MICHIGAN (May 11, 2021) – Yesterday, Audubon Great Lakes took Congressman Peter Meijer (R-MI3) on a bird walk through Yankee Springs Recreation Area, in Barry County, Michigan to discuss the importance of Great Lakes restoration and federal investment in conservation for the benefit of birds and people.
“The Great Lakes are a natural treasure. West Michigan provides critical habitat for wildlife, as demonstrated by the birds we’ve seen today,” said Rep. Meijer. “That’s why I recently joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in calling on the Biden Administration to make robust investment in the Great Lakes. I applaud the conservation efforts of Audubon Great Lakes to protect the natural areas that Michigan’s birds, other wildlife, and Michiganders rely on.”
Spring migration was in full-effect at Yankee Springs Recreation Area, an Important Bird Area recognized for providing critical habitat for birds like the Sandhill Crane, Pileated Woodpecker and the Trumpeter Swan, whose population is rebounding thanks to conservation efforts after it was almost driven to extinction early in the 20th century. The group saw several Black Tern on Gun Lake. This species has faced population declines up to 80% over the past 40 years and have an uncertain future in the Great Lakes region. Audubon is working to ensure our Great Lakes coastal areas play an important role in safeguarding critical breeding grounds for these elegant and distinctive terns.
Marnie Urso, Senior Policy Director for Audubon Great Lakes, who led the bird walk was joined by Grand Rapids Audubon Vice President Landon Bell and Audubon Great Lakes volunteers Beth Miller and Caleb Putnam. Audubon and partners thanked Rep. Meijer for being a conservation leader in Michigan, and emphasized the overall importance of federal conservation funding like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
“Audubon Great Lakes applauds Congressman Meijer for joining the House Great Lakes Task Force and his leadership in supporting the investment in and the protection of the Great Lakes,” said Urso. “Audubon is working to protect and restore more than 300,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Michigan. Increased federal investment will protect birds that are threatened by habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change – all while creating jobs and benefiting the economy. We look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Meijer to uplift the Great Lakes region for the benefit of Michiganders and our wildlife.”
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive.
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