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What’s Happening

Upcoming Events (Talks, Field trips, and Volunteer opportunities)

Ales & Wild Tails Talk (from Sept. to April) at 6 p.m.

October 10th Talk Rescheduled to October 17th

Speaker: Dr. Gabe Vargo Talk on Red Tide

Please join us on October 17th as the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges team up with The Ale and the Witch to bring you environmental education, conversation and beer!

We’ll be in the plaza, and this month’s event will feature a presentation by red tide scientist Dr. Gabe Vargo. Gabe will provide an overview of our local red tide organism, Karenia brevis, including a summary of bloom characteristics, human and wildlife impacts, toxins and their fates, nutrient sources and bloom requirements, and the question of the use of clays and/or ozone as control mechanisms.

This event is free, and the beer is affordable and delicious (check out the Ale and the Witch’s website:


Future programs

  • Nov. 14  – Climate Change, David Hastings, Eckerd College

  • Dec. 12 – The Big Turtle Year, George Heinrich, Heinrich Ecological Services

Weedon Island Adventure

October 18, 2018, Thur., 9 a.m. – Noon

Join Friends as we tour Weedon Island, a Pinellas County Preserve, right in our own backyard.  We plan to meet at Weedon Island Visitor Center parking lot at 9:00 a.m.  We will explore the boardwalk through the mangroves, the tower, and check out the visitor center displays and wonderful ancient Native American canoe. We can meet up for lunch afterwards at nearby Crab Shack Restaurant on Gandy Blvd, St Pete.

Trip fee $8 members and  $23  for non-Friends members including membership)

Hope you can join us, please rsvp to this email.Questions, contact Barb Howard 727 512-4914

More Educational and Fun Events

  • Oct. 20 – Marine Quest in St. Petersburg – See some amazing educational displays and a yearly glance to see the inner workings of FWRI.

  • Oct. 25-28 – CANCELLED – Due to damage by Hurricane Michael. Friends is cancelling their trip to the Monarch Festival at St Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Oct. 25 – Garage Sale in St. Petersburg.
  • Nov. 3 & 4 – Discover the Island at Egmont Key

  • Dec. 8 – Holiday Hoopla in Gulfport



Tampa History Museum

A History of Conservation: The Bird’s Eye View – Sat. Jan. 5, 2019

Don’t forget to sign up for the trip to Tampa History Center on Jan. 5, 2019, Saturday.  The special exhibit, created by Audubon’s Coastal Island Sanctuaries and many collaboration organizations and agencies, is “A History of Conservation: The Bird’s Eye View”.  We will eat lunch at the Colombia Restaurant in the History Center.  This is a wonderful exhibit not to be missed.  Friends of Tampa Bay NWR will be joined by Friends of Crystal River NWR for this trip.  Great opportunity to get acquainted the folks in the northern part of our refuge complex.

Trip fee $15 includes entry to the History Center. (Non-Friends members trip fee $30, includes membership).




Fakahatchee Swamp Walk – Feb. 21-24, 2019

Ten Thousand Islands NWR boat trip, and Everglades tram tour.  This event is full but if you are interested, please let me know and I’ll put you on the waiting list.  Also let me know if you are interested but don’t want to take the swamp walk.

Help Wanted Volunteer opportunities

Pinellas Refuge Bird Surveys

Sign up early, these fill fast!

  • Oct. 21 (1 spot left)
  • Nov. 19, Monday

To volunteer, contact Barb Howard at or call her at 727-343-1272.

Friends has volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Please check out the upcoming events and dates and let us know if you’d like to help. No experience needed, we will train you if you are new to one of our volunteer activities.

Volunteer Opportunities: Egmont Key Guardhouse Education Center Docents and Bird Stewards

Egmont Key Docents & Bird Stewards:

  • Holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
  • Docents needed for summer (in the AC) at the Egmont Key Guardhouse – watch email for doodle poll to sign up or call Barb 727 512-4914 if you have dates in mind to pre-book.
  • Aug. – Labor Day – Bird Stewards needed for summer weekends and holidays
  • Sign up here!
  • Or email  Training provided if you haven’t done this before.  Docent transportation to Egmont compliments of Hubbard’s Marina at no charge from Fort DeSoto.  Hours at Guardhouse approx 10:45 – 2:15 on the 10am ferry.  Reservation for your trip will be made by Docent Coordinator.

Ales & Wild Tails educational programs 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6 pm – 111 2nd Ave NE, St Petersburg in the courtyard at the Ale & the Witch.  No reservation needed.  Location or dates may change for July & August so watch for emails.

Pinellas Repairs, Cleanups & exotic control: To be determined, watch emails to sign up

To volunteer email or contact Barb 727-343-1272.

On Going Fund Raisers

  • Help Friends raise money by using the search engine  When the site asks “Who do you search for?”,  type Friends of Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges and click Verify. The site should respond with Friends of the Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges, St Petersburg, FL. For each search you make through Goodsearch, 1 cent is credited to Friends.  If you shop online, follow the shop link at Goodsearch to your favorite stores and a portion of your purchase price will be donated to Friends. Help support this painless and easy way to raise funds for us!
  • You can purchase high quality re-manufactured ink cartridges at our link Friends receive a 15% donation from you purchase.  We also raise funds by collecting and recycling ink cartridges. They can be brought to any meeting or event.
  • Shop at put Friends of Tampa Bay NWR in the company spot on your order form and Friends will receive a donation – shop now, this is for a limited time.

Board Meetings

Board/planning meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month at Brooklyn South, 1437 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33705. (map) Join us at 6 p.m. to socialize and have a bite to eat, the meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. If you would like to participate please send an email to