National Audubon President on Climate Change Activities

At the board of director’s meeting last weekend in Alaska, the board and staff were impressed by all the great work chapters are doing on climate.  To date, more than half of all Audubon chapters have taken climate action.  That is pretty impressive stuff.

I recently got an email from Carolyn Antman of the Duval Audubon Society in Jacksonville, Florida, who has been using the Birds & Climate Change presentation (which is available for all of you on Audubon Works), around Northeast Florida.  She said it has helped her chapter connect with other groups and opened many eyes to the problems facing birds.  She’s even taking it to the city’s Environmental Protection Board. 

North Fork Audubon hosted a weekend of climate activities and a “Train the Trainers” event on Saturday for 13 members of the Long Island Audubon Council, including representatives from 6 of the 7 Long Island chapters. They were so inspired that they agreed to host a regional conference in October.

Last week we awarded 14 new climate grants to chapters to fund an enterprising array of climate campaign activities. Atlanta Audubon is making it personal with a focus on the climate threatened Brown-headed Nuthatch, an iconic local bird. St. Petersburg Audubon is offering a training course to elementary teachers focused on climate change and shorebirds. Audubon Rockies will be partnering with America’s Latino-Eco Festival of Colorado to engage and activate the Latino community in Colorado around climate issues. In upstate New York, Buffalo Audubon will be partnering with Grassroots Gardens to engage community gardeners from throughout the city in climate conversions. We’ll keep you posted as these and other projects roll out across the network.

Climate focus groups hosted in North Carolina and Ohio for conservative Audubon members proved that birds are a unifying force in the conversation about climate change.  Conservative Republican members and even self-described climate deniers rallied around taking action — for the sake of birds.  As Mary J, a 64-year-old nurse said, “I sign every petition.  I send emails to all the elected representatives here in the state, but I feel even if they don’t listen I have to speak out… I owe it to the birds.”

That is what sets Audubon apart.  We are in the hope business.  The work you do today is changing the future for birds, and for people.

Here are some documents that will give you a broader picture of recent accomplishments across the network: a timeline of recent achievements, the June 2015 President’s Report, and a packet of media clips featuring Audubon in the news.

Thanks to all of you for your energy and passion. Please let me know what you think.

Sincerely,
David

David Yarnold
President & CEO
National Audubon Society