Category Archives: NEWS MEDIA

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

ANS Testimony on Wildlife-Harming Noise

STATEMENT

ANS Testifies in Support of Bird Life,
Diversity, and Nesting
Supports Ban on Noisy, Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

When We Drown Out Birds, We Suffer Too

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 2, 2018 

For more information, contact caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 301-652-9188 x23 or Lisa Goodnight, lglisagoodnight@gmail.com,301-523-5394

CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society today submitted testimony to the D.C. Council in support of a ban that would prevent the sale or use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers in the District of Columbia beginning in 2022.  ANS Member and Volunteer David Cottingham presented testimony at this afternoon's hearing. Here's an excerpt of what he read into the record: 

"Recent peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that where there is loud, human-caused noise, many bird species suffer. Struggling to hear and be heard, they are less protected from predators and less able to find mates. Their stress hormones are elevated, with poor consequences for their health and reproductive success. Scientists have documented declines in bird numbers, bird diversity and bird nesting success in environments with elevated, non-natural noises.

"When we drive out and drown out birds, we suffer, too.  It would be hard to imagine a hearing at which residents complained about too much birdsong.  In fact, some schools in Britain use recorded birdsong to enhance students’ concentration, while a children’s hospital in Liverpool uses birdsong – what the poet Shelley called 'a rain of melody'-- to reduce stress for their young patients.  If we reduce unnecessary noises like those of gas-powered leaf blowers, birds and people will share the benefits." 

The full testimony appears on the ANS conservation blog:
http://conservationblog.anshome.org/blog/ans-testimony-on-dc-noisy-leaf-blower-ban/

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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.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

Stormwater Pollution is Not Going Away

NEWS RELEASE

ANS Message to Montgomery County Council: Stormwater Pollution is Not Going Away

For Immediate Release: July 18, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 202-830-5115 or Eliza Cava, 301-652-9188, ext. 22, eliza.cava@anshome.org

CHEVY CHASE, MD – ANS Director of Conservation Eliza Cava issued the following statement in response to the Montgomery County Council’s vote on stormwater issues:

"Stormwater pollution is not going to go away. It is getting worse, with bigger, more intense storms an increasing fact of life due to climate change and more and more pavement and sprawl turning that rain into stormwater pollution. We must redouble our efforts to use green infrastructure to stop stormwater pollution from destroying our streams and infrastructure.

ANS will continue its long partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection to advise upon and watchguard the progress of this new contracting method, and continue to make recommendations about how to clean up our streams and watersheds for the benefit of nature and our communities.

The compromise is not perfect but it allowed the Council to pass a special appropriation, which was needed to get work moving again on these critical environmental projects. We're pleased that it includes commitments to green infrastructure and Low Impact Development projects that use lessons of nature to manage stormwater and heal our streams.

ANS thanks the Councilmembers who worked hard to make this special appropriation happen."

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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.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

ANS Parent Guide

ANS Parent Guide

NEWS RELEASE

ANS Experts Offer Parents Trusted ‘Recipes' Designed to Get Children to Revel in Nature

Parent Guide Provides Lowdown on How to Go From Screen Time to Green Time in No Time

For Immediate Release:  Thursday, June 21, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 202-830-5115 or or Lisa Goodnight, lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, 301-523-5394

CHEVY CHASE, MD – Just in time for summer, a brand new guide from the Audubon Naturalist Society offers families a little instruction book on how – and why -- to help children engage with nature. The ANS Parent Guide: How to Help Children Fall in Love with Nature (and Why), was written by ANS naturalists and educators. The guide is a response to the public health crisis of Americans spending more time in front of screens than ever before, and a tool for parents looking for fun, safe, and developmental activities for children, now that school is out.

The Parent Guide includes 11 fun, educational, and inspirational recipes, such as building forts and dams, tracking animals, dissecting flowers, growing herbs, taking color and shape hikes, and making music with trees. Recipes always include key ingredients for success, such as sticks, rocks, old clothes, hula hoops, and rulers. The guide also highlights dozens of the DC region’s most beautiful places to enjoy nature, meaning there are hundreds of ways to connect with the environment in this one handy book.

The “recipes” were designed with children 8 and younger in mind, but children-at-heart are invited to use it to explore as well.

The nature love book also offers links and summaries to scientific research about the physical, mental, emotional and social benefits of children spending more time outdoors.

"Let your youngsters be the master chefs of their environment!” the authors proclaim. “As your child’s sous chef, you can provide the raw materials they need to create something magical.”

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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.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

Take Your Child To Work Day 2018

NEWS ALERT

Children of ANS Employees are Digging this Day of Nature Work and Play!

Take Your Child to Work Day will feature planting native trees

For Immediate Release: April 26, 2018
For more information, contact caroline.brewer@anshome.org or cell, 202-830-5115 or Lisa Goodnight, lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, 301-523-5394

CHEVY CHASE, MD – At least 10 area youth will be leaving behind screens to get their green on for Take Your Child to Work Day! Audubon Naturalist Society will engage the youngest members of its employee family in the restoration of Woodend Nature Sanctuary April 26, 2018, in honor of the annual career education celebration.

From 10 am to 12 noon today, the children of ANS employees will get their hands dirty in our woodland helping plant tree seedlings from an assortment of native trees to ensure the future of our forest, which has suffered from recent storms, disease, invasive species, and “four-hooved lawnmowers.”

Restoration Director Alison Pearce is leading the project.

Trees, of course, improve air quality, filter polluted runoff, clean streams, which supply drinking water, and provide shelter and food for countless wildlife species. On a day when work becomes play, ANS is thrilled to share hands-on experiences in the natural world with the next generation so that “going green” has more meaning – and just might become a way of life.

The native tree assortment includes: Red Maple, River Birch, Swamp White Oak, Willow Oak, Hazel Alder, Eastern Redbud, American Hazelnut, and American Sycamore.

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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.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

ANS Issues Earth Month Challenge for DC to Go Wild for at Least an Hour a Day

ANS Earth Month Challenge

NEWS RELEASE

60 Minutes a Day Earth Month Challenge Because, It’s Wild!

Americans Spend Hours in Front of Screens, Minutes Outdoors;
ANS Issues Earth Month Challenge for DC to Go Wild for at Least an Hour a Day

For Immediate Release:April 6, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 202-830-5115

CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society is challenging the DC area to get up and go outside – for the fun of it! Researchers say Americans live the majority of their lives indoors, despite the well-documented benefits of being in nature and the wilderness. ANS wants to buck this “indoor species” trend by showcasing more than 30 of the region’s most beloved outdoor spaces and challenging the DMV to spend more time – at least an hour a day - in nature for pleasure. Because scientific studies say the great outdoors is good for the mind, body, spirit, and creativity, ANS is hopeful that spending at least 60 minutes connecting with nature will become habit-forming, for adults, as well as children, who, one leading researcher says, are outdoors fewer than seven minutes a day, on average.

Fueled by the slogan, “Wild Places Are Closer than You Think. Follow Me!” the goal of the #ANSEarthMonth challenge is get people to visit outdoor spaces in the DMV, such as Rock Creek Park, Great Falls, the National Arboretum, Dumbarton Oaks, ANS’s Woodend and Rust nature sanctuaries, and the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, where Harriet Tubman grew up. (Download the ANS Earth Month Locations PDF)

Tubman and Henry David Thoreau are inspirations for the new campaign because of their extraordinary connections to nature. As for the modern-day benefits of being outdoors, here are a few facts:

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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.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

Environmental Champions

NEWS ALERT

Octavia E. Butler, Harriet Tubman Advocate and Other Trailblazers to Receive Awards February 28 at Taking Nature Black Conference

Black Environmental Stars Align at ANS's Environmental Champions Ceremony

For Immediate Release: February 27, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 301- 652-9188 x 23, or cell, 202-830-5115

Chevy Chase, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society will salute national, regional, legacy, and youth environmental figures for engaging in service that improves the quality of life for under-resourced African American communities in ways that are unique, groundbreaking, and pioneering during the second-ever Taking Nature Black conference.

The 2018 #TakingNatureBlack Environmental Champions are:

MacArthur "Genius" Award-Winner Octavia Estelle Butler is the 2018 Taking Nature Black Legacy Environmental Champion. Butler, who died in 2006, was a writer, cultural critic, and literary force of nature. The Washington Post called her “a master storyteller and one of the finest voices in fiction, period.” Calling attention to environmental degradation and its effects on humanity was a theme she repeated in many of her science fiction novels.

Alan Spears, who played a crucial role in the campaign and designation of the Harriet Tubman Underground National Monument from 2011-13, is a National Environmental Champion. Alan is currently the Director of Cultural Resources at the National Parks Conservation Association. He helped gain passage of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Funding Re-authorization Act of 2008.  Recently, Alan led, co-led, or supported five successful national monument campaigns including Fort Monroe, Charles Young, Pullman, and Harriet Tubman.

Pioneering Environmental Justice Advocate Vernice Miller-Travis, a former program officer at the Ford Foundation, who created the foundation’s first-ever environmental justice grant-making portfolio, and who served as a member of the EPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, is also a National Environmental Champion. Vernice, in 2017, helped published a report on recommendations for how the EPA could more thoroughly integrate environmental justice considerations into core permitting functions.

Vince Leggett, an expert on the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and the history of African Americans on the Bay dating back to the Underground Railroad, is a Regional Environmental Champion. Vince has served as historical consultant for several documentary film projects focused on the Chesapeake’s diverse history, including the nationally broadcast PBS documentary, The War of 1812. He also has served on the Advisory Committee for the Harriet Tubman National Park.

Award-Winning and Trailblazing Researcher and Environmental Health Scientist Dr. Sacoby Wilson, Director of the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH) Initiative at the University of Maryland, is also a Regional Environmental Champion. Wilson, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park, works in the areas of exposure science, environmental justice, environmental health disparities, water quality analysis, air pollution studies, sustainability, and more.

Kari Fulton, an award-winning environmental and climate justice advocate and organizer, who recently served as Interim Director of the Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative, the first domestic coalition for Climate Justice, is being honored as a Regional Environmental Champion as well.

 

The conference's first Youth Environmental Champion is DaJuan Gay, a college student who has fought for low-income citizens to have access to the Chesapeake Bay, and stresses the importance of expanding environmental education to low-income and predominantly minority communities.

 

The Taking Nature Black Conference is a signature Black History Month event that celebrates African Americans in the environmental space, and provides educational, career-building, and networking opportunities.

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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.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

White House Budget Proposal

STATEMENT

Statement on Trump's Budget and the Problems It Will Create for the DC Metro Region

"President Trump has shown a complete disregard for the fundamental American values..."

For Immediate Release: February 13, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 202-830-5115

In response to President Trump’s budget proposal, ANS Executive Director Lisa Alexander issued the following the statement:

“We’re appalled. President Trump has shown a complete disregard for the fundamental American values of conserving clean air, clean water, and green spaces. As we witnessed, once again, during our visits to Capitol Hill just last week, conservation is not a red state issue or a blue state issue. It’s a core American value. He might be finished, but we’re not. We’re going to keep fighting for the Chesapeake Bay Program, which is an economic driver for this region, as are so many of the other programs that are affected by this poorly imagined budget.” 

Examples of how Trump’s budget could affect the DC metro region:

Many programs funded by these agencies send critical grants for local conservation to states and community organizations. For example:
·         The 28% cut to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which funds local stream restorations, urban tree planting, wildfire restoration, and so much more. This program has been a huge contributor to restoring the Anacostia River.

·         The 90% cut to the Chesapeake Bay Program, which delivers tens of millions of dollars in grants throughout the six-state Chesapeake Bay watershed to improve water quality and restore stream habitat and Bay health. Many of these grants go to farmers to improve their practices on their farms to reduce waste and control water pollution.

·         The 100% cut to the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, which provides grant funding to states to conserve and restore endangered species habitat. 100% cut!!

·         Also, the White House release claims that, “To further boost hunting opportunities, the Budget invests $34 million in North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants, a program that finances conservation of wetlands and associated uplands habitat to benefit waterfowl.” This is indeed an important source of funding for wetlands conservation…but that topline trumpeting of its importance hides the fact that the request actually reduces this amount by 11%!

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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.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

The White House

Nature Experts Speak Up

NEWS ALERT

Nature Experts from Across America to Speak Up for the Environment on Capitol Hill - February 8, 2018

Audubon Naturalist Society will lead Independent Audubons to press Congress for support for EPA Grants, the Clean Water Rule, Migratory Birds, the Chesapeake Bay, and more

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 301-652-9188 x 23

Chevy Chase, MD – Nature experts from Maine to Montana are gearing up for their first-ever Independent Audubons Lobby Day on February 8.

The environmental experts, who hail from 9 regions of the country, will press Congress on legislative and funding issues ranging from full funding for EPA grants, to protection of the Clean Water Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which inspired the founding of each Independent Audubon. On the agenda also will be full funding for regional initiatives in land conservation and habitat restoration, such as the Chesapeake Bay Program and its watershed, a source of drinking water for nearly 6 million people in the DC metropolitan region.

Lobby Day is organized by Lisa Alexander, Executive Director of the Audubon Naturalist Society, which represents members in the DC metropolitan area, and was founded in 1897. Alexander, the only woman leader among the Independent Audubons, said, “When we protect nature, we protect ourselves. We have high hopes that our congressional members will understand that protection of clean air, water, and land are bipartisan priorities.”

Joining Alexander will be leaders from Audubons in Kansas, Connecticut, Maine, Montana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

The Lobby Day Meeting Schedule:
9:45 a.m. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
9:45 a.m. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)
11 a.m. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)
11:30 a.m. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (D-NJ)*
12:30 p.m. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)*
2 p.m. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)*
2 p.m. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)*
2:30 p.m. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)*
3:00 p.m. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)

*(Meetings will be with staff)

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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.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets