Do Your Part to Determine the Future
of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's West Pond
On February 24, NYC Audubon released Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: Restoration Recommendations for the West Pond. These recommendations are intended to provide conservation science-based guidance in the National Park Service's upcoming decision on the future of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
A total of 61 bird species found at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge have been identified as having significant conservation need. These are species with declining populations, or which are present in New York State in only small numbers and therefore vulnerable. Among them are herons and egrets; common terns; shorebirds such as red knots, piping plovers, and American oystercatchers; and migrating upland songbirds such as black-throated blue warblers. All of these species need your help.
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy breached Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's West Pond, transforming this formerly freshwater habitat into a saltwater lagoon of Jamaica Bay. Over a year later, this breach has not been repaired. A very small fraction of New York City's original freshwater habitat remains, due to overdevelopment throughout the City. As a result, the freshwater habitat of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is crucial for New York City's birds.
NYC Audubon has just released Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: Restoration Recommendations for the West Pond, prepared by NYC Audubon conservation staff with much valuable input from the Birders Coalition for Gateway*. We recommend that the National Park Service design restoration of the West Pond to maximize habitat for the species of greatest conservation need in Jamaica Bay, while building long-term resiliency to climate change and sea-level rise as well as improving wildlife protection and providing more opportunities for public viewing. Our restoration recommendations are the product of many months of work by NYC Audubon conservation staff along with members of the Birders’ Coalition for Gateway, an ad hoc group representing non-profit bird conservation groups and universities in New York City. The report, which reflects a landscape ecology approach to habitat restoration based on sound science, has been released to the National Park Service and local and regional government officials.
It is imperative that restoration of the West Pond begin immediately and progress quickly; Jamaica Bay is an Important Bird Area of global significance, and the freshwater supplied by the West Pond was an integral feature of the ecology of the Bay. A final decision on restoration is yet to be made. Do your part in bringing pressure to bear by signing this petition right now.
* We gratefully acknowledge the Birders Coalition for Gateway for valuable input in the creation of our restoration recommendations, as well as for the creation of the petition to support bird-friendly restoration. Members of the Birders Coalition include Brooklyn Bird Club (Rob Bate, Sandy Paci); Queens Bird Club (Seth Ausubel, Lou Widerka); NY State Ornithological Association (Seth Ausubel, Andrew Baksh, Doug Futuyma, Angus Wilson); Staten Island Bird Club and Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Clifford Hagen); Linnaean Society (Andrew Rubenfeld, Jeff Nulle); Littoral Society (Don Riepe); NYC Audubon and Audubon Chapters of New York (Harry Maas, Peter Post, David Speiser, Lloyd Spitalnik, Judy Craig, John Shemilt).
Top Banner Photo Credits: harlequin ducks © Lloyd Spitalnik; group of birders © Kati Solomon; all others © Francois Portmann.
** This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Isaac Grant's 2013
New York City Big Year
At the start of 2013, NYC Audubon member and Staten Islander Isaac Grant was on a mission— a New York City Big Year. Isaac spent over 600 hours in the field, traveling over 2,000 miles between the five boroughs in pursuit of over 300 species within a calendar year. Through persistence, substantial NYC birding knowledge, and of course a bit of good fortune, he was able to spot 307 species.
Click here to read the full story by Lynne Hertzog, which also includes Lynne's full interview where Isaac shares with her the joys, challenges, favorite NYC birding spots, and memorable experiences he encountered on his journey to 307 species within the City in 2013.
Photography Classes: Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
Join professional photographer Lloyd Spitalnik for this series of three classroom workshops focusing on image post-processing, for all skill levels from beginner to advanced. The classes progress from the basics of Adobe Lightroom and managing your raw photos... to processing your images with Adobe Photoshop... to the programs' more advanced features. Take advantage of this small-group setting to answer all your questions. Please click here to learn more and to register. Limited to 11.