|“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” --Samuel Coleridge|
In Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the titular narrator tells a tale of woe stemming from his killing of an albatross that was guiding a ship at sea.
I have thought of this quote often during this summer of torrential rainfalls, heavy winds and flooding in the Mid-Atlantic. There is no denying that climate change is wreaking havoc on our planet. And while severe and irreparable environmental damage might seem to be happening far from our regional home, our local waters have also changed significantly in recent years. This is why so much of Audubon’s local work focuses on climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency efforts, driven by a sense of urgency given the steep declines in bird populations.
As you will read below, our regional staff manages both coastal adaptation and watershed restoration work. In Maryland’s Coastal Bays, where nesting islands have all but disappeared into the rising seas, Audubon helped lead an artificial island project that has created the largest colony of nesting terns in the bay this year. Elsewhere in the region, Audubon’s Delaware River Watershed work includes restoring streambeds with plants and trees to reduce erosion and encourage cooler waters. In the Strawberry Mansion Reservoir at the Discovery Center, we grow seed mussels to maturity. Once grown, staff move the mussels, which filter pollutants from fresh water, to local streams and rivers throughout the watershed.
But there is so much for Audubon staff and supporters like you to do to protect birds and help them thrive. Thank you for your guidance and strong support of our work and for your own efforts on behalf of birds.
Executive Director, Audubon Mid-Atlantic
Vice President, National Audubon Society