Since our inception in 1905, Audubon’s public policy and advocacy efforts have been a core part of our success in the protection of birds and other wildlife, and the habitat they depend on.
In 2017, Audubon Connecticut’s policy and advocacy work, led by Policy Manager Genese Leach, will be more important than ever. In part, this is due to the changing political landscape in Washington, D.C. and state budget issues in Connecticut. But, it also reflects our ambition—we always leave room to achieve more in Connecticut and along the entire Atlantic Flyway as part of our policy initiatives.
We are building an army of informed and passionate advocates who can help, and we need the help of Audubon supporters like you! Here are some of the highlights of the advocacy efforts now underway:
- At a National level, political changes suggest we will likely face challenges in preserving the gains we’ve made on funding for the protection of Long Island Sound, for the protection of endangered species (including shorebird and forest birds), and in addressing abrupt climate change. As you may know, Audubon’s historic pragmatism will guide us—where we can work with the new Administration and Congress, we will do so. And where there are initiatives that run counter to our mission we will work to oppose them using the same mainstream approach that stopped the plume trade in the early 1900s; that banned DDT (and brought back bald eagles and osprey) in the 1960s and 1970s; that preserved wilderness in Alaska in the 1980s; and that works today to preserve birds and other wildlife in towns and cities in Connecticut, across the country, and along the Atlantic Flyway (in places like the Gulf of Mexico).
- Closer to home, Audubon Connecticut plays a lead role in advocating for open space acquisition and stewardship and in this session of the state legislature we will continue to advocate for Project Green Space, which creates a new funding mechanism for local towns and cities that wish to adopt it. We are also a lead organization within the environmental community seeking to protect programs of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) from unprecedented state budget cuts. And we are part of a vibrant array of organizations: fighting to safeguard the integrity and level of funding for open space in the Community Investment Act; seeking to protect Plum Island from development; and working hard to preserve other elements of Connecticut’s historic commitment to wildlife and habitat protection.
In some ways, the challenges we face on policy issues are unprecedented. What hasn’t changed is the “people power” that you and all Audubon members possess. You are what hope looks like to birds and other wildlife, and thank you in advance for the strength of your commitment and passion for the issues we share in common.