Audubon’s Vision: Restoring the Great Lakes for Birds and People
Speaker: Nat Miller
Date & Location:
February 22, 2022 Zoom meeting at 7pm requiring pre-registration.
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Securing a bright future for the birds and people of the Great Lakes region has never been more important. As the largest freshwater ecosystem on the planet, the Great Lakes provide clean drinking water to 40 million people and serve as a global resource to millions of birds. Audubon’s vision for the Great Lakes will ensure that the waters and lands of this iconic ecosystem remain healthy for communities of birds and people that rely on them for survival.
The loss of and degradation of our coastal habitats from urban and agricultural development, invasive species and a changing climate pose the greatest threats to Great Lakes birds. A recent study found that North America has lost more than a quarter of its bird population in the last 50 years. The time to act is now. Audubon has developed a cohesive strategy: Audubon’s Vision: Restoring the Great Lakes for Birds and People to engage communities across the region to address these threats.
With more than 10,000 miles of shoreline, Audubon has identified twelve nearshore watersheds of the Great Lakes that most need our help. The projects and programs highlighted in this report are critical to helping the region recover from current threats and will directly benefit key bird species that have seen dramatic declines, while setting the region on a path to long-term environmental health and resilience.
Nat Miller is the Director of Conservation for National Audubon Society’s Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Flyway. Miller joined Audubon in 2014, leading a conservation and science team that uses birds as indicator species to help inform ecosystem management. Miller works to develop and implement Audubon’s conservation and science programs across the Great Lake’s Region with ambitious goals to restore and protect the waters of the Great Lakes and thousands of acres of coastal areas that provide important habitat for hundreds of species of migratory land birds and breeding marsh birds that have declining populations.
Prior to Audubon, Miller was the assistant director for the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance where he worked across six Caribbean islands managing parks and establishing protected area policy. Earlier in his career, Miller was the Protected Areas Manager at Ya’axché Conservation Trust in Southern Belize where he built and led a ranger team to manage over 100,000 acres of relatively pristine rainforest and savanna.
Miller currently serves as a board member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture Science Team and on the Great Lakes Coastal Assembly. Miller holds a M.A. in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Miami University.