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.