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Seattle Urban Bird Treaty Press Release

May 1, 2017

City of Seattle, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Sign Urban Bird Treaty

Contact: John Brosnan, Executive Director, (206) 523-8243 ext. 101 or johnb@seattleaudubon.org

On May 5, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) joins Seattle Audubon, Audubon Washington, Heron Habitat Helpers, Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other partners to sign a treaty designating the City of Seattle as an Urban Bird Treaty City.

The treaty signing celebration will begin at Lincoln Park in Seattle on May 5 at 11 a.m.  Seattle Audubon volunteers will lead a bird walk prior to the treaty signing at the park at 10 a.m. The public is encouraged to attend both the bird walk and signing ceremony.

The event will recognize Seattle’s migratory bird conservation and education accomplishments, and celebrate the renewed commitment of partners to develop programs in Seattle to protect birds and their habitat, as well as connect people to the natural world.

The Urban Bird Treaty program is a collaborative effort between federal, state, and municipal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions to create bird-friendly environments and provide citizens, especially youth, with opportunities to connect with nature through birding and conservation. 

“We recognize the important role urban areas play in conserving migratory birds,” said Seth Shteir, Conservation Manager at Seattle Audubon Society. “By becoming an Urban Bird Treaty City, we hope to inspire Seattleites to keep the city healthy and safe for birds and people.”

Today there are more than 25 Urban Bird Treaty cities across the nation working to conserve and restore bird habitat.  Seattle will fill an important missing link as it joins San Francisco, Portland, and Anchorage as an Urban Bird Treaty City, thus protecting the Pacific Flyway - a migratory super highway for birds.

“Migratory bird conservation is only possible through collaboration with partners,” said Robyn Thorson, Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Region. “We are proud to recognize the efforts of many diverse partners in the Seattle area whose work has led to this milestone signing, and eager to see what the continued power of collaboration will produce for birds in the Puget Sound area.”

“At Seattle Parks and Recreation, our mission is to support healthy people, a healthy environment, and strong communities. The Urban Bird Treaty program will help us achieve all three of these goals by encouraging Seattle residents to be active and connect to nature through birding opportunities at local parks and open spaces, and by providing educational programs and volunteer opportunities that bring together diverse groups of residents, especially youth,” said Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation.

“I am pleased to collaborate with our municipal, academic, and non-profit partners to designate Seattle as an Urban Bird Treaty City. Seattle has been an environmental leader of historic proportions, and the Urban Bird Treaty program helps build upon our rich tradition of conserving urban wildlife habitats. This program not only helps protect the vital Pacific Flyway—a migratory super highway for birds along the West Coast—it also supports new education opportunities for residents, especially young people, so they can learn about the unique birds and ecosystems of our beautiful city,” said Debra Juarez, Seattle City Councilmember and Committee Chair to Parks, Waterfront, Libraries, and Seattle Center.

Launched in 1999, the Urban Bird Treaty program emphasizes habitat conservation through invasive species control, native plant restoration, bird-safe building programs, bird and habitat monitoring, and education programs.  More information about the program is available at https://www.fws.gov/birds/grants/urban-bird-treaty.php

Seattle Audubon is nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Copyright 2017 Seattle Audubon.