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Audubon Society of Rhode Island Eagle Eye Advocacy Update Environmental News Call to Action Smith Hill

May 2020

The monthly Audubon Eagle Eye Advocacy Updates will provide you with simple actions you can take to help foster a cleaner, healthier planet along with local and national environmental news. Advocacy to protect birds and wildlife is a top Audubon priority and this work goes beyond testifying on their behalf on Smith Hill. Year round, we are working with our community partners and Rhode Island leaders to ensure the environment is a priority. These updates will keep you informed and ready to take action when the legislative session is upon us. As the newsletter continues, we are very interested in your suggestions and questions. Please send them to Audubon Senior Director of Policy Meg Kerr at

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Actions You Can Take

Legislation During COVID-19

We hope you are all safe at home taking care of yourselves and your families. The uncertainty of these times means that our state leaders are focused on the pandemic. Please thank front line responders and our state leaders if you have a chance! 

Although the legislature is not in session, the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd illustrated that environmental issues have not been forgotten. In Governor Gina Raimondo's daily briefing, she mentioned Earth Day and DEM issued an Earth Day press release that included its strong support for the Act On Climate 2020 bill, Audubon's top legislative priority. The celebration of the 50th Earth day during a pandemic, reminds us of the need to keep working towards more climate change resilient communities - read the Environmental Council of RI (ECRI) op-ed.

We do not know when the legislature will reconvene. But when they do, the budget will certainly be a top priority and we continue to advocate for our top priority, the 2020 Beach, Clean Water and Green $64 Million Bond.

Climate change is still looming – what are we learning?

The COVID crisis has taught us that individual action DOES make a difference and it is even more powerful when we do it together.

Ask Sara: What can I realistically do about Climate Change?
Sara Peach, May 1, 2020; Yale Climate Connections

“The past few months have shown that people like you and me have an absolutely gobsmackingly critical role to play in confronting a crisis. Most of us are staying home if our jobs and family situations make that possible, trying to remain at least six feet apart from others when human interaction is unavoidable, wearing cloth masks, and washing our hands. It is isolating and frightening work, but billions of us are participating in this breathtaking moment of global solidarity. We can’t control the disease without it.

The pandemic has also highlighted another way of looking at the tired old argument about whether individuals, governments, or companies are most responsible for cleaning up a mess of planetary proportions.

I don’t know about you, but my social media feeds are full of women (and a few men) organizing mask sew-a-thons. My neighbors are sharing extra toilet paper rolls, tomato seedlings, and soup with each other. We’re swapping tips on how to lovingly bully our friends and family members into staying at home. A restaurant owner in my town even organized local restaurateurs and farmers to offer a three-times-a-week drive-through where residents can have meals and fresh produce loaded into their trunks.

In other words, we’re finding a middle path. We’re caring for one another not just through our individual behavior but at a community scale.

The same idea applies to the problem of climate change.”

The author encourages action at the community scale – getting involved with neighbors and with organizations like the Audubon Society of Rhode Island to advocate for actions to address climate change. We agree!

Offshore Wind and COVID-19

Offshore wind is a key component of Rhode Island’s clean energy future. The RI Office of Energy Resources reports regularly on how the state is progressing towards meeting the Governor’s goal of 1000 MW by 2020. Their estimates include 430 MW of offshore wind which is comprised of the fully operational 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm and the planned 400 MW Revolution Wind project under development by Ørsted.

Keep learning while you are home!

Learn about recycling here in Rhode Island by taking a virtual tour of the Resource Recovery Materials Recycling Facility:

Take an online webinar through the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a great source for information about pollinator and beneficial insects:

Previous Issues of The Audubon Eagle Eye

In this Issue: A Few Sustainability Tips to Kick off the New Year, Beach; Clean Water and Green Bond goes to the voters on March 2 - Please Vote YES!; The Great Backyard Bee Count; Climate Change Legislation at the 2021 Rhode Island General Assembly. sign up to receive the Eagle Eye in your email inbox.

In this issue: A Few Ideas for Making Your Holiday More Sustainable; Environment Council of Rhode Island’s Green Report Card; Rhode Islanders See Climate Change as a Top Priority; Things with Wings: Recent Highlights from the Xerces Society’s Bee City USA Initiative; Migratory Bird Treaty Act under attack by Trump Administration; Audubon’s Legislative Priorities for 2021.sign up to receive the Eagle Eye in your email inbox.

In this issue: The Election is Behind Us!; Quick Tips For Getting Your Yard Ready For Winter Birds
; Continued Good News for Menhaden; . To stay informed and take action with Audubon, Governor Raimondo Commits to up to 600 MW of additional Offshore Wind; Advocating for Balancing Offshore Wind Development with Protection of Birds and Wildlife; How Migrating Birds Could Warn Us of the Next Pandemic; Action You Can Take. sign up to receive the Eagle Eye in your email inbox.

Latest Audubon News & Events

As part of a Citizen Science effort and Audubon's work with the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, we joined 11th Hour Racing Team in their effort to educate sailors on marine conservation issues and whale conservation. Click to learn more about how you can help protect marine wildlife!

Rhode Island is holding a special election on March 2nd on a series of proposed bonds, including the Beaches, Clean Water & Green Bond. Mail ballot applications must be returned by Feb 9th!

While humans may take their cozy homes for granted when winter sets in, the strategies that wildlife have developed to cope with the plunging temperatures, biting wind and lack of food are as creative and innovative as they are necessary.

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