Our Priorities

Audubon CT: Public Policy Priorities

For Birds and People

Imagine a spring without robins, a summer without hummingbirds, or a fall without a river of hawks streaming overhead on their long journey south. These winged harbingers of the changing season provide important information about our changing landscapes.

Audubon Connecticut knows that the health of our bird populations is a key indicator of the overall health of our environment. For this reason, we are dedicated to protecting birds, other wildlife and their habitats using science and conservation, education, and legislative advocacy. We carry out this work for the benefit of people and the earth's biological diversity. Through our network of nature centers, protected wildlife sanctuaries, and local, volunteer chapters, we seek to connect people with nature and inspire the next generation of conservationists.

In this time of fiscal austerity, our public policy efforts must focus even more diligently on ensuring a sustainable environment for birds and people through habitat protection, restoration and enhancement. Healthy, available habitat is the key to survival for birds and people. If we don’t act now, our pristine tidal marshes, unbroken swaths of woodlands, and swells of whispering grasslands will continue to vanish, taking with them the diversity of birds and wildlife that make Connecticut the place where we all want to live and raise our families. Though the battle to protect our natural heritage is ongoing, in this difficult economic climate, we must adapt our strategies to match the resources at hand. 

2013 State Legislative Priorities

Long Island Sound & Clean Water

  • Maintain clean water bond funding in FY14 and FY15
  • Support legislation to promote coastal resiliency post-Sandy

Habitat & Open Space Protection

  • Strengthen the state’s land protection program
    • Implement PA 12-152 re State’s Open Space Plan  
    • Ensure priority habitats and strategies are included in the State Plan of Conservation and Development and DEEP’s Green Plan update
    • Work to strengthen support for land conservation and the role of the Open Space Advisory Committee
    • Pursue options to better protect state-owned open space post-Haddam
  • Defend CIA and bond funding from raids
  • Secure FY14 bond funding for DEEP’s Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust program and Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Fund
    • Advocate for release of available funds through a 2013 grant round
  • Monitor Conveyance bill for land transfers or swaps
    • Oppose proposal to develop Meshomasic State Forest land for State Police Firing Range
  • Support Community Conservation Act – funding for municipal conservation

Wildlife & Habitat

  • Reduce pesticides in the environment
    • Defend against rollback of existing ban at K-8 schools
    • Support efforts to clarify existing law and pesticides available for use
  • Keep CT Endangered Species Act strong
    • Monitor attempts to weaken or exempt activities from CESA review
  • Avoid ATV damage to habitat areas
    • Monitor legislation
  • Ensure existing protections for wildlife
    • Monitor falconry, hunting and other wildlife issues

Funding & Operations

  • Advocate for DEEP budget
  • Ensure CEQ budget and independence remain
  • Monitor staffing in DEEP non-game Wildlife and other departments


  • Oppose rollbacks of environmental laws, regulations and protections
    • Keep CT Environmental Policy Act strong in face of efforts to weaken it

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2013 Federal LegislativePriorities

Clean Water State Revolving Fund

  • Seek to maintain and restore levels of funding for this essential program that creates jobs

Long Island Sound

  • Secure adequate funding – in FY13 Continuing Resolution, in President’s FY14 budget and Congressional FY 14 appropriation
  • Reauthorize Long Island Sound Restoration Act and Long Island Stewardship
    • Streamline into one bill with same reauthorization date
    • Maintain current authorization levels of $40M and $25M respectively
  • Pursue priority status for LIS Watershed in conservation title of Farm Bill
    • Seek to restore eligibility of governmental entities for NRCS funding
  • Plum Island – Oppose sale of Plum Island without significant conservation of habitats

Support State Wildlife Grants

  • Maintain funding in FY13 Continuing Resolution, in President’s FY14 budget and Congressional FY 14 appropriation
    • Secure support from CT delegation
    • SWG supports approximately 58% of CT DEEP’s non game wildlife programming

Preserve the Land and Water Conservation Fund

  • Support $900M in funding for LWCF in FY13 & FY14
    • Program is funded by revenues from offshore drilling leases, not taxpayer dollars

Conservation Projects

  • Southbury Training School – support conservation of undeveloped lands for agriculture and wildlife habitat
  • Support Audubon Alliance shorebird stewardship, including Bridgeport WildLife Guards project
  • Monitor Pleasure Beach – Master Plan and Endangered Species Management Plan
  • Conte/McKinney USFWS Refuge acquisitions – through LWCF

In Development – State & Federal

  • CT Natural Resource Inventory and monitoring
  • Volunteer Civilian Conservation Corps to assist w habitat management at state-owned properties
  • Lights Out Campaign for State-owned buildings – work w DEEP & CAS

Audubon Connecticut's Legislative Contact:

Sandy Breslin, Director of Governmental Affairs, (203) 264-5098 x306 or sbreslin@audubon.org

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