Great Lakes

Audubon and Congressman Gallagher Meet to Discuss Great Lakes Conservation and Warming Climate

Audubon leadership and members of Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society spoke with Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-8) about conservation in Green Bay.

“It meant a lot that he listened to my concerns about the impacts of a changing climate on birds and wildlife, which will ultimately affect our very own community.”

September 20, 2018

GREEN BAY, WI — Today, leaders from Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society and National Audubon Society met with Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-8) at the Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve where they discussed restoration efforts at the nearby Cat Island Chain Restoration Site. Audubon thanked the congressman for his support of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and for joining the Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group of U.S. House representatives working to find policy solutions that address the effects and causes of our warming climate.

Leadership from Audubon and the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society discuss restoration progress at Cat Island in lower Green Bay. Photo: Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society

“Congressman Gallagher has shown true leadership through his support of GLRI and by joining the Climate Solutions Caucus,” said Rebeccah Sanders, Vice President for the Great Lakes at Audubon. “Loss of critical habitat and climate change are very serious threats to birds, wildlife and people. It was great to have this opportunity to show him what can be accomplished here in Green Bay with strong federal investment in Great Lakes restoration and conservation policies.”

The Cat Island Restoration Project, funded with GLRI grants, among other sources, is a multi-partner project that will reconstruct three islands in the lower bay. The islands eroded due to severe storms and high lake levels in the 1970s. The investment will result in more than 200 acres of habitat for a variety of wildlife including shorebirds and waterfowl, and will help to restore approximately 1,225 acres of shallow water and wetland habitat.

“I really appreciate Congressman Gallagher taking the time to see GLRI at work in Green Bay,” added Erin Giese, president of Northeastern Audubon Society and a constituent. “It meant a lot that he listened to my concerns about the impacts of a changing climate on birds and wildlife, which will ultimately affect our very own community.

Because of climate change, some birds will shift north in search of more suitable habitat. Climate change coupled with the loss and degradation of habitat makes the protection of our natural landscapes for birds and other wildlife even more critical. Birds that we have traditionally seen here in Wisconsin, like the state-listed special concern species, Golden-winged Warblers, will likely disappear, and that would be a real devastating loss. We need to find creative solutions to this urgent problem now so that wildlife and future generations can have a fighting chance."

According to Audubon’s projections, by 2080, Bohemian Waxwings, and Evening Grosbeaks will possibly lose all of their current winter range, meaning that these birds will disappear from Wisconsin in the winter because of climate change. In the case of Golden-winged Warblers, this species may completely disappear from the state.

See Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report: http://climate.audubon.org/

See the report’s projections for Wisconsin: http://climate.audubon.org/geographical-search/wisconsin

Correction: A previous version incorrectly stated Bohemian Waxwings and Evening Grosbeaks would lose summer range in Wisconsin by 2080. 

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