Audubon is saddened to learn of the death of longtime Audubon leader Edward H. Harte. Inspired by a birding trip to Corpus Christi, the avid conservationist joined Audubon’s board in 1964 and served for a total of 13 years, including five years as chair, over the next three decades. In 2002 he was awarded Audubon’s highest honor, the Audubon Medal, in recognition of his conservation vision and leadership. His son Christopher has also served as a member of Audubon’s board of directors.
“Ed’s clear-eyed commitment to public service shines through his remarkable legacy of conservation achievements,” said David Yarnold, Audubon’s President and CEO.
Harte’s environmental legacy includes farmland conservation, which he advanced as a board member of American Farmland Trust. He helped ensure the protection of Big Bend and the Padre Island National Seashore and other vital natural places. He also established the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, dedicated to creation of an ecologically and economically sustainable Gulf.
“Ed was wise, dedicated, loyal, and generous. Everyone who knew him loved him,” said John Flicker, former Audubon President & CEO. “Audubon never had a better friend.”
“Parents obviously influence the interests the children pursue as adults,” Harte said in an interview for Audubon’s annual report in 2003. “In our family, we share a love of birds, animals, anything wild—whether it is on the family ranch in Texas or on the Maine coast. We also share the belief that being involved in a cause is the way you should live your life.”