November 2016 News from the Nest

Audubon New York's post-presidential-election conservation update. Let's build the future together.
Photo: Greg Craybas

Much like habitat is the cornerstone for healthy birds, elections are the bedrock of our democracy.  Now that the election is over, we go on as a nation, as a people.  The president-elect has called for us to build the future together.  We will, as we have done for over a century, work with our elected representatives at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that protecting birds and the places they rely on for survival remain a priority.
The Audubon conservation legacy has persevered for 111-years because our strong network of members, volunteers, and chapters are truly committed to our mission; we are a centric organization that, like the species we work so hard to protect, knows no political party; and we bring a well-respected and authentic voice to conservation priorities in communities across the country. None of that has changed and neither will we.
We know that what is good for birds - protected land, clean water, and clean air - is also good for people, our quality of life, and the economy of our beautifully diverse state.  And by working side-by-side with you, we will continue protecting and restoring it for the benefit of all.


Managing Our Lands for Birds and People

On November 2, 2016 over 250 people attended the 2016 Keesee Luncheon at the Metropolitan Club in New York City to celebrate the two honorees: Christopher (Kim) Elliman, President and CEO of the Open Space Institute (OSI), recipient of the Thomas W. Keesee, Jr. Conservation Award, and Dr. E.O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, recipient of the Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing. This year’s program focused on healthy forests, one of Audubon New York’s priority conservation pillars. Through our healthy forests initiative and with the help partners such as OSI, as well as land owners and land managers, Audubon New York is working to protect and restore forests throughout the state. Through the Keesee Luncheon we raised over $300,000 in support of Audubon New York’s statewide work protecting birds and their habitats. Click here to view photos from the luncheon; and here for Kim Elliman’s honoree video. 

Sharing Our Seas and Shores

On October 17th, Audubon New York submitted formal comments and asked for your help in urging the United States Army Corp of Engineers to revisit their recently released Draft Reevaluation Report and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point, NY, Coastal Storm Risk Management Project (FIMP). This project to identify, evaluate, and recommend long-term solutions for hurricane and storm damage along 83-miles of ocean and bay shorelines would have significant impact on Long Island’s south shore and the important habitat for threatened and endangered species it supports, such as the Piping Plover. We are grateful to the 1,039 people who took action and spoke out in support of Audubon New York on this important issue.

Saving Important Bird Areas
On September 28th, 67 volunteers from the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps gathered near the mouth of Nine Mile Creek to plant 1,400 native plants and participate in citizen science monitoring by tracking birds.  These restoration projects are creating or improving wildlife habitat in the Onondaga Lake watershed. The Onondaga Lake Important Bird Area is a vital waterfowl wintering area that provides habitat, food, and water sources that many bird species depend upon for survival during the cold winter months.
Shaping a Healthy Climate and Clean Energy Future

In Mid-September, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the release of the New York State Offshore Wind Blueprint, a framework for the responsible development of robust wind energy off the coast of New York. New York State is home to some of the world’s strongest offshore wind resources, which will help New York obtain its Clean Energy mandate, to supply 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030. To help mitigate the potentially harmful impacts of these offshore wind developments on migratory shorebird species, Audubon New York will work with NYSERDA and DEC to ensure the final Offshore Wind Master Plan incorporates studies, procedures, and siting guidelines which account for wildlife health.

Creating Bird-friendly Communities

This time of year in New York, it is important to make the most of what you have in order to create a more bird-friendly yard. The ability to find safe passage, healthy breeding, wintering, and resting habitat is an integral part of a successful migration season. Use bird-friendly fall cleanup practices – build a brush pile, fill your feeders, scout for migrating birds and report your findings to eBird.

Chapter Highlight

Staff and Chapter members gathered for the most recent Audubon Chapter Council of New York State Fall Meeting on October 28th – 30th at the Holiday Inn in Plainview, NY. Over 55 people, including leaders representing 20 of New York’s 27 Chapters were in attendance, enjoying presentations, workshops, and field trips including the Sagamore Hill National Historic site, Sunken Meadow State Park, and Jones Beach State Park. It was a productive and invigorating weekend for all Audubon conservationists in attendance.