Audubon’s Water initiative will focus on landscapes where both water quantity and water quality are paramount to birds’ survival. Affecting public water policies is one key aspect of our work, but policy alone won’t be enough to address these challenging issues. Audubon and its partners will engage the public on water-management and water-quality issues; restore habitats along rivers, wetlands, and deltas; and explore market based solutions that contribute to the achievement of our water goals.

Theory of Change

Audubon will focus its technical and policy expertise and bring our network to bear to influence water-management decisions; these should balance the needs of birds, people, and economies in targeted rivers, lakes, and deltas across the United States. By directing our resources and involving our technical experts and network, we will improve water quality and increase water flows to enhance the functioning of habitats across priority landscapes.

How to Get There

Audubon will:

  • Expand our knowledge of water needs for birds and other wildlife, and establish a solid foundation of information on the impacts of water scarcity and water pollution on birds.
  • Strengthen the Audubon network of members and partners to advance balanced water-management decisions that benefit birds, habitat, and people.
  • Engage our conservation team and network in on-the-ground restoration actions that support our water goals.
  • Develop and advance market-based mechanisms to provide flexibility in water-management decisions.
  • Expand international partnerships to address water issues on a hemispheric scale.

Measurable Goals

  • 20 percent increase in protected or managed habitat acres that are important wintering, breeding, or stopover sites for birds in key landscapes.
  • One million acres of land managed, restored, and protected in critical watersheds.
  • International, federal, and state policy actions that ensure adequate flows to critical ecosystems, including the Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea, the Mississippi River and Delta, the Great Lakes, and the Greater Everglades.
  • 20 percent increase in federal and state funding or incentives to enhance water management and restoration action.
  • 250,000 people engaged in advocacy on water conservation measures.
  • 25,000 households participating in a new native habitat/xeriscaping program designed to reduce water consumption by 300 million gallons.
  • 75 chapters and 10 Audubon sanctuaries and nature centers engaged in advocacy, education, and on-the-ground actions.
Where We Work
Delaware River Watershed
Delaware River Watershed

Protecting freshwater in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for birds and people.

Salton Sea
Salton Sea

The Salton Sea is one of the most important places for birds in North America and is in danger of losing its ecological value. If it does, we will lose a vital part of the Pacific Flyway.

Colorado River Basin and Delta
Colorado River Basin and Delta

With Audubon’s expertise in both Western water policy and conservation science, we are uniquely positioned to identify long-term water-management solutions that will secure a reliable water supply for wildlife and for people throughout the West.

Western Rivers
Western Rivers

Audubon is working to identify, protect, and restore priority riparian Important Bird Areas throughout the Southwest

Water News

Protecting the Rivers of New Mexico
May 20, 2024 — New Mexico rivers named most endangered in U.S.
Great Salt Lake Levels Rising but Not Healthy Yet
May 13, 2024 — A seven-year lake level high brings relief, but not permission to slow down
Critical Funding and Advocacy for the Delaware River Watershed
April 26, 2024 — Audubon continues to raise the profile of the Delaware River.
Audubon Joins America the Beautiful Freshwater Challenge
April 23, 2024 — New partnership will boost conservation and restoration for rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands.
Update on Arizona's Legislative Session
April 19, 2024 — Where bills stand and Audubon's budget priorities for 2024