and their habitats, through education, advocacy, and community involvement.

Quest Ecology Inc. consists of a talented and experienced team of field ecologists and environmental professionals. Our nearly 20 years of experience in field data collection, permitting, resource management, and impact assessments ensures straightforward, reliable results to our clients.

Mosaic Company and The Mosaic Company Foundation The Mosaic Company is the world’s leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash, two essential crop nutrients. Driven by its mission to help the world grow the food it needs, Mosaic is committed to working toward improved global food security and protecting critical water resources. The Mosaic Company and The Mosaic Company Foundation make investments in and partner with best-of-class leaders in the focus areas of food, water and local community investments. More information about Mosaic is available at: www.mosaicco.com.

Visit Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County’s destination marketing partner, encourages adventurous travelers to unlock our trove of natural highlights. From sunlit bay waters to bird sanctuaries and biking trails we work with more than 750 partners to tell the world the story of our home – the outdoor, scenic heart of Florida’s Gulf coast.


Tampa Bay Times


Locally owned and operated since 1895, the Ferman Automotive Dealerships have been serving the transportation needs of the Tampa Bay area for generations.

As part of our Mission, we recognize our responsibility to good corporate citizenship and supporting the needs of our community. We are proud to support the 2016 Florida Birding and Nature Festival as the Automotive Sponsor, and recognize the value and ecological contribution made possible through this event.

Ferman dealerships are located throughout the Tampa Bay Area and represent these domestic and import brands – Acura, BMW, Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge Ford, GMC, Jeep, Mazda, MINI, Nissan and Volvo.

Sensing Nature provides fun, indoor environmental education programs, exciting youth field trips and Florida ecotour experiences statewide for conferences, vacationing travelers, family groups, environmental professionals, teachers, non-profit organizations, schools, scouts and youth nature clubs.


Barefoot Wine Values: There’s nothing more fun than making the world a better place for our friends. Over 25 years ago, we kicked off a tradition of supporting the causes we love when Randy Arnold joined the Barefoot team as one of the original Barefooters. Randy has always believed in the power of Barefoot to make the world a better place, and has helped us support our passions by partnering with non-profits across the nation. He’s been following his heart since day one and doesn’t plan on stopping. Neither do we.

Pepin Distrubting Company, together with brewers throughout America and a vast network of shippers, provide the most extensive and effective beer distribution system in the brewing industry.

Refrigerated warehouse and computer-based inventory systems make sure our Retailers and Customers get the freshest, highest-quality beer available anywhere.

When it comes to business leaders, customer service, and community support, Pepin Distributing Company is an industry benchmark. In its long history, Pepin has built a beverage empire that has experienced constant growth since its incorporation in 1963.

South Shore Signs is your local source for signs, banners, graphic design and printing.

Tampa Bay was designated an "estuary of national significance" by Congress in 1990, paving the way for development of a long-term blueprint for bay restoration through the Tampa Bay National Estuary Program. Tampa Bay is one of 28 estuaries in the National Estuary Program; others in Florida are Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor and Indian River Lagoon. The Tampa Bay National Estuary Program (TBNEP) was established in 1991 as a partnership of Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties; the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater; the Southwest Florida Water Management District; the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Recently Pasco County BOCC voted unanimously to join the Partnership.

TECO Energy is a leading energy company located in Tampa, traded on the New York Stock Exchange (TE) and part of the S&P 500 Index. TECO Energy is built on a foundation of more than 100 years of history. TECO Energy incorporates the strengths of three businesses and support services to work together as one united company. In the spirit of coming together, we have chosen to reinforce the values that unify our companies and support services under one common TECO Energy umbrella. TECO Energy believes that by agreeing on, practicing and reinforcing these values at all levels, they will become a stronger and more unified organization.


The Eagle Audubon Society is a charter member of the National Audubon Society and has been in existence for thirty-three years. Monthly meetings are held October through April with guest speakers addressing environmental issues and increasing members’ knowledge of birds, wildlife, insects and fish. Frequent field trips allow members to engage in birding activities as well as explore local areas of interest. Eagle Audubon Society supports and maintains Window-in-the-Woods, a tranquil nature sanctuary in Sun City Center. It is located along the Nature Trail loop around Freedom Plaza and Freedom Fairways Golf Course, on the edge of a 140-acre nature preserve, on a pond surrounded by cypress, oak and pine trees. The structure offers a deck and benches to observe the birds and wildlife at the five feeders and in the woods around it. The Eagle Audubon Society also grows and maintains a Butterfly Habitat at the Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center in Ruskin. This native plant garden provides many species of native butterflies the nectar and host plants they require.

Clearwater Audubon is dedicated to conserving our environment in Pinellas County. We are involved in four main projects: Project Colony Watch, Rooftop Nesting Least Terns, Bird Steward Program and the Eagle/Osprey Watch. Volunteers are needed for all the projects. You do not have to be a birder or member to get involved. Click on our icon to go to our website for more information.

Manatee County Audubon is a chapter of National Audubon Society with a mission is to promote the conservation and appreciation of birds and wildlife habitat. We accomplish this through maintaining critical habitat like the Felts Audubon Preserve, offering education programs for children and adults, leading advocacy efforts, and participating in land conservation projects. Our activities extend beyond Manatee County when we work with other organizations to accomplish a conservation purpose.

The mission of the Friends of the Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges is to promote conservation, awareness, and appreciation of the National Wildlife Refuges and to provide assistance to the mission and programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Managers with emphasis on the Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges (Egmont Key, Passage Key, and Pinellas Refuges). These Refuges were set aside for nesting and resting beach nesting birds, pelicans, and colonial wading birds. Friends volunteers provide bird surveys, refuge island cleanups, docents in the education center, bird stewards, field trips for K-5th graders, environmental programs, and member field trips.

The mission of Saint Petersburg Audubon is to protect and restore natural ecosystems important to birds and other wildlife through responsible activism and education.

Sarasota Audubon is a local chapter of the National Audubon Society, dedicated to the protection, conservation and enjoyment of birds, wildlife and the environment in sunny Sarasota, Florida. Our mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. We are dedicated to protecting nature and connecting with others using the combination of science, education, and the restoration of our local wildlife habitats.

The Sun City Center Audubon Society's mission is to promote an understanding of, and interest in, all wildlife and the environment that supports it; and to further the cause of conservation of natural resources.

Suncoast Native Plant Society, Inc. is the Florida Native Plant Society’s Hillsborough County chapter. The chapter was founded in 1983 and is one of the Society's oldest chapters. The chapter shares with its parent organization, The Florida Native Plant Society, an important mission: to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of Florida's native plants and native plant communities.

People from Florida know water. (We do live on a peninsula after all.) But it’s not just because we’re experts at the jellyfish shuffle, we also happen to know what good water should taste like. Which is why Zephyrhills® Brand Natural Spring Water is only sourced from carefully selected Florida springs.


Avian Research and Conservation Institute (ARCI) is a publicly supported nonprofit corporation [501(c)(3)] whose mission is to conduct rigorous research on vulnerable species of birds that will stimulate and inform effective conservation action. ARCI strictly limits its infrastructure, overhead, and administrative costs to devote funds directly to its objectives. Research in Florida, Georgia, Mexico, Belize, Brazil, and the Caribbean has focused on the nesting and wintering ecology, habitat selection, demography, migration, and conservation biology of Swallow-tailed Kites, Short-tailed Hawks, White-crowned Pigeons, Wood Storks, Snail Kites, Jabiru Storks, Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Reddish Egrets, Great White Herons, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Roseate Terns, and the avian communities of south Florida’s pinelands. In 2002, and again in 2014, ARCI received a Partners in Flight National Research Award for research and conservation planning for Swallow-tailed Kites; and In 2005, a National Wildlife Stewardship Award from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative for cooperative studies of Swallow-tailed Kites.

The Caribbean Conservation Trust, Inc. (CCT) is committed to the conservation of native and migratory birds and their habitats in the greater Caribbean region, specifically in Cuba and Puerto Rico, and including all islands within the Caribbean basin. The CCT’s regional scope includes the study of neo-tropical migrant bird species moving between North America and the greater Caribbean region, focusing on birds from the east and mid-west of the United States.

Crystal Springs Foundation is a 525-acre sanctuary devoted to environmental education and dedicated to the preservation of Florida's natural environment. Crystal Springs Preserve features a wealth of wilderness experiences for visitors. Featured within the preserve is Crystal Springs, a Magnitude 2 Spring System, discharging 30 million gallons of water per day. Our focus on instilling an appreciation for Florida's diverse habitats is evident in our unique environmental education programs. Our programs offer challenging, hands-on, directed learning opportunities for your group. Through our magnificent wildlife viewing opportunities, miles of wooded trails, river boardwalks, unique nature center, wilderness pavilion and extensive butterfly gardens, visitors are immersed in enriching experiences which enable them to make environmentally conscious decisions as they grow into the future.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. Founded in 1947, Defenders of Wildlife is a major national conservation organization focused solely on wildlife and habitat conservation and the safeguarding of biodiversity. We believe in the inherent value of wildlife and the natural world, and this singular focus defines our important niche in the environmental and conservation community and serves as the anchor for our organizational values.

The Global Owl Project is a long-term, worldwide project to advance foundational aspects of science and conservation for the world’s owls. Work under this project is focused on seven tasks:

  • Develop scientifically-robust survey & monitoring techniques for the world's owls
  • Analyze the molecular systematics and phylogeny of owls using basically mtDNA but also ncDNA
  • Acquire high-quality recordings of owl vocalizations, to assist in species identification & surveys
  • Compile original descriptions & photographs of extant & fossil owls, & an e-library of literature on the species
  • Refine maps of owl species distributions & conduct global owl diversity analyses
  • Assess Owls in Lore and Culture through interviews & literature
  • Distribute project information via internet pages, publications, and symposia to a very wide audience, including national and international biodiversity programs

Twenty-six of the 58 turtle species found in the United States also occur in Florida. They are represented in upland communities, such as scrub and sandhill, in rivers, lakes, swamps, and even coastal habitats, such as salt marsh, mangrove communities, and marine systems. Certainly, habitat diversity and species richness makes Florida a chelonian hotspot. Many species that occur in Florida are now in decline and in need of conservation attention. Conservation efforts on their behalf are also beneficial to the ecosystems in which they are found. The Florida Turtle Conservation Trust (FTCT) was formed in 1999 by a group of Florida biologists and conservationists concerned with the conservation outlook for Florida turtles. Our purpose is to promote the conservation of all Florida turtle species and the preservation of intact, free-ranging populations and their associated ecosystems throughout the state of Florida. The FTCT is committed to and supports education, conservation, research, and management efforts with the above goals in mind.

Heinrich Ecological Services was established in 2002 and offers the following professional services to a growing list of clients located throughout Florida and the southeastern United States:

  • Wildlife surveys and research with a focus on ecology and conservation
  • Natural history programming for diverse audiences, with special emphasis on training educators, habitat and resource managers, and naturalists
  • Nature-based tours of select Florida natural areas for individuals, organizations, and school groups

Heinrich Ecological Services is committed to providing our clients with a high-quality product at a fair cost. Whatever your needs, we are there to assist you with exploring the nature of Florida.

Tampa Bay Watch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs.

WaterVentures Florida's Learning Lab is a 53-foot1 traveling science center featuring enriching and engaging activities that offer a hands-on look at Florida's diverse watersheds, water conservation, and recycling. WaterVentures will provide experiential learning that will inspire critical thinking and empower students and citizens to make a difference in the world around them. The WaterVentures vehicle visits schools, fairs, festivals, and events all throughout Florida. Please visit www.waterventures.us for more information on scheduling this FREE educational resource.