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Spring Break for the Birds: Help Gulf Oil Spill Recovery

Break for the Birds This is a very cool idea!

The National Audubon Society in partnership with Weeks Bay Reserve is offering an Alternative Spring Break to assist in the Gulf oil spill recovery efforts in Mississippi and Alabama. Students participating in our “Break for the Birds” will be busy surveying refuges and beaches, removing invasive species to provide healthy habitats, and creating outreach and awareness education for the local community. Additional activities may include kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. If you are a college student with some science study background and would like to apply, please visit: www.audubonaction.org/springbreak to fill out an application.

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Watch National Geographic Audubon Volunteers Video

See this new National Geographic video, which showcases Audubon volunteers in action. The video follows citizen scientists as they track Gulf coast birds in the BP spill zone and learns how their work is helping document the disaster’s effects on Gulf coast birds. Click here to watch.

snowy ploverAudubon is calling for the Senate to pass legislation to direct BP’s Clean Water Act penalties to Gulf Coast environmental recovery and to do so now. The lame duck congressional session in November and December offers the final opportunity to hold BP and other polluters accountable, put safeguards in place to prevent a disaster like this from happening again, and set the Gulf coast on a path toward healing and renewal.

Here’s the scoop and a rallying cry from Chris Canfield, VP Gulf of Mexico Conservation and Restoration.

“This past week I was in Pensacola, Florida, at the inaugural meeting of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. It is a long name for group now tasked with facing a long river of challenges that has flowed into one of the world’s great ecosystems. We should be encouraged that this unprecedented grouping of federal and state agencies is being led by a close friend of Audubon’s, John Hankinson, Jr. Until this appointment, Hankinson was the chair of Audubon of Florida’s board. We should be distressed, though, by the fact that there is no funding currently available for this effort. What a further tragedy it would be to waste the tremendous goodwill and passion across the country for finally restoring this great national treasure, as so many at the meeting described it. Let’s get our elected leaders, especially our senators, to respond now and put the money where it is most urgently needed.”

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Thanks to your efforts, polar bears and other wildlife may be spared further harm from oil spills in the Arctic ocean.

Today the Obama administration announced that it will suspend Shell Oil’s exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean this summer, a decision that reflects the concerns of millions of Americans that drilling in the sensitive Arctic Ocean is too risky.

To see a statement from Audubon Policy Director Mike Daulton, go to Audubon’s home page.

Audubon commends the Administrations pledge to proceed cautiously in the frontier areas of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the coast of Alaska. Shell Oil was poised to start drilling in a matter of weeks, but the Administration has delayed issuing all permits to drill in the icy waters of the Arctic until 2011 to allow further study of proposed drilling technology and oil spill response capabilities. To learn more about the Arctic Ocean check out Audubon Alaska’s Arctic Atlas.

Thank you if you were one of those who took the time to send an emails to President Obama! There were many voices calling on the President to go slow in these sensitive areas and each one counted. We’ll need your help as we work to protect these waters that are so critical to birds and wildlife.

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