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Audubon Great Lakes
Monthly Newsletter March 2023
(Left to Right) Brian Vigue, Policy Director of Freshwater for Audubon Great Lakes and Oneida Tribal member and Henry Lickers, Canadian Commissioner for the International Joint Commission and Seneca Tribal member, at Great Lakes Day. Photo: Audubon Great Lakes
Audubon Joins “Great Lakes Day” to Advocate for Great Lakes Protections
Last Week, Audubon Great Lakes staff headed to Washington, D.C. to advocate for policies that support clean water and healthy habitats across the Great Lakes region. Great Lakes Day, organized by the Healing Our Waters Coalition, brings together a binational coalition of regional agencies, legislators, local communities, tribes and business, maritime and environmental groups to advocate for the continued protection of the Great Lakes

Audubon met with legislators across our five states to share the importance of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, climate benefits within the Farm bill, and protections for clean water. Read more to learn about the important issues that were discussed to help protect the birds and people that live in the Great Lakes region.Learn more
(Left to Right) Brian Vigue, Policy Director of Freshwater for Audubon Great Lakes and Oneida Tribal member and Henry Lickers, Canadian Commissioner for the International Joint Commission and Seneca Tribal member, at Great Lakes Day. Photo: Audubon
Oneida Nation Wetland
Audubon Applauds Governor Evers’ Proposed Budget for Major Investment in Oneida Nation Conservation and Wild Rice Restoration
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers released his 2023-25 state budget proposal, which includes major investments in Oneida Nation’s wetland restoration in Northeastern Wisconsin, and investments in the conservation of wild rice, an important natural and cultural resource.

“We applaud Governor Evers for prioritizing wetland conservation and uplifting the vital role that Wisconsin’s Tribal Nations play in protecting and restoring Wisconsin’s natural spaces,” said Brian Vigue, Policy Director of Freshwater for Audubon Great Lakes. “Vulnerable birds across Wisconsin depend on rich and abundant wetlands, many of which support the growth of wild rice. These investments in Oneida’s wetland restoration, and in the conservation of wild rice will ensure that Wisconsin is a place where birds and other wildlife can thrive for generations to come.” 

The conservation of Wisconsin’s wetlands and natural resources is vital to protect wildlife and communities in Wisconsin. Audubon Great Lakes will continue to work with policymakers to help ensure that the final state budget protects these vital habitats.
Waterfowl take flight on Oneida Nation's restored wetlands. Credit: Lia Bocchiaro
King Rail
Audubon Great Lakes Advocacy Day at the Wisconsin State Capitol
We’re Flocking to Madison on April 26. Are you ready to turn your passion for birds into action? Mark your calendars for Audubon Great Lakes Advocacy Day at the Wisconsin State Capitol, a special day of action that will bring together Audubon members from across the state to speak up for bird-friendly policies.

Wisconsin has lost nearly 50 percent of its natural wetlands. These important spaces provide critical habitat for vulnerable birds like the King Rail, Least Bittern and Pied-billed Grebe, some of which are facing population declines up to 80 percent in just a few short decades. Wetlands also provide tremendous value to our communities by keeping our water clean and protecting communities from flooding and drought. We need your help at Advocacy Day  to speak up for policy solutions that will restore and protect Wisconsin’s wetlands for the birds and communities that rely on them.
King Rail. Credit: Joshua Galicki/Audubon Photography Awards
black tern chicks
Black Tern Conservation in the Great Lakes
The Black Tern is one of the most rapidly declining wetland birds in the Great Lakes region. Breeding populations have likely been completely lost in Indiana and Ohio, and this species is on the brink in Illinois. Join Lake Cook Audubon and Stephanie Beilke, Senior Manager, Conservation Science for Audubon Great Lakes, for a webinar on March 21 at  7p.m. ET to discuss efforts to restore breeding populations in the region, including monitoring work at the largest regional colony in St. Clair Flats, Michigan, and examine what we’ve learned about the threats this species faces. In addition, Stephanie will explore recent results from a tracking study that was the first to chart the migratory journeys of juvenile Black Terns.
Black Tern Chicks at St Clair Flats. Credit: Jenni Fuller/Audubon
Rick Derevan/Audubon Photography Awards
Outdoor Field Experience: Birds at Indian Ridge Marsh
As part of the Calumet Community Science Partnership, Audubon Great Lakes in collaboration with Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the U.S Forest Service International Program is offering a series of Outdoor Field Experiences. Join us for a Birds Program on Saturday, April 29 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT to explore the beauty of Indian Ridge Marsh, learn about the biology of important local species, practice bird call identification in the field and connect with community members. 
Virginia Rail. Credit: Rick Derevan/Audubon Photography Awards
Visit our Nature Centers
Grange Insurance Audubon Center
Grange Insurance Audubon Center
Spring Equinox, on Monday, March 20, marks the first day of spring and the astronomical midpoint between the summer solstice and winter solstice where the length of day and night will be nearly equal. This is a great time to appreciate the beauty of nature as we move toward more daylight. The Grange Insurance Audubon Center has the perfect schedule of programs, activities, and events to help you move in to SPRING!   Read more
Grange Insurance Audubon Center
Aullwood Farm and Nature Center
Aullwood Farm and Nature Center
Aullwood Audubon is proud to host “The Troll That Hatched an Egg”, an exhibit from the internationally renowned recycle artist Thomas Dambo! If you haven’t see it, there is still time to see Bo, Bodil, Bibbi and their troll-sized bird nest that come to life at Aullwood and are ready for your visit.  Or bring your binoculars and delight in a weekly walk along Aullwood’s trails spotting birds and exploring the seasonal changes. Learn more
Aullwood Farm and Nature Center
 Sandra Rothenberg/Audubon Photography Awards
Spring is Near, Get Involved!
Whether you are new to bird watching or an experienced birder, spring migration has something to offer everyone as hundreds of bird species don their brightest breeding plumage and journey through the Great Lakes region, loudly signing their songs. You can learn more about some of our early and smallest migrants  and check out more birds you can expect this season and where to see them around the Great Lakes. 

There are also many opportunities to see Audubon Great Lakes conservation work in action. Volunteer at a restoration day at Deadstick Pond, Powderhorn Lake or Hatcher Park in the Calumet Region or join an upcoming webinar. Check out our events page to stay up to date and find ways to get involved.
Baltimore Oriole, male and female. Credit: Sandra Rothenberg/Audubon Photography Awards
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