Charleston’s The Avian Conservation Center & Partners Bring “Year of the Bird” to Cainhoy Elementary

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Corporate and Foundation partners invest in under-served students, inspired learning, and avian conservation

The Avian Conservation Center, a renowned educational, conservation, and scientific organization in Charleston, has received a $12,500 grant from BP America and a $20,000 grant from the Daniel Island Community Fund to fund the Year of The Bird Program at Cainhoy Elementary School.

In 2018, we commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. In honor of this milestone, nature lovers around the world are joining forces to celebrate the “Year of the Bird” and commit to protecting birds today and for the next one hundred years. The need for this focus on avian science and conservation has never been more urgent. Today nearly one in eight species of birds (~12% of all birds worldwide) is at “real” risk of becoming extinct in the next 100 years – 50 times the historical rate.

Building on the Center’s past work at Cainhoy Elementary School funded by BP America, the Year Of The Bird Program will expand the Center’s impact on Cainhoy students from a role of programmatic support to that of cultural transformation. Cainhoy Media Specialist, Ashley Illig, has been designated as a liaison between Cainhoy faculty and the Center’s Education Staff. Illig completed a three-week internship at the Center over the summer, becoming immersed in the Center’s medical, educational, research, and conservation work.

Center educators led a day long Teacher Training Workshop for all Cainhoy Elementary teachers on the Center’s campus in August. During this workshop ornithology curriculum was integrated with problem-based learning and STEAM connections into classroom lesson plans intended for the Cainhoy students. Illig is helping teachers create year-round, hands-on grade level projects for students utilizing this curriculum.

Funding from BP America, the Daniel Island Community Fund, and Coastal Expeditions will provide monthly programs for Cainhoy students conducted by the Avian Conservation Center’s staff. The first of these programs took place at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston in September featuring new work by the Italian artist Hitnes. The exhibition is a culmination of The Image Hunter project, in which Hitnes retraced Audubon’s travels in the United States and created work during a residency in Charleston, SC.

Next month students will visit the Center’s campus during fall raptor migration to participate in the annual SC Coastal Raptor Migration Survey. This survey, part of the Hawk Migration Association of North American’s international research on avian migration, will utilize novel radar technology to track migrating birds. Funding from the corporate and foundation partners of this project will make nature and wildlife more accessible to Cainhoy students in a way stimulates a renewed and sustained interest in learning and the STEAM disciplines.

“The decisions we make today directly affect the status of environmental conservation for generations to come. By exposing students to programs incorporating live birds of prey, we are able to encourage active participation in the natural world with a scientific perspective. It is our obligation to assist these young students in developing an understanding and appreciation for our crucial role as stewards of our cherished natural resources,” says Jim Elliott, Founder and Executive Director of the Avian Conservation Center and Center for Birds of Prey.

About the Avian Conservation Center

Founded in 1991 in response to the crucial need of an avian conservation center in South Carolina, the Center utilizes the unique role of wild birds as unsurpassed indicators of the overall health of our ecosystem to preserve the future of the natural world, upon which we all depend. The Center’s mission is to identify and address vital environmental issues by providing medical care to injured birds of prey and shorebirds, and through educational, research and conservation initiatives. The Center for Birds of Prey is the principle operating division of the Avian Conservation Center and is open to the public every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.thecenterforbirdsofprey.org or call 843.971.7474.

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Contact: Kara Bale
843.606.3400
kara.bale@avianconservationcenter.org

Audubon South Carolina Brings Awareness through Cartoons

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Overview

Shorebird populations in North America have declined by 70% in the last 40 years. Their largest threat in South Carolina is human disturbance. Often when humans negatively impact nesting and resting shorebirds by getting too close to nesting areas or chasing through flocks of birds on the beach, we do so because we don’t understand how our actions affect them. Audubon South Carolina started producing these monthly cartoons with Cartoonist Roger Schillerstrom in order to educate beach goers before they make those mistakes.

Provided by:

Nolan Schillerstrom
Coastal Program Coordinator
Audubon South Carolina

Audubon South Carolina Official Website

Photo and cartoon credit:? Audubon South Carolina and Chicago Award-Winning Cartoonist Roger Schillerstrom

 

The Avian Conservation Center, renowned Charleston based education and conservation center, receives grant from Dominion Energy

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Funding will transform students’ learning and study bald eagle populations in S.C.

The Avian Conservation Center, a renowned educational, conservation, and scientific organization in Charleston, has received a $10,000 Environmental Education and Stewardship Grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, the non-profit arm of Dominion Energy.

The grant will fund the Lowcountry Environmental Access Program, which combines the Center’s medical, educational, research, and conservation objectives to foster awareness, concern, and protection for South Carolina’s treasured natural resources in the face of increasing and dramatic growth trends and landscape scale alterations to crucial habitat areas.

The Lowcountry Environmental Access Program will utilize the critical insight gained from the professional medical treatment of injured birds in crafting a multi-disciplinary, STEAM-based education curriculum aligned with SC standards for students, teachers, and individuals across the state. The power and beauty of raptors cast them as unparalleled ambassadors in public education, dramatically improving retention of program information among participants. A special focus will be placed on outreach in Jasper and Beaufort Counties. Jasper County also is home to Dominion Energy’s recently completed solar farm.

Additionally, this program will support a Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey to be conducted in January 2019. The annual count is coordinated nationally by the US Army Corps of Engineers as an important tool in monitoring the recovery of bald eagle populations. The Center manages the South Carolina component of the survey which covers more than 1,500 miles of survey routes and coordinates over 135 volunteers.

Collectively this program will impact the lives of an estimated 2,000 students in the Beaufort region and more than 40,000 across the state, give more than 800 injured birds of prey and shorebirds a second chance at freedom, and contribute vital data on the health of bald eagle populations to a national survey. As human activity continues to impose rapid and dramatic changes on the natural landscape, these efforts will encourage environmental stewardship and improve natural spaces across South Carolina for future generations.

“Dominion Energy is truly honored to partner with the Aviation Conservation Center in educating K-12 students and the public about the importance of environmental stewardship,” said Kristen Beckham, external affairs representative for Dominion Energy. “By working with the Center for Birds of Prey, we can play an important role in educating the next generation, preserving natural resources and protecting critical wildlife habitats across South Carolina.”

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About the Avian Conservation Center

Founded in 1991 in response to the crucial need of an avian conservation center in South Carolina, the Center utilizes the unique role of wild birds as unsurpassed indicators of the overall health of our ecosystem to preserve the future of the natural world, upon which we all depend. The Center’s mission is to identify and address vital environmental issues by providing medical care to injured birds of prey and shorebirds, and through educational, research and conservation initiatives. The Center for Birds of Prey is the principle operating division of the Avian Conservation Center and is open to the public every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.thecenterforbirdsofprey.org or call 843.971.7474.

About Dominion Energy

Nearly 6 million customers in 19 states heat and cool their homes and power their businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D). The company’s record of reliable, safe and clean energy regularly places it among American’s most-admired utilities. One of the nation’s leading operators of solar energy, Dominion Energy is one of just three companies to have reduced carbon intensity by more than 40 percent since 2000.

Dominion Energy’s Environmental Education and Stewardship grants support a variety of initiatives that benefit schools, organizations and communities across the country. In 2018, Dominion Energy is awarding $1 million in grants to 129 organizations in 12 states working to improve natural spaces or encourage environmental stewardship. Since 2003, Dominion has donated nearly $32 million to a wide variety of environmental projects across its footprint. To learn more, please visit www.dominionenergy.com, Facebook or Twitter.