Gulf Coast Bird Observatory Cleans Beaches, Restores Habitat
By Celeste Silling, Education and Outreach Director – Gulf Coast Bird Observatory
With help from Restore America’s Estuaries and CITGO, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory has been able to host and contribute to over 37 education and outreach events so far this year, including their annual Summer Bird Camp!
This day camp gets kids out in nature, educating them about birds and ecology and inspiring the nature stewards of tomorrow. Participants are able to experience such adventures as visiting a local wildlife rehabber, hiking trails, birding, catching bugs, and so much more. Campers also learned ways to help conserve birds and other wildlife, along with the habitat we all love.
We were also able to host/cohost seven beach cleanups. Five were in Surfside, one in Bay Town, one in Palacios, and one in Bolivar.
In total, 371 volunteers attended these cleanups, removing over 1,384lbs of trash from important habitats. With these cleanups, we improved an estimated 127.64 acres of land by removing dangerous trash items such as fishing hooks and line. Another aspect of our education and outreach work is our virtual presence. We maintain a website, social media, and also create videos.
All of these help with our outreach and have educational components as well.
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory is located in Lake Jackson Texas, which is surrounded by diverse and vital ecosystems including marine, coastal, estuary, woodland, prairie, urban, marsh and bayou habitats. Additionally, it is located along the Central Flyway migration route and is an intersection of the Trans-Gulf and Circum-Gulf migration routes.
This is all to say that there are an incredibly high number of species, particularly birds, that use these habitats. Gulf Coast Bird Observatory strives to instill a love and understanding of birds, inspiring participants to protect them, and equipping them with the knowledge to do so.
Almost all of GCBO’s events are open to the public and free of charge, allowing everyone to participate. These events bring the community together to celebrate nature and have fun protecting birds! To learn more about Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, please visit www.GCBO.org.
This project was funded through the 2023 round of the Caring For Our Coast Gulf Region Grants, a partnership between RAE and Citgo. For more information, click here.