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Audubon Update

Sorry, this is direct copy from my email box – I’m in an editor’s retreat session, but wanted to get this posted!
Even if this isn’t headline news everyday anymore, keep the BP Gush in your mind so something like this doesn’t happen again on our coastlines

Audubon continues to be inspired by all those whose passion — and compassion — for birds and wildlife is making our Gulf recovery work possible. This week, we’d like to acknowledge a few of them.

First, we are so grateful for our volunteers — who now number over 30,000. Some have already had a chance to get directly involved; others are waiting patiently (and we know it is hard!) But the truth is that each of you is playing a critical role in the response effort — because we can count on you, we know that we can be ready for whatever turn this catastrophe takes. Thank you!

Second, many exceptional individuals, reflecting many different worlds, have stepped forward to become ambassadors for Audubon, and for the birds and wildlife it is our mission to protect. You have already met 11-year old artist Olivia Bouler who has now helped us raise over $150,000. Many others — from American Idol winner Jordin Sparks (more about that in our next update!) to the Atlanta Symphony to Major League Baseball wives — are also helping Audubon to make a difference in the Gulf.

Citizen Scientists Playing a Key Role
Rescued pelican released in GeorgiaLast week we highlighted the risk facing early fall migrants as they arrive in the gulf from their northern breeding grounds. Because accurately assessing the populations and habitat conditions for these birds is a critical step to protecting them, Audubon is launching special training sessions designed to introduce novice birders and volunteers in the Gulf to the challenges of bird observation, identification and monitoring.

Birders have also been asked to watch for Brown Pelicans that were recently rehabilitated and released in Georgia. One group (78) has RED color bands on the right leg with 3 digital alpha numeric codes in white. Another group (72) has ORANGE color bands on the right leg. If you see any of these birds, please report them. Tracking released birds is essential to assessing rescue efforts.

Learn more about the Brown Pelican
The state bird of Louisiana, the Brown Pelican, had just begun its breeding season when the Deepwater Horizon explosion sent oil spewing into the Gulf. Since then, photos of oiled adults and chicks have brought the spill home across the country and around the globe. Even more worrisome from a conservation perspective, Brown Pelicans were removed from the U.S. endangered species list only late last year. This year’s disruption of their breeding cycle could have serious and long lasting effects. Learn more.

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Brown Pelican Drawing: Olivia Bouler Makes a Difference

The Audubon Society sends me weekly emails with updates on the terrible Oil Spill in the Gulf. I get these because I have volunteered to help out in whatever way I can.

I am a bit late in posting this one as I was travelling, but I was very intrigued to read about this young artist/activist who is doing her bit to make things better for the wildlife in the Gulf who have been so adversely impacted by the spill.

I think you will be too. Who says we can’t make a difference?

Inspiration and Support from a Young Conservationist

Olivia is eleven-years-old!

You can find her on Facebook at Save the Gulf: Olivia’s Bird Illustrations.

Olivia Bouler is a young and talented artist. When Olivia first heard about the leaking oil, her family helped her reach out to Audubon, asking what she could do to help.

From that conversation, she got the idea to use her artistic talent to create original watercolor images for anyone willing to donate money to an organization that provides wildlife disaster relief, such as Audubon. Since then, people across the nation and even around the globe have gotten to know Olivia’s work, thanks to a special AOL promotion and appearances on national television — and the support she has generated has risen even faster than her fame.

Visit Olivia’s AOL Artist Page.

See her on the CBS News
Thank you Olivia for making such a big difference and bringing this story to so many people.

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Oil Spill Update – From Audubon (including Youtube vid)

One month after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, oil continues to spew into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is now being seen from Louisiana to Mississippi, and there are fears that the loop current will carry it up the Atlantic Coast. Read more.

While immediate impacts on birds and wildlife have not yet been as dramatic as many recall from oil spills like the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, fears of long term effects on birds, marine life, and Gulf coast communities are mounting—and Audubon president Frank Gill urged speedy Congressional authorization of necessary funding earlier this week (read statement). It’s clear that response and recovery will require long-term commitment—and that’s why we are so grateful to all of you who have volunteered to channel your concern, expertise and time into the recovery response.

This week, we continued to mobilize volunteers in the gulf coast states to help transport birds and provide other vital emergency services. We also engaged additional volunteers in bird and habitat monitoring activities. One of our Mississippi volunteer monitors put together a video report so that we could share his experience on a Mississippi barrier island with you.

YouTube Video

Be an advocate! The oil spill is a wake-up call about the need for sound energy policy that protects our natural resources, and your letters, comments and voice can be a powerful force for change.

* Urge President Obama to stop new oil drilling in the fragile Arctic Ocean. You can send a letter directly to the President at the Audubon Action Center.
* Meet with your Members of Congress while they are on Memorial Day recess. Let them know you want BP to be held accountable for the spill—and that you expect their leadership and support for policy that will encourage clean energy and prevent another spill.

Create healthy habitat for birds wherever you are. Many of the birds that migrate through the Gulf Coast nest and raise their young further north—and throughout the US.

* Audubon At Home offers many ways you can make your backyard bird friendly.
* Volunteer with your local Audubon Chapter.

Thank you for your continued support!

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