TEXAS (July 6, 2023) — Audubon Texas celebrates 100 years of formal coastal conservation, education, and outreach across the state of Texas, and has launched a new, online tool showcasing how birds across the Western hemisphere rely on the Texas Gulf Coast. In 1923, Audubon initiated its first rookery island leases, beginning a century of conservation partnerships and stewardship. The Texas Coastal Bird Explorer allow users to explore and discover birds along the vibrant Texas coast, as well as the critical impacts that could be caused by increasing sea level rise.
According to Lisa Gonzalez, Vice President and Executive Director for Audubon Texas, “We celebrate our partners and the local community efforts protecting species such as the Reddish Egret and Brown Pelican from extinction. But our work must remain steadfast. Coastal bird colonies are forecasted to experience catastrophic habitat loss as our Gulf Coast loses land mass from continued sea level rise due to extreme weather events, human encroachment, and a changing climate.”
Stretching more than 600 miles, the Texas coastal ecoregion provides wintering grounds and stop over sites for 98 percent of the long-distance migratory bird species in North America. Much of the Texas coast is experiencing severe erosion, lack of freshwater inflows, and pollution. As Texas's extensive river system pools into the Gulf of Mexico, so do the impacts from hundreds of miles of upstream land use. Translation, Texans are in this together. Most pressing concern is the expected sea level rise.
“At Audubon Texas, community resiliency is a growing priority across the state,” said Alexis Baldera, Senior Coastal Program Manager for Audubon Texas. “Many communities are faced with changing conditions and this is especially apparent on the coast. It is important that our work be forward-looking towards resiliency and the future of birds and people.”
The Texas Coastal Bird Explorer is one way Audubon Texas will look back at 100 years of conservation while also planning ahead for our next chapter. Learn about migratory birds throughout the hemisphere that rely on the Texas coast, species of high conservation interest, island stewardship, Audubon coastal wardens, and more. Follow Audubon Texas throughout the year as they honor historical coastal achievements and unite our partners and members to support future coastal conservation endeavors. Where birds thrive, people prosper.
About Audubon Texas
Audubon Texas is the state office of the National Audubon Society. The National Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon Texas's state programs, three nature centers in San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth, a South Texas sanctuary, and a network of 21 local chapters and numerous partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities for conservation action. Audubon's vision is a world in which people and wildlife thrive. For more information and to find your local chapter visit https://tx.audubon.org/. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Dallas Kelley, Audubon Texas