Audubon has long-championed greater renewable energy use as key to avoiding disasters like the Gulf spill and reducing climate-changing emissions that threaten people and nature worldwide. Less demand for fossil fuel translates into less need for risky energy extraction and transport.
The organization’s response to oil-related incidents—from San Francisco (2007, 90,000 gallons) and Alaska (1989 Exxon Valdez, 11 million gallons) to the Gulf—give Audubon a keen understanding of fossil fuel-related dangers and impacts.
“This is a donation and a demonstration of renewable energy all in one—the perfect way to recognize everything Audubon is doing to address the oil disaster in the Gulf and the long-term health of our environment,” said Audubon President & CEO David Yarnold. “Solar is an important source of renewable energy that can help America kick its addiction to fossil fuel.”
“We were deeply moved by the Gulf Coast disaster and haven’t forgotten its impact on the people, wildlife and environment of the region” said Kam Mofid, president of REC Solar, adding “we’ve been so impressed with all that Audubon is doing in the Gulf that we wanted to give them a gift that will keep on giving.” Among the most noteworthy aspects of Audubon’s Gulf disaster efforts were its major volunteer response to support bird rescue, its ongoing citizen-science monitoring activities, and its long-term work to restore threatened Gulf ecosystems.
A conservation force on the Gulf Coast for more than 80 years, Audubon played a central role in the successful recovery of imperiled Brown Pelicans and continues to work to reverse the rapid disappearance of the coastal wetlands that are vital to the region’s birds, wildlife and communities. From its Mississippi River and Coastal Louisiana Initiatives to education and outreach efforts in Florida and across the country, Audubon is mobilizing America to restore the health of one of America’s most productive and inspiring regions. “We’re excited to be recognizing this great work in a way that people will be able to see and learn from for years to come,” added Mr. Mofid.
Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Blair Audubon at Corkscrew hosts 100,000 visitors annually at the heart of a 13,000 acre sanctuary that is home to the largest stand of old-growth Bald Cypress trees in North America. It boasts the nation’s largest nesting colonies of endangered Wood Stork as well as to 200 other species of birds. Corkscrew is also critical habitat for Florida panther, American alligator, and rare Ghost Orchid.
“We work hard everyday to show people the connections between the health of the Corkscrew Swamp watershed, the Gulf and the birds, wildlife and prosperity we cherish,” said Corkscrew Center Director Ed Carlson. “It’s gratifying to get this new opportunity to use renewable energy in recognition of Audubon’s efforts to renew the Gulf.”