2002-06-01 / Community

Audubon To Sail The Bay

Audubon To Sail The Bay

New Yorkers, the New York City Audubon Society (NYCAS) will sail to Governor's Island on a quest to reclaim this historic spot for the public.

NYCAS will join a grand flotilla of 1,000 boats sailing to the 172-acre teardrop of land on June 2nd.  The fleet will urge civic leaders to make the island a public space. Governor's Island Group, a coalition of more than 40 organizations, is arranging the event.

The nautical rally will launch the New York City Audubon Society's 9th annual benefit cruise.

Each year, NYCAS invites members and friends for a day of birdwatching on the water. This spring, after joining the fleet at Governor's Island, participants will sail on to the calm waters of Jamaica Bay.

"This cruise is a unique way to view wildlife around the uninhabited islands and marshes of Jamaica Bay," says NYCAS president Marcia Fowle.

Although the Manhattan skyline and JFK airport are constant reminders of human habitat, Jamaica Bay seems far removed from city life.  According to Fowle, "It is an extraordinarily peaceful place."

One of the most important urban wildlife refuges in the U.S., Jamaica Bay is an internationally renowned birding hotspot.  Thousands of water, land and shorebirds stop over at the 9,155-acre refuge during migration and thousands of waterfowl winter on the bay.  More than 325 species have been recorded at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

After a casual lunch, veteran birders will spy birds with their binoculars, sharing their expertise in identifying wildlife.  Species that breed within the refuge include osprey, great blue heron, glossy
ibis, oystercatcher, great and snowy egrets, black and yellow-crowned night-herons; plus such upland species as yellow warbler, common yellowthroat and American redstart, among others.

The boat benefit is one of New York City Audubon Society's most important yearly fundraising efforts.  A relaxed natural science event rather than a lavish dinner party, the cruise reflects the core values of this nonprofit group.

Members and friends are invited to join NYCAS aboard The Finest and Bravest on Sunday, June 2nd, from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  Passengers will board at Pier 11 at Wall Street and the East River starting at 10:00 a.m.  Parking is available nearby.

Ticket prices are $100 each, $150, $250, and $500 each (if you wish to contribute more to NYCAS) and include lunch with beer and wine.  The number of passengers is limited.  Contact NYCAS to join in.

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