Press Archive

Here you can find all the latest Audubon International news! From the great environmental efforts to where we will be next, we will post it here first.
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  • 03/13/2014 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The appointment of Doug Bechtel as president and chief executive officer of Audubon International (AI), a New York-based organization that works with organizations in 36 countries on environmental sustainability, was announced today by the AI board of directors.

    Bechtel has been serving as associate director of environmental programs for AI. Prior to joining the organization, Bechtel was director of conservation science for The Nature Conservancy’s New Hampshire Chapter for over 15 years.

    AI is a not-for-profit organization that works with nearly 2,500 golf courses, business and other organizations to encourage good management of natural resources. Its mission is to deliver high-quality environmental education and facilitate the sustainable management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources in all places people live, work and play. In addition to golf courses, the largest membership base of AI, the organization works with cemeteries, hotels and resorts, residential communities, and industrial facilities.

    “I’m proud to serve Audubon International’s great mission,” said Bechtel. “Our members and partners are enthusiastic about working toward a common goal of environmental stewardship. I am happy to be leading a great team of dedicated environmental professionals providing services, expertise, and environmental education to ensure we live in harmony with the habitats in our communities.”

    Clarence Bassett, chair of the AI board, said Bechtel “brings a solid background in natural resource management and planning that should prove very valuable in fulfilling the Audubon mission.”

    Doug holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Grinnell College and a master’s degree in botany from the University of Vermont. An avid outdoorsmen, his favorite pastimes are birding, hiking, and cross-country skiing. He has more than 16 years of experience directing complex land and water conservation projects for the New Hampshire chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

    He succeeds Ryan Aylesworth, who is leaving to pursue other interests.


  • 03/05/2014 3:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Focused attention on the Trump Doral Golf Course this week at the Cadillac Championship highlights Donald Trump’s recent move to enroll Trump Golf in Audubon International’s certification program for golf. Trump Doral is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, and now Trump Golf has announced that all of its courses will pursue the environmental certification. This includes all 20 Trump Golf courses which are located on 13 Trump Golf properties in the U.S. and one in Scotland.Photo: www.trumphotelcollection.com

    “I have a deep respect for Audubon International’s work,” said Donald Trump, chairman and president of the Trump Organization. “They help courses protect the natural assets that are part of the golf experience: nature, coastlines, rivers, grasses and trees. I’m proud that Trump Golf courses are located in some of the most beautiful places with stunning views and environmental features. Preserving the landscapes that make golf such a great experience has always been important to me personally and throughout Trump Golf. Doral, which is certified, is an example of how Audubon International helps us care for the environment while maintaining high standards for play.”

    Audubon International, a not-for profit organization, works to protect and enhance the natural resources of properties and helps improve the environmental sustainability of each facility’s overall design and operations. The majority of Trump Golf’s courses are enrolled in the organization’s largest program called the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. In this program, each golf course will undergo a review process examining environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management, with a goal of making voluntary improvements toward greater sustainability. In addition, outreach and environmental education are required components of the program.

    “Trump Golf is nationally and internationally known for its premier golf courses and has emerged as a global leader in the golf industry,” said Ryan Aylesworth, President & CEO of Audubon International. “We are excited to work directly with the Trump Organization and help Trump Golf both achieve bold environmental goals and promote their success industry-wide. This commitment will demonstrate how golf facilities offering the highest level of playability and guest experience can be designed and managed to simultaneously improve environmental quality, conserve water and energy, protect and
     restore wildlife habitat, and safeguard a wide range of other nature resources.”

    About Trump Golf
    With 20 courses throughout the world, Trump golf properties offer a new level of challenge, luxury, service and performance that have become synonymous with the Trump Golf experience. Trump National and International Golf Clubs are some of the most sought after clubs worldwide and are considered to have the highest standards in golf course design, maintenance, and management. Trump courses combine the most spectacular landscapes with the talents of the world’s best golf course architects such as Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Martin Hawtree, Arthur Hills, Gil Hanse and Tom Kite, creating a timeless blend of beauty and challenge on every hole.

  • 02/20/2014 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Matt Ceplo, golf course superintendent at Rockland Country Club in Sparkill, N.Y., has been elected as a member of the board of directors of Audubon International. He succeeds Dan Dinelli, superintendent at North Shore Country Club in northern Illinois. Dinelli continues to serve Audubon International in an advisory capacity.

    Ceplo has spent most of his career at Rockland Country Club, which he guided through certification in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses in 2000. He expanded his involvement with Audubon International to become a member of the Audubon Steward Network and has been a tireless advocate for various environmental initiatives, especially among fellow members of the Metropolitan Golf Course Superintendents Association (MGCSA) and the Metropolitan Golf Association. Under Ceplo’s leadership, Rockland Country Club earned the distinction of being a member of the New York State environmental leader’s program in 2013.

    “I am thrilled that Matt Ceplo is joining our Board of Directors,” said Ryan Aylesworth, President & CEO of Audubon International. “Matt is well-respected throughout the golf industry and recognized by his peers as a leader in environmental sustainability on the golf course. As a superintendent, he was an early-adopter of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, and under his leadership the course earned certification over a decade and has been successfully recertified seven times. Matt has also generously volunteered his time over the years to mentor other superintendents by serving as a member of the Audubon Steward Network. As a valued certified member of our program, Audubon Steward, and highly regarded golf industry professional, Audubon International has been benefiting from Matt’s knowledge and experience for years. It is very exciting to have him join our Board, and I am confident our organization will benefit considerably from the well-informed perspectives he offers in this new role.”

    "We are delighted that Matt has agreed to serve on the Audubon International board," said Chuck Bassett, chairman of the AI board which voted on his selection at a meeting earlier this month in Orlando, FL. "He brings to the board a depth of knowledge about the golf industry as well as a sincere dedication to sound environmental management principles and should be very effective in helping us to encourage sustainable practices in the golf business as well as other industries."

    A graduate of the State University of New York-Delhi's two-year associate's degree program in horticulture, Ceplo was an assistant superintendent at Ridgewood (N.J.) Country Club and the superintendent at Westchester Hills Golf Club in White Plains, N.Y., for eight years before going to Rockland Country Club in 1995. He is a 28-year member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and served on the MGCSA board for 18 years, including serving as president in 2008. He currently serves as president of the Tri-State Turf Research Foundation of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Ceplo also currently chairs the Rockland Water Quality Committee and is a member of the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance.

    In 2013, Ceplo was selected by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Board of Directors to receive the 2013 GCSAA President's Award for Environmental Stewardship. Ceplo has also been the recipient of several other environmental honors, including the MGA's 2012 Arthur P. Weber Environmental Leader in Golf Award and the Global Sports Alliance's 2011 New York Environmental Steward Award.

    “I feel very fortunate and honored to be a member of the Audubon International’s Board of Directors,” said Ceplo. “I look forward to helping spread the organization’s message and promoting its programs. On both a personal and professional level, I can honestly say that I have gained so much from Audubon International that I will never be able to fully repay the organization.”
  • 02/20/2014 11:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Audubon International is excited to announce that longtime leader of fish and wildlife conservation, Marvin Moriarty, has joined its board of directors.


    Moriarty spent nearly 40 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the last eight years of which were spent as the Regional Director of the FWS’ Northeast Region before retiring in 2011. Prior to leading FWS’ Northeast Region, Moriarty served as the Deputy Regional Director of the FWS’ Midwest Region for 15 years. 


    “Audubon International has been a global leader in environmental education and third-party certification for over 25 years, and the addition of a lifelong conservationist and celebrated public servant like Marvin will help ensure that our organization continues to make bold strides in meeting our mission,” said Ryan Aylesworth, President & CEO of Audubon International. “Marvin understands the importance of forming voluntary partnerships and facilitating collaboration to sustainably manage natural resources and promote a strong economy. Over the course of a long and distinguished career in federal service, Marvin actively cultivated collaboration across myriad stakeholder groups, including recreationists, businesses, advocacy groups, land trusts, local governments, and state and federal agencies. As a member of the Audubon International Board of Directors, he will play a central role in a number of critical governance and support functions and help us forge valuable new partnerships that advance conservation and environmental education.”


    Moriarty joined FWS in 1972 after honorably serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. The first six years of his career were spent as a biologist in the Upper Darby River Basin Studies Field Office in Pennsylvania, the Ecological Services Field Office in Maryland, and the Ecological Services Field Office located at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.


    In 1978, Moriarty began a 10-year stint in Washington, D.C., where he served in multiple positions, including the coastal zone management coordinator for the Division of Ecological Services and branch chief of the Ecological Services Division's Permits and Licenses Branch. Moriarty's duties later brought him to Atlanta, Georgia, where he assumed the position of Assistant Regional Director for Enhancement. He then returned to Washington, D.C. and served as Ecological Services Division Chief. In 1985 he was appointed the Acting Deputy Regional Director for FWS’ Mountain-Prairie Regional Headquarters in Denver, Colorado. He returned once again to Washington the following year, where he served as chief of the Office of Endangered Species and Deputy Assistant Director of Fish and Wildlife Enhancement, before becoming the Deputy Regional Director for the Midwest Region from 1988 to 2003.


    After retiring from FWS, Moriarty became active with the Friends of Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge, joining the group’s Science and Stewardship Committee. In this volunteer capacity, Moriarty is helping to advance the goals of the refuge while facilitating collaboration among government agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and communities throughout the entire Connecticut River Basin.


    "Marvin's experience in government and his extensive background in scientific issues relating to wildlife and ecology will be an excellent addition to the Audubon board as we work with industry and communities to encourage environmental sustainability," said Chuck Bassett, chairman of the AI board, which elected Moriarty at a recent meeting in Orlando, Florida.


    A native of Springfield, Vermont, Moriarty now resides in Amherst, Massachusetts. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from St. Joseph's College, Philadelphia. His outside interests include photography, fishing, canoeing and canoe-building. He is also an avid cross-country and back-country skier and enjoys winter camping.


    "I am delighted and honored to serve on AI's Board of Directors because the organization’s programs, mission, and core beliefs underpin a long history of education and innovative partnerships that benefit conservation and economic development,” said Moriarty. “I look forward to working with AI to facilitate conservation through sustainable land and natural resource development while supporting strong economic growth."

  • 01/08/2014 11:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Audubon International is excited to announce the hiring of Tara Pepperman as the organization’s Membership Coordinator. Tara joined the team at its headquarters in Troy, New York on January 2, 2014.

    As Membership Coordinator, Tara will provide member services support for all Audubon International programs including managing the organization’s membership database and serving as the main point of contact for questions from members and the public. In addition, she will assist the team in managing finances, coordinating events, developing educational materials, and implementing strategic plans to further the organization’s mission.

    “I am thrilled that Tara has joined our organization,” said Ryan Aylesworth, President & CEO of Audubon International. “Exceptional member service is a cornerstone of our mission. Tara’s strong communication skills, interdisciplinary academic training, professional experiences, and genuine passion for environmental conservation will help Audubon International’s globally-respected education and certification programs attain an even higher level of member satisfaction and overall environmental impact. I am supremely confident that Tara will be an outstanding membership coordinator and an invaluable addition to our team.”   


    Prior to joining Audubon International, Tara served as Association Manager at The Association Development Group in Albany, New York where she managed memberships, donations, communications, and events for five professional trade associations. Tara has also completed internships with the British Embassy’s Climate Change & Energy Team in Washington, DC and with the New York State Governor’s Office Department of Environment.

    “I’m so thrilled to be a part of Audubon International’s team,” Tara said. “I look forward to bringing my experience with non-profit membership, along with my passion and training for environmental work, to drive forward AI’s mission to promote sustainable environmental practices in the future.”


    Tara earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University at Albany and a master’s degree in global environmental policy from American University in Washington, DC. As part of her degree program, Tara spent a month in the Galapagos Islands documenting the effects of invasive species and development on the area and ways to mitigate these issues moving forward. Tara is a native upstate New Yorker and loves spending her weekends hiking or skiing in the Adirondacks, depending on the season! She also enjoys spending time with her family and dog, Otto, or simply curling up with a great book.
  • 01/07/2014 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Audubon International is excited to announce the hiring of Doug Bechtel as Associate Director of Environmental Programs. Prior to joining Audubon International, Doug served as the Director of Conservation Science for The Nature Conservancy’s (Conservancy) New Hampshire Chapter for over 15 years. Doug began his employment with Audubon International on January 2, 2014 and will be based in the organization’s headquarters in Troy, New York.

    As Associate Director of Environmental Programs, Doug will share responsibility for administering the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) and ACSP for Golf Courses. The ACSP for Golf Courses works with over 2,000 golf facilities pursuing environmental certification, and is the organization’s largest membership program. Doug will also play an important support role in the administration of the Audubon Signature and Classic Programs, which focus on planned new development and substantial renovations to existing facilities (including golf facilities). Doug will work as part of a collaborative team of dedicated staff members, directly engaging a wide range of stakeholders. Most importantly, he will play a central role in helping Audubon International continue providing its valued members exceptional technical assistance, planning and management support, and overall guidance throughout the certification process.

    “Doug’s extensive professional background in natural resource conservation, ecology, and environmental education will make him a perfect fit for this position” said Ryan Aylesworth, President and CEO of Audubon International. “Facilities and communities that have become certified or are working toward certification with Audubon International are committed to sustainability, and we continuously help our members improve their operations and receive the public recognition they deserve for implementing sound environmental design and management practices. Doug has a long track record of successfully assisting land managers and other stakeholders conserve and restore our natural environment while simultaneously achieving their social and economic goals. I am thrilled that Doug will be coming on board to help advance our organization’s important mission.”

    With the Conservancy, Doug led, managed, and facilitated the execution of conservation projects and programs at the property-, community-, and regional scale. The teams he led and staff he supervised managed nature preserves and administered projects as diverse as conservation planning, land stewardship and protection, wildlife and habitat inventories, invasive species management, and public access for recreation. In these roles, he developed comprehensive natural resource management plans that included measurable objectives for practices such as prescribed fire for reestablishing naturalized areas, integrated pest management for invasive species control, and floodplain forest restoration for promoting wildlife habitat and water quality. 

    “My entire professional life has focused on protecting native habitats and finding ways to help people live in nature with a light touch,” says Doug. “Audubon International’s mission and programs focus on exactly these principles. This organization provides motivation and resources that help people learn how to more effectively protect wildlife habitat, water quality, and other aspects of our environment. I look forward to helping land and resource managers do a better job conserving the ecological services we depend on for food, water, recreation, and other human needs.”

    Doug holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Grinnell College and a master’s degree in botany from the University of Vermont. An avid outdoorsmen, his favorite pastimes are birding, hiking, and cheering for New England sports teams!
  • 10/31/2013 2:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The community of Owensboro recently became the first community in Kentucky to join Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program. It is the 14th community in the US to work with Audubon International to move toward environmental, economic, and social sustainability.

    “We are very excited to start the Sustainable Communities certification process. The Sustainable Communities program offers the City of Owensboro the opportunity to showcase so many of our great existing programs as well as a chance to focus on what we can do better as a community,” said Andy Hutchinson, Chairman of PRIDE of Owensboro Daviess County.

    The Sustainable Communities Program serves as a framework to merge economic and social considerations with the protection and enhancement of a community’s environmental characteristics. Audubon International serves as a catalyst for citizen-driven planning and community actions, and facilitates partnerships with governmental agencies, businesses, academic institutions, and other organizations that provide local support and assistance to reach the goals envisioned in the community. Working in this way, Owensboro will take a big picture approach to community growth and environmental protection. 
     
    “As communities grow, they undergo changes that can enhance or degrade the qualities in each community that make it a great place to live,” said Joanna Nadeau, Associate Director of Environmental Programs. “The Sustainable Communities Program helps communities tackle that challenge and plan for change in a way that fosters a vibrant local economy while maintaining a healthy environment and high quality of life. AI will work with Owensboro to build on the efforts citizens have already made to come together around key projects like building a state of the art “green” hospital. We have the opportunity to demonstrate what a heartland community like Owensboro can to do preserve its assets and face the future with the best foot forward.”

    The City of Owensboro, located on the banks of the Ohio River in western Kentucky, has a vibrant population of more than 58,000 residents. Located in a unique bottomland forest, the region historically contained a wide diversity of wild plants and animals. To access natural areas, residents and guests explore floodways and stream corridors by boat, relax at city park lands, and enjoy several local golf courses. The City’s performing arts center, farmers’ markets, museums, and regular festivals, including the International Bar-B-Q Festival, create a unique mix of cultural activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. An ambitious downtown revitalization project focuses on increasing use of the riverfront for business, recreation, and events, and a 15-mile planned greenbelt will increase transportation options for pedestrians and bicyclists to reach the community’s many attractions.

    By joining and participating in the Sustainable Communities Program, Owensboro will join several other medium-sized communities as a member of the program. There are three stages in the multi-year certification process, during which Owensboro will complete an assessment, define a long-term community vision, choose sustainability indicators as a mechanism for fostering action and measuring success, and implement its plan. The plan covers 15 focus areas, and members must choose timelines and measurable goals. After completing a vision plan and reporting progress on chosen goals, members of Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program are eligible for certification and designation as an Audubon International Sustainable Community, which recognizes dedication to the process of becoming a sustainable community.

  • 10/30/2013 12:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Riverwood community has earned the Audubon Green Community Award from Audubon International, a non-profit environmental organization. Riverwood becomes the first private community in Florida and the third entity in the state to earn the Audubon Green Community Award for their ongoing green initiatives.

    Members of Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program are eligible for the award, which recognizes environmental achievement and is an intermediate milestone en route to earning rigorous designation as a Certified Audubon Sustainable Community. 
     
    Riverwood’s accomplishments include:

    • Reclaimed Water Project – By partnering with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Riverwood installed a system that uses reclaimed water for irrigation. The community reduced its use of potable water and became more environmentally friendly through partnerships while reducing costs and not hindering aesthetics.

    • Health and Wellness – Amenities are integrated with the natural landscape through sidewalks and public and private roads. These promote a healthy lifestyle by offering walking, biking, golfing, swimming, and other activities rather than sedentary activities. Also, the volunteer-supported Virginia B. Andes Clinic offers medical care for the uninsured.

    • Wildlife Habitat – As part of the community’s master plan, over 300 acres of open space were protected through conservation easements and restrictions. Educational signs posted around the community’s environmental areas encourage awareness about wildlife, and viewing platforms offer opportunities for viewing eagles and other sensitive species. As a demonstration project, residents are now working with the Florida Bat Conservancy to install bat houses that will provide alternative nesting sites in response to problems with bats nesting in people’s houses. 

    • Outreach and Education – An important priority for Riverwood has been to educate the community regarding environmental and sustainable stewardship. Ongoing programs and efforts include the Living with Nature events and articles in the community newspaper and website about sound environmental practices and native species that are published several times a year. 

    • Citizen Engagement and Environmental Commitment – To engage residents and encourage environmental commitment, the community has extensive volunteer opportunities with a continued commitment to making sure the various programs are cultivated for increased participation. Community volunteers have assisted in raising funds, providing toys, and building homes each year in the region. 

    “As the first private community in the State of Florida to receive the Audubon International Green Community Award, Riverwood has demonstrated a strong commitment to embodying the ideals of sustainability—economic vitality, environmental protection, and social responsibility,” says Joanna Nadeau, Manager of the Sustainable Communities Program. “With the surrounding natural landscape of the ‘wild and scenic’ Myakka River, and Charlotte Harbor, an important Florida estuary, Riverwood has much to celebrate. It is a unique place filled with residents that care deeply about the place they call home.” 
     
    After a community sustainability plan is approved, communities in the program may apply for certification in the Sustainable Communities Program by demonstrating continuous progress towards goals in the plan under fifteen focus areas.

  • 10/28/2013 3:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Audubon International is excited to announce that Tom Keer, Founder and President of The Keer Group, has joined the Board of Directors (Board). In joining Audubon International’s Board of Directors, Tom will be taking over the seat previously held by Jim Becker, President & CEO of EPIC Creative. Although his four-year term on the Board of Directors has concluded, Jim will continue to serve Audubon International in an advisory capacity.

    As a member of the Board, Tom will work closely with Audubon International’s President & CEO and play a central role in a number of critical governance and support functions, including formulation of organization policies and procedures, financial management and oversight, program development and implementation, strategic planning, and overall promotion of the organization.

    “I am thrilled that Tom Keer has agreed to join the Board of Directors,” said Ryan Aylesworth, President & CEO of Audubon International. “Tom has a well-earned reputation as a skilled executive, accomplished and engaging writer, critical thinker, and avid outdoorsman. He is a proactive and visionary individual who has aggressively advanced natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation for over 20 years. I look forward to working closely with Tom in the months and years ahead, and am certain that Audubon International will benefit considerably from his well-informed perspectives and genuine passion for the issues our organization holds most dear.”

    Tom champions the belief that successful organizations possess more than an attractive and engaging brand, they achieve success by delivering on what the brand promises. It is Audubon International’s own results-based approach and commitment to member service that motivated Tom to join the Board of Directors. As the President of The Keer Group, Tom and his professional team have helped numerous companies build and streamline the necessary operational infrastructure to support their brand. He and his team are results-oriented and rely on insight, ability, and industry relationships to provide growth opportunities for clients. His firm’s clients come from real estate, travel and leisure, manufacturing, retail, destination clubs, and educational markets.

    Over the course of his career, Tom has earned a number of awards for professional distinction. While directing The Orvis Company’s Wholesale Division, he won their Impact Award for a 7-figure increase in net profitability. The Keer Group’s website work for one client received the American Marketing Association’s “Most Improved Website” Award. In 2011, Tom received Pinnacle Award for Outstanding Achievement from Professional Outdoor Media and Mossy Oak. Most recently, in September 2013 Tom received three prestigious Excellence in Craft awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

    “It is a great honor to be welcomed onto Audubon International’s Board of Directors. I’ve known Ryan Aylesworth for a long time and he is a remarkably talented man. The Board is comprised of highly-regarded professionals who are all passionate conservationists. Audubon International’s strength has been evidenced by the significant environmental improvements it has helped thousands of golf facilities and other organizations achieve. What I hope to help bring to the table is additional industries and user groups, particularly in the area of outdoor recreation. The addition of those groups will strengthen Audubon International’s ability to deliver high-impact environmental educational programs, restore ecosystems, and conserve open space for angling, hunting, camping, hiking, boating, skiing, and a wide range of other outdoor activities.”

    Tom and his family reside in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. His favorite pastimes are fly fishing, boating and upland bird hunting.
  • 09/18/2013 2:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC - The Village of Bald Head Island recently became the second community in North Carolina to join Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program. It is the 13th community in the US to work with Audubon International to move toward environmental, economic, and social sustainability.

    “The experience of Bald Head Island is defined by our unique environment and natural assets, and this program will help continue our long history of putting the needs of the natural ecology of the Island ahead of other interests,” said Mayor Andy Sayre. “The Sustainable Communities Program will help us achieve effective stewardship of our waterways, unique maritime forest, indigenous wildlife and sensitive beaches, which are vital to our future.”

    The Sustainable Communities Program serves as a framework to merge economic and social considerations with the protection and enhancement of a community’s environmental characteristics. Audubon International acts as a catalyst for citizen-driven planning and community actions, and facilitates partnerships with governmental agencies, businesses, academic institutions, and other organizations that provide local support and assistance to reach the goals envisioned in the community. Working in this way, Bald Head Island will take a big picture approach to community growth and environmental protection.

    “Bald Head Island is doing a great job of being proactive in the face of increasing changes and challenges. As a coastal community with 14 miles of beaches, the Village has a particularly important role in protecting water quality and the wide array of animal and plant species that make the Island their home,” said Joanna Nadeau, Associate Director of Environmental Programs at Audubon International. “The Sustainable Communities Program will help the Village tackle those challenges and plan for the future in a way that fosters a vibrant local economy while maintaining a healthy environment. We want to harness the best of what Bald Head Island is today, and plan for the best of what it can be tomorrow.”

    The southernmost of North Carolina's cape islands, Bald Head Island is located just one hour from Wilmington, NC. This barrier island at the mouth of the Cape Fear River is reachable only by ferry. Bald Head Island has a vibrant summer population of more than 8,000 visitors with a permanent, year-round residency of about 200. The Village and its partners, which include Bald Head Island Conservancy, work closely on projects to preserve this subtropical environment which is a haven for a wide array of wildlife, including nearly 200 species of birds, dolphins, loggerhead turtles, alligators, deer, foxes, and an amazing variety of fish. Amid the Island’s 12,000 acres, 10,000 untouched acres of beach, marsh and maritime forest preserves and intimate neighborhoods respect the natural beauty of the surroundings. In addition to the natural landscape, residents and guests can also enjoy a recently renovated golf course certified by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System, fitness and tennis facilities, swimming pool, dining, and many other world-class amenities.

    There are three stages in Audubon International’s multi-year certification process, during which Bald Head Island will complete an assessment, define a long-term community vision, choose sustainability indicators as a mechanism for fostering action and measuring success, and implement its plan. The plan covers 15 focus areas, and members must choose timelines and measurable goals. After completing a vision plan and reporting progress on chosen goals, members of Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program are eligible for certification and designation as an Audubon International Sustainable Community.
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