As the year comes to a close, we want to say thanks for the many accomplishments that were made possible by all of YOU - our volunteers, bird advocates, and partners in conservation. Our statewide network - led by scientists, educators, and on-the-ground chapter members - moved the needle for conservation in Pennsylvania and opened so many new doors to opportunity. We can't wait to see what the next year has in store.
But first, a celebration of all we did together in 2019:
1. We Opened a Cutting Edge Nature Center - the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove
In partnership with the National Audubon Society and Montgomery County, Audubon Pennsylvania celebrated the grand opening of the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove in Audubon, PA. The museum and nature-based facility offers interactive and accessible ways to explore the legacy of John James Audubon and promises to be 'the nest best thing' in art, conservation, and education for the Greater Philadelphia area. The John James Audubon Center features galleries and exhibits, interactive outdoor features, and Audubon Pennsylvania's avian ambassadors and other non-releasable wild birds.
2. The Brewers for the Delaware River Association Provides A Clear Voice for Clean Water
Like birds, brewers depend on clean, reliable water to survive and thrive. Earlier this year, the National Audubon Society and Audubon Pennsylvania launched the Brewers for the Delaware River Association. The coalition of conservation-minded breweries support the protection of the Delaware River watershed as a reliable, clean water source that benefits the people, birds, and communities of the region. Earlier this year, 12 breweries in the Association penned a joint letter to the 116th U.S. Congress that urged their elected officials to support small businesses and protect reliable, clean water for birds and people.
3. National Audubon Society's new Study on How Climate Change Will Affect Birds: Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink and Received Front Page Coverage on the Philadelphia Inquirer
Audubon scientists studied 604 North American bird species using 140 million bird records, including observational data from birders across the country. Audubon's new science shows that two-thirds of North American bird species are at risk of extinction from climate change. The report also features new online tools, like the first-of-its-kind "Birds and Climate Visualizer." By using this tool, people can find threatened birds in their zip codes, which personalizes and localizes the issue of climate change. The good news, according to Survival by Degrees, if we take action, we can help improve the future for 76 percent of the species at risk. In conjunction with the report, Audubon published a special issue dedicated to climate solutions, including a climate action guide, that anyone can implement.
4. Audubon Pennsylvania Receives Grant to Further Forest Conservation
In December 2019, Audubon Pennsylvania received over $183,000 in grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) that will be used to partner with private landowners in order to create and maintain healthy forest habitats for birds in the Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania.
The grant will allow Audubon Pennsylvania to develop infrastructure to advance landscape-scale conservation on private lands by implementing American Forest Foundation's Family Forest Carbon Program. It will also extend and expand ongoing NFWF dynamic forest management on public lands in the Upper-Middle Allegheny Highlands, Pennsylvania Wilds, and Laurel Highlands by focusing new conservation activities on adjacent private lands. Additionally, it will integrate best management practices for the forest birds with actions designed to sequester carbon and amplify climate resiliency with forested ecosystems. This marks the first known plan of its kind in the nation. Read More.
5. Audubon Pennsylvania Helps Assure U.S. Congressional Approval for $9.7 Million of Funding for Delaware River Watershed Restoration
With the December 17, 2019 passage of the Interior Appropriations bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congress is poised to pass $9.7 million for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program for fiscal year 2020 - an increase of $3.7 million from fiscal year 2019 - with bipartisan support. This critical funding is for the protection, restoration and healthy growth of the national significant watershed that helps birds, people and local economies. Read More.