Category Archives: NEWS MEDIA

Rachel Carson Birthday

NEWS ALERT

CELEBRATING RACHEL CARSON WITH PIONEERING WOMEN AND NEW ONLINE APP

The Show, of Birthday Love for Carson, Will Go On (Online)!

For more information, contact caroline.brewer@anshome.org, or 240-899-9019, or lglisagoodnight@anshome.org, or 301-523-5394

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 21, 2020

Chevy Chase, MD – To honor the life and legacy of Rachel Carson, the mother of the modern environmental movement, the Audubon Naturalist Society is throwing her a Zoom birthday party starting at noon ET on May 27. Click here to register.

ANS has long and precious relationship with Carson who was a beloved member, former board president, and friend to many esteemed members of the organization. The celebration, hosted by ANS Executive Director Lisa Alexander, will feature women leaders and women in science reflecting on Carson’s contributions to the world and their own careers. Special invited guests include Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who succeeded in getting a National Park Service panel honoring Carson established in DC’s Glover Archbold Park and her Definitive Biographer Linda Lear, a longtime ANS member.

ANS will pay homage to Rachel Carson by spotlighting women to be speakers who are persevering in her footsteps and forging their own paths. The pre-birthday celebration kicks off Memorial Day weekend with social media posts and the release of engagement tools, such as the region’s FIRST interactive map of places in the Washington, D.C. region that honor Carson or that she in some way touched, along with downloadable activities for children and families

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

ANS Virtual Tree Tour

NEWS ALERT

DURING THIS TIME OF GREAT UNEASE, GO ONLINE AND GET CLOSER TO TREES

ANS Launches Virtual Tour of Remarkable Trees at Woodend Nature Sanctuary

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2020
For more information, contact caroline.brewer@anshome.org, or 240-899-9019, or Alison Pearce, Director of Restoration, alison.pearce@anshome.org, 301-704-5864 or lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, or 301-523-5394.

CHEVY CHASE, MD – Just in time to ease some of the stress and anxiety of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Audubon Naturalist Society is launching a virtual tree tour, featuring photos, histories, and uses of 21 trees on its sanctuary.

Featured trees include natives, such as the American beech, sassafras, and white oak, Maryland’s state tree, which can live up to 500 years and grow up to 100 feet tall, and a 240-year-old walnut tree.  “Learning to identify local trees is a great way to be in touch with your natural environment and develop a ‘sense of place,' about where you live,” says ANS Restoration Director Alison Pearce, who oversaw development of the tour, which includes Montgomery County Champion Trees.  “We have had a printed tree tour brochure available in the past, but things have changed. We have technology that allows for a more interactive and convenient online format and now seems the perfect time to make it accessible to the region.”

In addition to providing natural beauty, shade, and food for wildlife, such as birds, pollinators, and squirrels, studies have found that trees offer a bounty of other benefits, including playing a huge role, of course, in mitigating the effects of climate change. Click here to begin your adventure in the new ANS Virtual Tree Tour.

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Join ANS for Earth Hour

NEWS ALERT

NO LIGHTS SATURDAY NIGHT: JOIN ANS AND THE REST OF THE WORLD FOR PLANET-LOVING EARTH HOUR  

Earth Hour Goes Digital Amidst Pandemic

For Immediate Release: March 27, 2020
For more information, contact Caroline.brewer@anshome.org or lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, 301-523-5394.

CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society encourages the public to observe Earth Hour as part of ongoing efforts to combat climate change.

WHAT IS EARTH HOUR?

The event itself is quite simple. Businesses, organizations, and individuals are asked to turn off home and building lights for at least one hour. Earth Hour's mission is to (virtually) unite people and bring awareness about the need to take action for our planet in the midst of climate change.

 WHEN IS EARTH HOUR?

Saturday, March 28, 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm.

WHAT CAN I DO DURING EARTH HOUR?

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

ANS to testify before the Maryland legislature

NEWS ALERT

Gov. Hogan's Beltway Expansion, Climate Change and Destruction of Trees on ANS's MD Legislature Agenda Tomorrow

ANS, its Partners, and Fellow Coalition Members Urge Support of Several Bills to Mitigate Harms from Highway Expansion and Destruction of State Forests 

For Immediate Release – February 26, 2019

For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, Director of Marketing and Communications, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or Eliza Cava, Director of Conservation, eliza.cava@anshome.org.

CHEVY CHASE, MD - ANS's Director of Conservation, Eliza Cava, as a member of the Stormwater Partners Network of Montgomery County, will testify before the Maryland legislature tomorrow regarding proposals for the Capital Beltway expansion on I-495 and I-270 in Maryland. This State Highway Administration (SHA) effort is proceeding rapidly and with little opportunity for public input. In effect, Cava and the Stormwater Partners Network are insisting that any changes to or expansions of Interstates 495 and 270 comply with current state and county stormwater design statutes and principles as part of an open and transparent process, which is the least the public has a right to expect.

As it stands, the coalition of civic and environmental groups believe the proposal is too large and too important to get wrong, because if not done in a reasonable and appropriate manner, it would leave current and future generations of Marylanders paying the cost of a degraded environment and communities. ANS and the Stormwater Partners urge Support of HB 695/SB 788 with amendments to strengthen stormwater analysis provisions, as well as HB91 to mitigate the harms of highway expansion.

“Big highways have locked our region into a pattern of increasing suburban sprawl for two generations. In this era of climate change, it is irresponsible to barrel ahead with bigger, wider highways without concern for consequences for the future. Bigger roads mean more traffic and sprawl. Plus more pavement will create hotter temperatures and more floods in our communities. This bill is critical to ensure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the 1950s,” said Cava.

Maryland has had a law to protect forests since 1991, but it’s got loopholes and is not doing the job it needs to do. ANS's Conservation Director Eliza Cava is making herself available to talk to the media beginning today to discuss what Maryland lawmakers need to do to ensure that more trees, “the lungs of our forests,” are better protected. Cava will be in Annapolis on Wednesday, February 27, with a coalition of other environmentalists to press legislators to pass three billsHB120/SB203, HB272/SB234, and SB729, that will make the Forest Conservation Act much stronger.

"Our native forest ecosystems clean our air and purify our drinking water. They form the bedrock of healthy environments for people and nature.  Maryland’s groundbreaking Forest Conservation Act is meant precisely to preserve our forests alongside communities and now it’s time to close the loopholes that are devastating our forests, which are the lungs of our earth,” said Cava.

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

ANS Statement on Amazon

STATEMENT

More flushes and showers on the way with Amazon HQ2

Audubon Naturalist Society issues statement warning of the need
for planning to protect human and environmental health

For Immediate Release: November 15, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer at caroline.brewer@anshome.org, Lisa Alexander at lisa.alexander@anshome.org, or Eliza Cava, eliza.cava@anshome.org, or 202-503-9141, cell, or 301-652-9188 x22, office.

CHEVY CHASE, MD – In response to Amazon’s announcement this week that it would bring half of its second headquarters (“HQ2”) to the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) Executive Director Lisa Alexander issued the following statement.

“As we all settle in to review and analyze the details surrounding HQ2, ANS will be looking closely for the potential impacts to environmental and human health. One thing we know for sure is, more flushes and showers are on the way, and that could be a serious matter.”

Alexander noted that even before all the details are known, ANS is urging area leaders, planners, and voters to start seeking answers to the following questions:

  • What will the environmental and community impacts be in Crystal City? How will we ensure that the redeveloped buildings will be bird-safe and use best environmental practices, including green infrastructure to capture polluted runoff from rainstorms? How will Amazon work to grow and enhance tree canopy and green space in and around Crystal City and make it available and accessible to all?
  • What will the environmental and community impacts be in the greater DC region? While this decision will be made by one jurisdiction, it affects all three. How will area leaders ensure that enough housing is constructed close to transit to counteract the trend toward sprawl? How will area leaders ensure that housing remains affordable so that those with fewer resources are not driven out to agricultural exurbs and then forced to endure long, polluting commutes on new pavement?

Alexander concluded, “Many in our region are rightly focused on housing affordability and transit access. We need to understand that these are also environmental issues. Sprawl development threatens the quality of our drinking water, threatens wildlife habitats, and creates conditions that could lead to horrible flooding. So that’s why we need to ensure that planning is put in place immediately to ward off these dangers, and also help people at all income levels live close to jobs that pay a living wage.”

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Dogue Creek Development Delayed

STATEMENT

Alexandria's Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day Just Got Better!

ANS celebrates news that Fairfax County Planning Commission Received Request to Indefinitely Delay Proposed Amendment to Develop 8800 Richmond Highway from Developer Mark Viani 

For Immediate Release: October 23, 2018

Contact: Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or Monica Billger at monica.billger@anshome.org

Hearing set for Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 now cancelled.
The commission will vote in a private meeting tomorrow on the postponement. 

Chevy Chase, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society released the following statement after being alerted to the news that the Fairfax County Planning Commission received a request to delay the proposed amendment to develop 8800 Richmond Highway from Developer Mark Viani. 

Regardless of what the reason for indefinitely postponing the plan amendment, we know that the proposed plan was a terrible, awful, horrible idea,” says Monica Billger, ANS’s Northern Virginia Advocacy Manager. “A floodplain is a floodplain, and this site is CLEARLY a bad place to develop. We consider this a victory for the residents and property owners in the Dogue Creek area, and for all of the wildlife supported by Dogue Creek and nearby green spaces. We do not want Fairfax County to become like Houston and pave all its floodplains. We will continue to encourage the Planning Commission to deny this amendment and set the RIGHT precedent that will allow Fairfax County to stand by its thoughtful and award-winning planning processes and continue to value environmental protection for its residents and wildlife.” 

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Dogue Creek

Development Could Lead to More Flooding in NOVA

NEWS RELEASE

Terrible, Awful, Horrible Development Proposal
 Could Lead to More Flooding and Worse in NOVA

ANS, Allies Join Forces to Stop Residential Development
 in Dogue Creek Floodplain

For Immediate Release – October 16, 2018
For more information, contactcarolinebrewer@anshome.org or 301-652-9188, ext. 23, or Monica Billger, monica.billger@anshome.org

CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) is taking a stand to protect Dogue Creek from an ill-conceived plan to build on five acres at 8800 Richmond Highway. The proposal, which goes against longstanding county policies, calls for building 43 townhouses and adding 41,000 cubic yards of fill to the 100-year floodplain at Dogue Creek.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission would have to amend the comprehensive plan to allow the project to move forward. Approving the development could place nearby homes and properties at greater risk of flooding, set a precedent that paves the way for more development in floodplains and sensitive environmental areas near Dogue Creek and all over the county, and raise flood insurance costs.

“This is a terrible, awful, horrible idea,” says Monica Billger, ANS’s Northern Virginia Advocacy Manager, “for more reasons than we can count, but one is enough. We teach children that when you put something in water, the water spreads. In this case, it could spread far and fast enough to threaten communities, especially downstream properties. Does anyone remember this past summer in Virginia, when stormwater forced people out of their cars? Or last year in Houston with Hurricane Harvey? Harvey alone cost $125 billion in damage and the loss of nearly 70 lives. We don’t want Harvey-type damage in Northern Virginia. Flood me once, shame on me. Flood me twice, shame on you. This is a terrible idea whose time should never come.”

What: Contact ANS to learn more and attend with us, alongside local and regional friends, who oppose this development in the floodplain, during the next public hearing on the proposal.

Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: Fairfax County Government Center

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Secretary Grumbles

NEWS RELEASE

Stormwater Flooding and Pollution on His Mind:

Maryland’s DOE Secretary Ben Grumbles to Tour Innovative Stormwater and Environmental Projects at ANS as part of Gov. Hogan’s Montgomery County Day

For Immediate Release – September 25, 2018

For more information, contact Caroline Brewer at carolinebrewer@anshome.org or 301-652-9188, ext. 23, or Mark Shaffer at mark.shaffer1@maryland.gov

CHEVY CHASE, MD – Ben Grumbles, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, will tour Audubon Naturalist Society’s headquarters at Woodend Nature Sanctuary to learn more about ANS’s innovative “tree-safe” rain garden and other green infrastructure projects. ANS’s year-old rain garden features more than 300 native trees and shrubs and two lengthy compost-filled berms that filter and slow polluted stormwater, a technology that is essential to help this region combat the flooding and other damage done to property, homes, businesses, and roads during severe storms and hurricanes, like the ones we’ve experienced just this summer.

ANS also is in the process of restoring its meadows and forests by planting thousands of new trees, shrubs, wildflowers and native plants, which the Secretary will get to see during his tour. The sanctuary is bursting with rich and ever-expanding biodiversity that’s already attracting more pollinators, insects, and birds. And, the region’s longest serving independent environmental group is planning to restore its Clean Drinking Stream to improve wildlife habitat and educational opportunities. The rain garden and other green infrastructure projects are designed as demonstration projects for local homeowners and residents, and the sanctuary is a year-round outdoor classroom open to all.

WHAT: Secretary of the Department of the Environment will tour ANS’s nature sanctuary
WHEN: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2:15 p.m.
WHERE: ANS headquarters at Woodend Sanctuary, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
WHO: Maryland’s Secretary for the Department of the Environment Ben Grumbles, MDE's Deputy Secretary Horacio Tablada, ANS Executive Director Lisa Alexander, ANS Conservation Director Eliza Cava, and ANS Restoration Director Alison Pearce.

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Smartphone App Uses Little Critters

NEWS RELEASE

Award-Winning Smartphone App uses Little Critters to do Big Things for Clean Water

ANS Hosts the Next Creek Critters Event September 29

For Immediate Release: September 21, 2018

For more information, contact Caroline Brewer at carolinebrewer@anshome.org or 301-652-9188, ext. 23 or Gregg Trilling at gregg.trilling@anshome.org or 240-426-7150.

CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society has won an innovation award from Bethesda Magazine for the ANS Creek Critters Program which features a free smartphone app where users can easily monitor water quality and protect local streams in the D.C. region. The award will be presented October 18 at the 10th annual Bethesda Green Gala.

The Creek Critters app allows users to identify small organisms – or critters – in local waterways. What lives at the bottom of streams -- benthic (meaning “bottom-dwelling”) macroinvertebrates – are indicators of water quality because these organisms exhibit a range of sensitivities to pollutants and stressors. Among the many critters are crayfish, snails, aquatic worms, and a large variety of insect larvae. App users generate Stream Health Reports based on their findings, and the reports are displayed on an interactive map. ANS and its partners have used Creek Critters to engage nearly 7,500 people at more than 200 events and activities. Adding those who have used the app independently of ANS, more than 10,000 people have been introduced to water quality monitoring through the app– with users posting data from all over the Washington, D.C. metro region, the United States, and abroad.

“The Creek Critters app is designed to make it easy for people to do this important work and the technology is turning users into powerful advocates,” said ANS Executive Director Lisa Alexander. “Now, with real-time knowledge, we can better protect our precious waterways.”

On September 29, ANS Creek Critter Program Manager Gregg Trilling will lead a field class for the Anacostia Watershed Society’s “Watershed Stewards Academy” students. Trilling and his band of trained interns, staff, and volunteers regularly fan out across the region to work with groups, visit schools, and present at conferences and festivals to maximize the number of people who hop into their local streams to check on water quality.

“I am still impressed with how this simple app along with a few nets and buckets has grown a community of clean water enthusiasts. Most people come to our events thinking only fish live in the creek. We can hear the oohs and ahhs when they find their first macro-invertebrate and by the time they leave, they are asking about the health of the stream and what they can do,” said award nominator Sarah Morse, Executive Director of the Little Falls Watershed Alliance.

An inspiration behind Creek Critters is ANS’s Water Quality Monitoring Program, one of the largest and longest-running citizen science programs in the country. Since the early 1990s, the program has operated throughout Montgomery County, Maryland, and in parts of the District of Columbia. The program is unique in that volunteers are trained to identify the organisms in the field and then release them alive, rather than preserving them in alcohol and sending them to a lab for identification.

The Creek Critters app launched in 2015. It’s available for free download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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Follow ANS at: 
www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Montgomery County Stormwater Fight

NEWS ALERT

Drama! Intrigue! Stormwater!

Local Activists to Talk about the Twists and Turns of Montgomery County Stormwater Fight

For Immediate Release: August 27, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer at caroline.brewer@anshome.org or call 301-652-9188 x 23, or Lisa Goodnight,lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, 301-523-5394

Chevy Chase, MD -- ANS Director of Conservation Eliza Cava will speak on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 about the drama and intrigue surrounding this spring's stormwater fight in Montgomery County alongside fellow activists from the Potomac Conservancy and Friends of Sligo Creek.

Among the many twists and turns was the first veto of a capital improvement budget in 25 years by County Executive Ike Leggett, causing dispute and confusion among the County Council and the Department of Environmental Protection as to the reasons for his veto and how it might be overcome.

What: Opportunity to gain a greater understanding around the county's stormwater fight. Friends of Sligo Creek is hosting the meeting.
Date: August 28, 2018
Time: Presentation begins at 7:30 pm. Refreshments will be served at 7:15 pm.
Location:
Silver Spring Civic Building
1 Veterans Place
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety www.Twitter.com/ANStweets
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

About ANS: ANS is the oldest, independent environmental organization in the DMV. Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Eliza Cava - Audubon Naturalist Society Director of Conservation