American bitterns are among the many species that will likely benefit from a restored West Pond. Photo © David Speiser
Speak Out Now for Restoration of the West Pond
The National Park Service is preparing an Environmental Assessment in support of a project to address the damage that resulted from the breach at the West Pond of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge during Hurricane Sandy. NYC Audubon has already submitted a report on restoration recommendations for the West Pond and will continue to advocate for the Pond's restoration -- but this month you have an opportunity to influence the process.
Gateway National Recreation Area will host an open house public meeting on July 17 from 6-8pm at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Center Visitor Center. All are encouraged to attend and share how the Pond can and should be restored to maximize habitat for bird species of the greatest conservation need in Jamaica Bay and increase resiliency to sea level rise and climate change. You may also submit public scoping comments online through July 30 via NPS's website or by mail.
Click here to learn more about West Pond's importance to birds and wildlife, NYC Audubon's recommendations for restoration, and instructions for submitting public comments.
A Final "Bird's Eye View" from Glenn Phillips, Former NYC Audubon Executive Director
Glenn Phillips served as Executive Director of NYC Audubon for seven years, leaving in April of this year. We thank him for his time and service to the organization. He has asked us to publish the following statement, which we are happy to do.
It was no small decision that this spring be my last with New York City Audubon. For the last seven years, as Executive Director I have been honored to lead what I consider the most important conservation organization in the city. Along the way, I have met an extraordinary group of people. Dedicated board members who commit their time, money and expertise to ensure that the organization is headed on the right track. An expert staff, who manage to do the work of a group twice as large. A remarkable group of volunteers, whose passion for birds and protecting the city’s natural heritage is unmatched. I have been inspired by you all, and challenged to make NYC Audubon a more effective organization at every turn.
As I look back, a few highlights of the last years come to mind. Presenting NYC Audubon’s Bird-safe Building Guidelines at the annual meeting of the bird conservation alliance, one of the first moments when NYC Audubon’s efforts were recognized as a national model after a decade of leadership in the field. Watching as South Brother Island was signed over to the City of New York, to be forever preserved as a sanctuary for herons and egrets. Meeting with elected officials across the city to advocate on behalf of the natural areas of Jamaica Bay, and receiving a copy of the letter, signed by several congressmen, asking the National Park Service to heed our advice, and finally seeing most of our recommendations incorporated into the final plan.
As I look forward, I know that NYC Audubon is in good hands, and with your continued help, it will keep on making a huge difference for birds. I hope to see many of you in the field as we enjoy our shared passion for the birds that every day remind us that the world is a beautiful and precious place!
Common Tern Chick © Elizabeth Craig
Terns on Governors Island: a Habitat Enhancement Success Story
NYC Audubon Director of Conservation and Science Susan Elbin and Cornell University PhD Candidate Elizabeth Craig share how their recent habitat enhancement work for common terns nesting on Governors Island has already paid dividends
Common terns are colonial nesting seabirds: white with a black cap, gray back and wings, and a black-tipped red bill. Classified as a threatened species in New York State, they nest in Jamaica Bay in New York City. But for about the last seven years they have also been nesting on the decommissioned piers at Governors Island, Manhattan. Click here to continue reading on our blog, Syrinx....
Sunset Ecocruise © NYC Audubon
Don't Miss the Summer Fun: Ecocruises and Batwalks!
Among the many outings available this summer (see sidebar for a complete listing), make sure you reserve your spot on two of our most popular summer programs, which are great for the whole family:
Sunset Ecocruises to the Harbor Heron Islands: Choose among three different itineraries to see our nesting colonies of egrets and herons, and enjoy the City at sunset. Click here to learn more and register
Twilight Bat and Insect Walks: Enjoy a Tuesday evening stroll through Central Park at twilight. Listen to bat calls with an echolocator and look to see what other nocturnal critters show up! Click here to learn more and choose your preferred bat walk date
Chicks and eggs of the City's beach-nesting shorebirds like piping plovers are at risk when an adult is frightened away from the nest due to human disturbance. Photo © Francois Portmann
Be a Good Egg at the Beach This Summer
This summer, be on the look out for the Be a Good Egg project at Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay and Beach 116th in the Rockaways. The goal of Be a Good Egg is to educate beach-goers about how to share the beach with nesting shorebirds like least terns, piping plovers, and American oystercatchers that nest and rest on the beaches of New York and New Jersey every spring and summer.
Take the Be a Good Egg Pledge this summer and help protect New York beach-nesting birds and their young. Click here to learn more and take the pledge.
We will also be joining the Urban Park Rangers for Plover Day on July 6th at Beach 59th from 11am to 2pm. Please stop by and enjoy games, crafts, and educational activities to raise awareness about the federally endangered piping plovers nesting in New York City!
"McGolrick Park Native Plant Garden planting event, June 28, 2014" © Chris Kreussling*
Work in NYC Audubon’s friendly office or in the field and make a difference for the City’s wildlife. There are many ways you can help. If you would like to volunteer for specific programs like the ones listed below, or want to learn more about ways you can contribute, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-691-7483 x317. Click here to learn more ways you can volunteer.
URBAN OASIS FOR McGOLRICK PARK
Help us develop and maintain an urban oasis in Greenpoint's McGolrick Park. We have recently finished planting a quarter-acre native plant garden that will help attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to the park. Volunteers are needed for post-planting biodiversity and care/maintenance. Local Greenpoint residents are ideal, but all are welcome. If interested, please email email@example.com.
Sword-billed Hummingbird © Francesco Veronesi*
Birding the Andean Slopes: Northwest Ecuador
Saturday, December 6-Sunday, December, 14
Guides: NYC Audubon Guide, Edwin Perez
Join us for a trip to one of South America’s most celebrated (and spectacularly scenic) birding areas, led by one of Ecuador’s finest bird guides. Starting from Quito, we’ll cover east and west slope Andean birds, from páramo to foothills. Target species include the coveted Andean cock-of-the-rock, long-wattled umbrellabird, Andean condor, and sword-billed hummingbird, as well as manakins, tanagers, and many rarities. Includes two pre-trip workshops, lodging, local transportation, most meals, and all park fees. Limited to 12. $2,695 ($150 single supplement) Please contact Darren Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-691-7483 x304 to learn more and register.
Click here to see a full tour description, day-by-day itinerary, and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
SCAPE's Living Breakwater Project embraces the water, connecting educators to the shoreline and reducing risk with a necklace of breakwaters to buffer against wave damage, flooding and erosion
Living Breakwaters Project among Winning Proposals from "Rebuild by Design" Competition
Congratulations to SCAPE/Landscape Architecture, whose "Living Breakwaters - Tottenvile, Staten Island" proposal was chosen as one of six winners of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's "Rebuild by Design" competition. Be sure to attend our September 23 lecture by SCAPE landscape architect Gina Wirth to learn more about how this innovative project will make Staten Island's south shore more resilient to climate change and extreme weather (see below for lecture details).
Upcoming NYC Audubon Lectures
All lectures are free and open to the public and are held at The Arsenal, Central Park, 5th Ave. at 64th St., 3rd Floor Gallery. This series has been made possible by the support of Claude and Lucienne Bloch.
BUILDING RESILIENCE POST-SANDY: LIVING BREAKWATERS
By Gena Wirth
Tuesday, September 23, 6pm
Since June 2013, SCAPE PLLC, a leading-edge landscape architecture and urban design studio based in New York City, has been working with stakeholders throughout the Sandy-affected region to develop innovative rebuilding solutions. SCAPE landscape architect Gina Wirth will tell us about the Living Breakwaters project, which reduces risk, creates habitat for finfish, shellfish, and lobsters, and connects educators to the shoreline, inspiring a new generation of harbor stewards and a more resilient region over time.
Community Risk Reduction and Resiliency Act Passed in NY State Legislature
NYC Audubon applauds the passage of the Community Risk Reduction and Resiliency Act. The legislation, passed in the New York State Assembly and Senate on June 19, will require future state infrastructure, permitting, and financing decisions to take into account and plan for future climate risk such as sea level rise and impacts from future storms. It will spur proactive planning and consideration to protect coastal-area communities and infrastructure that are increasingly at risk due to climate change and extreme weather.
Join NYC Audubon -- on Water or on Land -- for City of Water Day
Join us Saturday, July 12 in celebrating the potential of New York City's harbors and waterways at this year's City of Water Day Festival. The free daylong event features hundreds of unique, fun, and educational waterfront activities organized by Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and its 700 Alliance Partners at Governors Island, Maxwell Place Park, and venues all around our harbors and shores. Visit City of Water Day's website for more info about all the day's festivities.
To help celebrate, NYC Audubon and Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance will once again offer a special ecocruise from Manhattan to Governors Island. Departing from Pier 83 in Manhattan at 10am, the ecocruise travels past Hoffman and Swinburne Islands and explores the natural history of the area. Visit City of Water Day's Boat Tours Webpage to learn more and to register.
Additionally, NYC Audubon is teaming up with other NYC organizations including Rocking the Boat to bring City of Water Day to the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx! On July 12 we will be at the new park in Hunts Point Landing, where there will be games and activities for all ages to celebrate our local plants and wildlife (especially birds!).
Shorebirds in Flight © Don Riepe
Ninth Annual Shorebird Festival at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Join us Saturday, August 23 at the internationally renowned Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at the peak of shorebird migration. Learn about the refuge's ecology and history, shorebird biology and behavior, and how to identify and photograph these species out in the field.
Click here for more info on the day's activities and how to register. Limited to 35. Free members-only transportation from Manhattan to Jamaica Bay is available!
This year's Fall Roost takes place Thursday, October 16 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
Buy Your Tickets Now for the Fall Roost!
NYC Audubon’s Fall Roost benefit dinner will be held at the newly redesigned, bird-friendly Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Thursday, October 16. Once among the deadliest buildings for birds in New York City, the Center is now a remarkable example of bird-friendly design integrated with sustainable architecture. This year’s benefit will honor the creative team that transformed the Center: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center; the Convention Center Development Corporation; and FXFOWLE Epstein Architects.
Click here to learn more and buy tickets.
For more information, please call Angela Januzzi at 212-691-7483 x306 or email email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you on October 16!
American Oystercatchers © Steve Nanz
Top and Sidebar Photos: great egret, bald eagle, royal terns © Steve Nanz; great-crested flycatcher © Laura Meyers; Wilson's storm petrels © Don Faulkner*; yellow warbler © Lloyd Spitalnik; blue-winged mountain tanager © Francesco Veronesi*.