Holding 20% of the world’s fresh water within more than 10,000 miles of shoreline, the Great Lakes are a globally significant ecosystem. 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 – from the little Piping Plover to the magnificent Bald Eagle.
Audubon is creating a cohesive strategy across the region to address these threats to the birds of the Great Lakes. With more than 3,000 miles of shoreline in Michigan alone, the greatest conservation opportunity is the active restoration and protection of coastal habitats. By analyzing historical data, modeling bird populations, and engaging our chapters and members, Audubon will map out a detailed plan for how to best conserve indispensable coastal areas. Focused restoration and habitat management is essential to protect and recover ecological systems that support bird species. Active stewardship of habitats by Great Lakes Audubon chapters will play a key role in sustaining the health of these areas over time.
A regional office of the National Audubon Society, Audubon Great Lakes manages conservation work throughout the region to protect and improve habitat critical for birds during their migration and nesting cycles, we build networks of volunteers and advocates for the natural environment. Within the National Audubon Society’s network, Audubon Great Lakes is viewed as a leader in building communities of citizen scientists and conservationists that take the lead in advocating for and managing the ecosystems that birds need to thrive.
Today, Vice President of Audubon Great Lakes, Rebeccah Sanders, sent the following letter to members of a House Natural Resources Subcommittee urging they take action to combat aquatic invasive species, like quagga and zebra mussels, which have been responsible for the death of over 100,000 birds on the Great Lakes since 1999.
More than 6,000 people responded to our call and let their Senate leaders know they didn’t want ships to dump dirty water in our coastal and inland waters.