Become a Facebook fan and join our online community!

Find us on Facebook


Check out the latest Friends Matter Summer newsletter.

Updated 2020 Beach-nesting Bird brochure

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission new brochure

“Share the Beach with Beach-Nesting Birds” brochure is ready to download.

Click on the photo or link to download to your device. Please share with others. 





Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) News

The refuge biologist, Joyce Kleen, visited Passage Key NWR on June 24 and found 150 White Ibis nests and about 400 pairs of Laughing Gulls nesting there! She counted at least 50 Ibis chicks on the nests. We have not had significant nesting on Passage for many years so this is wonderful news. She is thinking that they had been disturbed on Egmont and renested on Passage.

Egmont Key didn’t do as well as Passage Key during TS Cristobal. The high tides wiped out the Black Skimmer colony on the north end. Good news is they are renesting. Terns and gulls are doing well since they nest higher on the beach.

American Oystercatcher AMOY

Egmont also has triplet American Oystercatcher chicks. Cute little fellas.

As you heard in the last update, the storm also washed out about 50% of the 24 sea turtle nests and washed over many of the rest. Wash over nests may or may not hatch, time will tell. As of yesterday there are now 29 more nests bring the total of viable nests to 46! Looks like we should be in line for another great nesting season!

Stay safe!

USFWS has approved Friends group participation in very limited volunteer activities for mission critical programs (keeping the wildlife they are mandated to protect monitored and safe).  This would include bird stewards and bird surveys.  The number of volunteers will be kept to a bare minimum with safety precautions being taken seriously. 

Bird Stewards

Bird Stewards will be on duty on Egmont Key NWR this summer as well as Pinellas NWR bird surveys resuming with very limited people on the boat and social distancing.    

We are thrilled that FWS is allowing this vital effort to protect our nesting and resting birds to proceed. 

Sea Turtle Nesting

Sea Turtle Nesting on Egmont Key began in May with 15 nests so far. USFWS and State Park managers have been making the rounds daily to log each nest.

Hope you are taking safety precautions if you are venturing outside.  There’s no such thing as being too careful with your precautions. 

Barb Howard

Friends of the Tampa Bay NWR
PO Box 40782
St Petersburg, FL 33743-0782

THANKS to Hubbard’s Marina!



One of the big challenges facing Friends in accessing Egmont Key for our volunteer work is transportation to and from the island. Hubbard’s Marina has been our savior since our founding by providing transportation, free of charge, to our volunteers working on the island.
We are so thankful to partner with them and for the protection they have provided to Egmont Key. Thank you, you are good FRIENDS!






Read the latest edition of the Friends Matter newsletter.


Adopt a Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nest in 2020

Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge Sea Turtle Survival Program

Why Should I Adopt a Nest ?

Beach erosion and sea level rise create constant threats to nesting habitats, sea turtle nests need to be protected and monitored. By adopting a nest, you support Friends of TBWR’s educational programs.
For more info, visit our Adopt a Sea Turtle Nest page

Visit What’s Happening page to find out Friends’ latest activities.

Don’t forget to support the Friends of Tampa Bay NWR when you shop at AmazonSmile!

Give to TBNWR.

For other events visit What’s Happening page. If you’d like to volunteer to help on any bird surveys, in the Guardhouse as a docent, or at the festivals please contact Barb or 727-343-1272.

Mission Statement

Friends of the Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges promote conservation, awareness, and appreciation of the Refuge Complex and provide assistance to the mission and programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
In Tampa Bay, we are fortunate to have three National Wildlife Refuges: Egmont Key, Passage Key, and the Pinellas Refuges. The Refuges’ natural areas provide prime habitat for migratory and beach nesting birds to safely “nest and rest” free from human interference. At Egmont Key, increasing numbers of sea turtles also find suitable and secure habitat for laying their eggs each breeding season, and a large and growing population of gopher tortoises safely move about the island, constructing burrows that protect them and many other species during severe storms.
As Friends of the Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges, we:
  • Encourage membership through opportunities that support the efforts of the Fish and Wildlife Service at the Tampa Bay Refuges.
  • Raise money to fund conservation, preservation, and educational projects in support of the Tampa Bay Refuges and the National Refuge System.
  • Provide environmental education programs to elementary age students that takes them out of the classroom and into the school yard where they learn to relate conservation and sustainability concepts to their daily environment.
  • Sponsor periodic Refuge clean-ups of exotic plants, debris, and mono-filament that are damaging to wildlife and habitat.
  • Offer public educational programs on conservation and preservation topics, the Tampa Bay Refuges, and the national Refuge System.
  • Provide bird stewards at Egmont Key who monitor secured areas and ensure that birds can safely nest and rest during periods of high boater visitation to the island.
  • Survey nesting and resting birds at the Pinellas Refuges each month to measure changes in population and evaluate effectiveness of conservation programs.