This year our conservation leaders, bird advocates, college students, ambassadors, volunteers, and scientists accomplished amazing things. Collectively, almost 150,000 of us took more than 600,000 online actions on behalf of birds. All of the accomplishments listed below come from the hard work and dedication of our members, chapters, volunteers and staff. We're very proud of what we have been able to accomplish together over the past 12 months.
Keep reading to see the most important ways that our flock worked together this year.
Audubon’s Gulf Restoration Plan Will Help Communities Recover from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
At the beginning of this year, Audubon announced its multi-layered vision and future work Gulf Restoration Plan to completely restore and rehabilitate the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Audubon’s Vision: Restoring the Gulf of Mexico for Birds and People highlights projects and programs critical to help this region of the country and its wildlife recover from the devasting oil spill and other environmental issues.
The plan recommends an investment of more than 1.7 billion dollars in restoration and conservation work, including 16-state-based projects, 10 region-wide projects, and four open ocean projects.
Audubon’s International Program Expands Into the Boreal Forest of Canada
This year Audubon took a step toward protecting the billions of birds that rely on the billion acres of northern forests, wetlands, lakes, and rivers that span from Alaska across Canada to Newfoundland by naming Dr. Jeff Wells as vice president of boreal conservation. Wells comes from the Boreal Songbird Initiative (BSI) and is a member of the International Boreal Conservation Campaign (IBCC), a collaboration of multiple organizations working on the shared goal of balancing strict protections and responsible development across the Boreal Forest. As the VP of Boreal Conservation, Wells launched a collaboration between Audubon and the IBCC to combine forces, deepen science capacities, and educate a broader array of people about the forest’s significance for birds. A major part of the effort will be to collaborate with Indigenous governments and communities that are advancing some of the largest land conservation proposals in modern history. Already in 2019, Audubon celebrated the Lutselk’e Dene First Nation’s successful protection in August of an area of over six million acres in the Northwest Territories called Thaidene Nene and the Canadian federal government’s commitment of $175 million in funding for new protected areas work. At least 27 Indigenous governments and communities in Canada received funding in 2019 to move forward new protected area proposals, an action that Audubon supported in 2019 through extensive communication and outreach efforts.
The Brewers for the Delaware River Association Provides a Clear Voice for Clean Water
Like birds, brewers depend on clean, reliable water to survive and thrive. Earlier this year, the National Audubon Society and Audubon Pennsylvania launched the Brewers for the Delaware River. The coalition of conservation-minded breweries support the protection of the Delaware River watershed as a reliable, clean water source that benefits the people, birds, and communities of the region. Earlier this year, twelve breweries in the Brewers for the Delaware River penned a joint letter to the 116th U.S. Congress that urged their elected officials to support small businesses and protect reliable, clean water for birds and people.
Audubon’s Migratory Bird Initiative Will Help Drive Conservation Where It’s Most Needed
This year, Audubon expanded the Migratory Bird Initiative. Using the latest research on distributions and movements of 520 species of migratory birds and their annual cycles in the Western Hemisphere, Audubon intends to use this information to identify the most important places for migratory birds. Additionally, the Migratory Bird Initiative will show how and where to focus Audubon’s conservation investments in order to protect, restore, and manage key habitats. We will partner with research and conservation organizations across the hemisphere, aggregate, consolidate and elevate the best-available migration science, inform policy advocacy at local, state, and federal levels, and strengthen connections among key stakeholders like government agencies and academic institutions.
The Audubon on Campus Program Gives Students The Reigns
In March, Audubon officially launched its Audubon on Campus program, and it now has 20 established chapters and more than 50 in the process of being certified or represented by a Campus Ambassador. This initiative provides educational, advocacy, networking, and career development opportunities in science and conservation to college and university campuses across the country. From campuses in Ventura County, California, to Holly Springs, Mississippi, young conservation leaders are taking action and cultivating their own paths in the environmental field. Some of the ways students in the Audubon on Campus program have engaged their communities include building native plant gardens, attending lobby days and advocating for polices that address climate change, and participate in community science projects like the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.