Alicia King, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Bird Program
The City of Philadelphia will receive $70,000 in grant funding as part of the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds. The Treaty, a partnership between The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), the City of Philadelphia, and Fairmount Park is a commitment to restore, conserve and protect valuable bird habitat within Philadelphia’s urban environment and to develop an informed public through education and training programs.
The grant was announced during a ceremony on August 13th at the Philadelphia Zoo. The ceremony coincided with “Zoo Night,” an event at the American Ornithologists Union’s annual meeting.
"Philadelphia lies along the Atlantic Flyway and is an essential urban sanctuary for migrating birds,” said Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis. "City parks can provide important resting and breeding grounds for thousands of migrating birds that fly through Philadelphia every spring and fall. This agreement is a testament to the high quality of natural areas in Philadelphia’s parks."
“This partnership is not only good for birds – it is also good for the citizens of Philadelphia,” said Marvin Moriarty, Northeast Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Wildlife watching contributes to people's enjoyment of the outdoors, and generates over $122 billion to state and national economies.”
Backed by the $70,000 challenge grant from the Service, the Urban Conservation Treaty will support initiatives throughout Philadelphia such as a joint program between Audubon Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Zoo, and the Academy of Natural Sciences to study migratory bird collisions with buildings in downtown Philadelphia. The City will also increase and improve protected natural areas. Partner organizations will also match the grant money with funding and “in-kind” contributions of goods and services.
The Urban Conservation Treaty Program started in 1999 when New Orleans became the first Urban Conservation Treaty City. Other Treaty cities are Chicago, Houston, Portland, Ore., St. Louis, Nashville, Anchorage and New York.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.