Last year, the Department of Environmental Conservation showed record numbers of bald eagles in New York—323 breeding pairs. 2018’s Christmas Bird Count for Ulster & Dutchess counties, where I live, showed double the average number of bald eagles: 55.
These majestic birds were on the brink of extinction in 1970. They’ve been brought back (from 487 breeding pairs in the lower 48 states up to 9,800 breeding pairs, 100,000 eagles total) due to focused conservation efforts and the banning of DDT in 1971.
This past week I’ve seen so many eagles and hawks in the Hudson Valley. From red tailed hawks hunting in Inwood at the north end of Manhattan, to thriving bald eagle families at Dennings Point in Beacon, to seeing seven bald eagles dancing at sunrise over the water near Peekskill.
Given the importance of these predators to their ecosystems, it feels like a sign of health for this beautiful Hudson Valley, this country, this planet. It’s a small glimpse of what a thriving alliance between humans and our natural environment could look like.
Now, on to this month’s climate success stories from around the web — March, 2019:
“The number of coal-fired power plants being developed around the world has collapsed in the last three years, according to a report.
The number of plants on which construction has begun each year has fallen by 84% since 2015, and 39% in 2018 alone, while the number of completed plants has dropped by more than half since 2015.”
“The news that the world’s largest wealth fund, known as the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG)… will divest from companies that explore and produce oil, “has sent shockwaves through the energy sector,” according to the Financial Times.”
“Children walked out of schools on Friday in 2,233 cities and towns in 128 countries, with demonstrations held from Australia to India, the UK and the US, according to the Fridays for the Future website.”
“New York City public schools will be adopting “Meatless Mondays” for the 2019-2020 school year in an effort to improve public health and reduce the city’s environmental footprint, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week.”
“A national park in New Zealand has been expanded by 64,000 hectares – the largest gain for a national park in the country’s history.
Kahurangi national park… the second-largest national park in the country… is set to grow by 14%, an area roughly half the size of the country’s largest city, Auckland, or the size of the city of Christchurch.”