May 8, 2023 - Baltimore -- Today, Audubon Mid-Atlantic celebrates the passage and signing of the Maryland Sustainable Buildings Act of 2023. The law requires new buildings in Maryland that receive at least 50% public funding to follow bird safe design practices. These design standards will result in buildings which prevent deadly window collisions and help make buildings more energy efficient.
“We thank Governor Wes Moore, and the bill’s dedicated sponsors including Del. Terri L. Hill and Senator Clarence K. Lam for their leadership to protect Maryland’s birds. This historic legislation. This law sets a precedent to design buildings for energy efficiency and wildlife protection and we hope that the private sector will follow the state’s lead.” stated Jim Brown, Policy Director for Audubon Mid-Atlantic.
More than 450 species of birds have been identified in Maryland. Every spring, millions of birds fly through the state on their way from tropical Central and South America. Some of them such as the Wood Thrush, Baltimore Oriole, and Yellow Warbler stay here all spring and summer to breed, while countless others pass through to their preferred breeding grounds further north. Millions more live in Maryland year-round. All of them face very real threats from ever increasing deadly collisions with buildings.
Jim Brown notes further, “The science tells us that the increasing use of untreated glass in buildings causes collisions that kill birds. We were proud to work with a coalition of environmental advocates, architects, the building industry, and elected leaders in Annapolis to help Maryland continue to be a national leader in habitat conservation and environmental protection. The Maryland Sustainable Buildings Act of 2023 will save millions of birds’ lives and increase building energy efficiency in this critical time to help the state reach our ambitious climate goals.”
Audubon Mid-Atlantic is a regional office of the National Audubon Society, envisioning a Mid-Atlantic region of healthy and resilient ecosystems where birds thrive and where all people have access to nature and a voice in environmental stewardship. Working alongside a diverse flock of supporters and partners, Audubon Mid-Atlantic strives to slow down and reverse the impact that climate change and habitat loss have had on the wide range of bird species that depend on the Mid-Atlantic region.