The Open House will happen as scheduled on Friday October 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The "rain date" is Saturday October 14.
Visitors can climb to the Light Station and walk around the building. They cannot climb up to the light.
The trail to the beach, on the back side of the island, was destroyed by the hurricane. Refuge staff are working to build a new trail. It is unlikely that the new trail will be ready in time for the Open House.
Nevertheless, it is a lovely boat ride out to the island and a delightful way to spend a day on the Cedar Keys Refuge. There will probably be only one more Open House this year, in December.
Visitors can arrive at the island in their personal boats or pay for a shuttle service from the dock in Cedar Key. The shuttle is a good way to help the tour operators in their hurricane recovery.
It is important for visitors to note that Seahorse Key is an island almost 3 miles from Cedar Key. Access is only by boat. There are no amenities, such as food or water on the island. Restroom facilities are limited.
Should there be a medical or other emergency requiring professional assistance or evacuation, response times could be lengthy.
Please plan with this in mind. Seahorse Key is wonderful, but it is not a walk in the proverbial park.
Hurricane Idalia, step aside. Cedar Key is holding its Seafood Festival despite you!
That means, Friends members have an opportunity to come out and help introduce all those Cedar Key visitors to our Refuges in their post-Idalia versions.
We look forward to meeting Cedar Key visitors and introducing people to the Refuges. See you in the Park at the Festival. Here is our schedule:
In 2022, Friends provided funding to help sponsor our second Swallow-tailed Kite as part of the research by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute. She has just download data about her migration path.
Dr. Gina Kent, Senior Research Conservationist at the Institute, sends word that Suwannee 22 stayed on the Lower Suwannee NWR for her entire pre-migration. She started south through Florida on 28 July. She left Florida from Cape Sable on 31 July, crossing the Florida Keys and skirted around Cuba to the Yucatan north of Cancun, which was about two days over water. She rested and fed in Quintana Roo for 8 days before continuing overland through Central America. She has moved quickly through South America and is already in the State of Rondonia, Brazil.
Larry Woodward, our former assistant refuge manager, and Travis Thomas, who served on the Friends board for several years and is a biologist with the Nature Coast Biological Station, both have speaking parts in this episode of the PBS series America Outdoors about the Suwannee river. Both did a fantastic job!
The Vista site was presented as a candidate for one of this year's UF Landscape Architecture undergraduate student's Capstone projects. Students work on real-world problems over the entire senior year to complete their Capstone. We are excited about the learning opportunity the Vista site presents and look forward to advancing some of our visions for it in the process.
Links to past year's Capstone projects are available on the UF Landscape Architecture website.