Every year at the Audubon New York staff retreat, an individual or team is awarded with Conservationist of the Year (COTY) after being nominated and selected by fellow staff members. The award was established to recognize Audubon New York staff members who have achieved outstanding success with a specific project, or contributed an innovative idea that was implemented in support of the organizational mission and work.
This year Amanda Pachomski, Long Island Bird Conservation Program Manager, and the statewide team of For the Birds!, was presented with the COTY Award. Amanda was recognized not only for her impressive coastal work monitoring and stewarding beach nesting birds and shorebirds on Long Island, but also for her continued commitment to the Be a Good Egg program. This past summer Be a Good Egg was more successful than ever, surpassing its goal of 2,000 pledges. Pledging to be a Be a Good Egg includes avoiding the exclosures set up to protect shorebird nests, obeying leash laws, and not littering as trash on the beach attracts predators. Amanda is truly committed to making the beaches safer for vulnerable birds such as the State Endangered Piping Plover and grew this program effectively, leading her team to success by garnering more than 2,000 pledges from beach-goers to share the shore, and by expanding the program’s impact to a larger audience by using creative and engaging videos to steadily grow the program’s social media following.
For the Birds! (FTB) New York City, Montezuma, and Constitution Marsh stewards and sparks an interest in the next generation of New York conservationists.
Although comprised of only four members, the FTB team served 1,237 students representing 11,290 contact hours in 2016. The FTB educators are able to captivate young students with the wonders of nature, learning, and community pride. This program encapsulates the goals and spirit of Audubon New York’s conservation mission and this amazing work is only made possible by the efforts and contributions of this dedicated team of educators.