Sea and Sage Audubon Society tackles local conservation issues

Following historic 2018 election, chapter is attempting to meet with Orange County's new Congressional delegation.

Mike Carey of Orange Coast College Recycling Center with Sea and Sage Audubon Conservation Chair Susan Sheakley. Photo: Sea and Sage Audubon Society

The Sea and Sage Audubon Society’s nearly twenty-member Conservation Committee is working hard to protect the environment for birds and people.

Bird advocates in Orange County – a longtime conservative stronghold – have seen pro-development policies clash with environmentally friendly policies for years. In the northeastern regions of the county, the Sea and Sage Audubon Society supports protecting the few remaining wildlife corridors in Chino Hills and Coyote Hills.

“We live behind the orange curtain,” said Sea and Sage Conservation Chair Susan Sheakley, referring to the area’s conservative history. But in last November’s election, Democratic congressional candidates claimed all seven house seats in Orange County, signaling a changing of the political guard. Incoming Democrats include Rep. Harley Rouda, 48th District, Rep. Mike Levin, 49th District, Rep. Gil Cisneros, 39th District, and Rep. Katie Porter of the 45th District. Inspired by this sweeping change of events, the Conservation Committee is organizing in-district meetings at six congressional offices.

Turning toward more local issues, the committee created a Trash Tackling Team to reduce the use of plastics at all their events.

“I think all of us Audubon chapters need to stop using plastics”, said Chris Byrd, a committee member.

At a recent committee meeting, members remarked on the difficulty of eliminating plastics from daily activities. Environmental studies have left little doubt that plastics have become a huge problem, gravely affecting bird habitat across the planet. This year, Audubon California is advocating for the passage of California Senate Bill 54, which would establish a comprehensive plan for the Golden State to reduce and recycle at least 75% of all single use plastics by 2030.

The conservation committee meets every first Tuesday of the month at the San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo: Sea and Sage Audubon Society

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