The Great Lakes are the world’s largest fresh water system on earth, supporting a wide range of bird species—from the little Piping Plover to the secretive Least Bittern and the magnificent Bald Eagle.
In fact millions of migratory birds depend on coastal habitats along the Great Lakes for shelter, rest, and nourishment for their long journeys. Thousands of raptors, waterfowl, and wetland birds rely on the Great Lakes systems for safe nesting grounds. Yet, coastal development, climate change, and destructive invasive species threaten the coastal systems that support this great range of bird species.
To address these issues, Audubon New York is taking a number of steps to improve water quality and critical bird habitat in the Great Lakes.
- On-the-Ground Restoration: In collaboration with partners including the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Ducks Unlimited, SUNY Brockport, SUNY ESF, and local Audubon Chapters, we are restoring habitats along rivers, lakes, and other wetlands.
- Policy and Action: As one of the New York State leads for the Healing Our Waters Coalition, we are engaging lawmakers and the public on water policy, management, and water-quality issues.
- Building Local Stewardship: We support Slocal Audubon Chapters through small grants to help monitor bird response to habitat management.
Our Great Lakes projects are significant, and include sites in Rochester and Buffalo, New York, Grand Haven, Michigan, and the Calumet Region of Illinois and Indiana.