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Audubon Texas curates collection celebrating 100 years of conservation in Texas

TEXAS (February 1, 2023) – We’re celebrating and want to share your memories! Audubon Texas’s Coastal 100 celebration is the centennial anniversary of our work across Texas, recognizing a century of bird conservation and stewardship efforts that began along the Texas Coast. In 1923, Audubon initiated its first rookery island leases, marking our first official coastal conservation management action in Texas, and the beginning of a century of conservation partnerships and stewardship.

Audubon is curating an online collection of Audubon network accomplishments and memories over the past 100 years, and is calling for you to share your historical photos, bird reports, or documentation of Audubon’s early work along the Texas coast. Audubon Texas will document and attribute the contributions to the collection, which will become an invaluable archive for future generations of conservationists across the state.

“Celebrating 100 years for any organization is no small feat. It is both the individual and collective actions we take at home and at work to ensure that birds, other wildlife, and people thrive,” according to Lisa Gonzalez, Vice President & Executive Director Audubon Texas. “As we research and discover the historical work of Audubon partners and volunteers, we discover a treasure trove of passion, dedication, and commitment to bird conservation. We look forward to understanding and appreciating our past in order to guide the next 100 years of biodiversity protection and stewardship across the Texas landscape.”

In 1923 Audubon’s official stewardship efforts in Texas began our first coastal island lease at Green Island. At the time, Reddish Egrets were thought to be extinct due to hunting in support of the plume and feather trade. But a breeding colony was found on Green Island in the Lower Laguna Madre, and Audubon established its first bird sanctuary. Looking back at 100 years of conservation, we are inspired by the stories of past Audubon Coastal Wardens and Audubon staff, members, community volunteers, and supporters who turned the tide for birds like the Reddish Egrets and Brown Pelicans. The lease of that first island in 1923 led to Audubon’s present-day portfolio of 177 coastal islands protected and managed with key partners all along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Texans have a long, rich history of conservation stewardship across our great state. Prior to 1923, two young women began an Audubon chapter in Galveston. They hosted tea parties and advocated for the introduction of ribbons into women’s fashion trends, rather than the popular bird feathers, which were contributing to the devastation of bird populations. These two young women began a movement and set the tone for Audubon’s work on the coast in the future. Join us for “Coastal 100” community activities and events throughout the year.

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