Wake Audubon has a long history of advocacy both locally and across the state

Lights Out, Raleigh!

  • Success with the City of Raleigh 
    • Thanks to Lena Gallitano for her excellent presentation and all those who turned out in support at the city council meeting in September. We received a positive response from the council and have worked with Megan Anderson, Sustainability Manager at City of Raleigh Municipal Government and her team on an official city policy. In early November the city announced their “Lights Out” policy of turning lights out in city buildings to protect migrating birds.
  • Read the entire petition here
    • Research has shown that eliminating non-essential indoor and exterior building lighting between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM during spring and fall migration can significantly reduce bird mortality. At the same time, significant savings on utility bills could be realized if the reduced late night lighting is extended to a year round practice.We have discussed Lights Out with staff from the Office of Sustainability and have received favorable feedback on our proposal from several stakeholders they contacted.  We look forward to further discussion and to Council’s assistance with the approval of a formal policy.In keeping with Wake Audubon Society’s mission of advocating for wildlife, we petition the City of Raleigh Council to adopt the following “Lights Out” policy to provide safer passage for migrating birds and to benefit the City and its citizens by reducing utility costs:All City of Raleigh owned and operated municipal buildings are included in this Lights Out policy to protect birds and reduce utility costs:
      • All non-essential outside lighting, including decorative up-lighting, and all non-essential interior lights will be turned off year-round from 11 PM to dawn.
      • Staff in buildings with overnight operations will be encouraged to use blinds/curtains, to diffuse transmitted light to the outside.
      • Security lighting is not included in this policy.

      If adopted, Raleigh will be the first city in North Carolina to adopt a municipal, city-wide Lights Out policy to protect birds and reduce utility costs.  As such, our city will be widely recognized through the Audubon network for this forward-thinking, bird-friendly, energy-saving policy.  Wake Audubon Society members stand ready to work with city staff and do all we can to make this a win-win for Raleigh and our birds.

  • Supporting documentation can be viewed here

Protect Sea Turtles and Shore Birds

  • The National Park Service (NPS) is taking public comments on proposed changes on wildlife buffers at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. We need your help to urge the NPS not to make sweeping changes to this successful management plan that has helped triple sea turtle nests and doubled some numbers of bird species. Unfortunately, comments can only be submitted via the NPS’s website. Below are talking points that you can use to craft your own comments (or copy/paste.) SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS HERE:
    • Under the current off-road vehicle management plan overseen by the NPS, rare beach-nesting birds, sea turtles, and their young have been thriving and so has tourism at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Which is why, I’m urging the NPS not to make sweeping changing to these rules that are creating a win-win situation for all.
    • The current management plan safeguards beach-nesting wildlife and pedestrian beachgoers on national seashore beaches while still allowing beach driving within the park. Please don’t make any sweeping changes to this plan!
    • The NPS needs to stay true to its mission of science-based management. If changes are made that have a negative impact on endangered beach wildlife, it will be critical to restore the current protective buffer zones.
    • A new NPS report for 2014 shows that over 2.8 million visitors to Cape Hatteras National Seashore and two nearby national historical sites spent more than $170 million in communities in and around the parks. This spending supported approximately 2,683 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of more than $212 million dollars. With the current beach driving restrictions in place, Hatteras Island enjoyed record-setting tourist spending last summer.
    • The NPS current rule already designates 61 percent of the seashore’s miles of beaches as year-round or seasonal ORV routes with only 39 percent designated as year-round vehicle-free areas for pedestrians, families, and wildlife. Additional areas may be temporarily closed during nesting season to provide the essential protection necessary for birds and sea turtles to nest and raise their young.
    • Congress may have mandated that the National Park Service review and modify the current management plan, but the Park Service’s proposed changes go too far. The current science-based plan is working well for both wildlife and visitors to the Seashore, and any changes to the wildlife protections must be minimal and supported by the best available science and adequate staffing.

    Here are some additional links with more info: