#27 ORAL PRESENTATION EFFORTS TO PROTECT THE MIAMI TIGER BEETLE AND ITS CRITICAL HABITAT THROUGH PRESERVATION ADVOCACY OF THE REMAINING PINE ROCKLANDS IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
Al Sunshine and Carmen Ferreiro, Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition, email@example.com,
The Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition (MPRC) was established in 2014 to preserve and protect through active engagement the remaining endangered pine rockland ecosystems in Miami-Dade County, and the marvelous plant, insect and animal biodiversity it embraces, for all present and future generations. Since inception MPRC has undertaken various activities to ensure the protection of pine rockland ecosystems, specifically the Richmond Pine Rocklands slated for commercial/recreational development and critical habitat for the Miami Tiger Beetle. MPRC is a co-petitioner for USFWS proposed listing and critical habitat designation for the Miami Tiger Beetle (Cicindelidia floridana). Recently, MPRC participated in Miami Tiger Beetle surveys on Richmond Pine Rocklands with Joe Maguire, Natural Areas Manager, Miami-Dade Parks. MPRC has procured several municipal resolutions urging the Pine Rocklands and Miami Tiger Beetle be preserved and not be developed for future generations, these include the City of Miami, City of South Miami, Village of Cutler Bay, and Village of Pinecrest. Earlier this year, MPRC submitted an application to Miami-Dade County so that 39.45 acres of the former US Coast Guard housing property (degraded but restorable pine rocklands) be considered for acquisition by the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (EEL). “Get to Know Florida’s Pine Rockland Critters” is an educational coloring book, in English and Spanish, produced and distributed by MPRC as a classroom resource for teaching pine rocklands conservation and restoration to grade school children. MPRC’s ongoing efforts include organizing community outreach events that include clean-up and habitat restoration of pine rocklands in Richmond, Goulds and Palmetto Bay, and outreach to elected officials and community leaders to support conservation of the remaining pine rocklands in South Florida. Conservation of the remaining Miami-Dade pine rocklands, restoration of degraded historical pine rocklands, and protection of the Miami Tiger Beetle and its critical habitat is the long-term objective of MPRC.