Program areas at GCBO
Land protection: in this program we protect landscapes for birds via acquisition contributions across the americas for conservation and to restore habitat to a condition that renders it suitable for migratory birds. To date we have granted funds to 28 conservation acquisitions in 12 countries including the us. We also help protect habitat on behalf of our site partner network which has expanded to a gulf-wide network of 71 site partners with sanctuaries forming a string of pearls comprising 11-million acres of precious wetland, forests, and coastal prairies in each of the five us and five mexican states that border the Gulf of mexico.
Scientific research: with a goal to accumulate, assess, and distribute high quality Bird population and conservation information that will educate as well as provide a scientific basis for the protection of birds and their habitats. Current research programs include american oystercatcher stewardship program, beach nesting birds project, non-breeding shorebird project, eastern willet migration study, coastal motus network study, smith point hawk watch, wintering loggerhead shrike project, and Bird banding at gcbo.
Outreach and education: gcbo serves an estimated 200,000+ individuals annually through various public, free or low-cost events, our web and facebook presence, a twice yearly print newsletter, monthly e-updates and our staff-written nature column, which runs weekly in five community newspapers. Educational projects include project soar, a partnership with brazosport unified school district to teach stem concepts; our kid's summer Bird camp, a week-long day program, introduces 8-11 year old to nature; and the birds in art lecture series through the local college's extension program. Outdoor activities include monthly Bird banding projects and spring fling, a month-long celebration of the return of migratory songbirds. The 2-day xtreme hummingbird xtravaganza at our lake jackson headquarters focuses on hummingbirds during their southward migration (august-september) to their winter homes in great numbers. And the annual autumn smith point hawk watch is in its 21st year. Our participation at various community events, such as migration celebration, sea center day, dow ecology day, and freeport river fest provide ongoing opportunities for outreach to residents who might not be aware of us and our work otherwise, thus forging new relationships with the community. In 2017, our education and outreach programming reached 450,000 individuals from 26 states and 12 countries.