Healthy populations of shorebirds mean healthy wetlands, something that thousands of human lives depend on. Action on a global scale needs to be organized to encourage people to be connected with shorebirds, their spectacular life and their habitats. This is what World Shorebirds Day is all about.

Over 20% of our National Wildlife Refuges exist along coastal waters, from Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge to Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge in Florida; from Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas coast to Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Washington state featured in a previous well illustrated post by Ingrid Taylar one of our co-founders.

Marbled Godwit and Willet

Shorebird Nation © Ingrid Taylar

Grays Harbor NWR is one of a special set of federal lands set aside for fish and wildlife first as a primary purpose. At Gray’s Harbor, even the specific set of wildlife-dependent recreation activities generally allowed on refuge lands are limited in order to provide the needed protection and conservation of wildlife and habitats. Of the six wildlife dependent activities allowed on refuge lands, only wildlife viewing, photography and education programs have been authorized at Grays Harbor NWR.

There is no a better time than the present to set the bar for the next level in raising global public awareness about the conservation of, and research about, shorebirds. About half of the world’s shorebird populations are in decline, and the rate of habitat loss is worse than ever before.

With this in mind ‘World Shorebirds’ Day‘ was created with the following aims:

  • To raise public awareness about the need to protect shorebirds and their habitats throughout their life cycles;
  • To raise public awareness about the need for ongoing shorebird research;
  • To connect people with shorebirds through important shorebird sites around the world;
  • To get shorebird enthusiasts to introduce shorebirds to more birdwatchers;
  • To raise awareness about the need for increased funding for shorebird research, monitoring and conservation.

We believe our National Wildlife Refuge System is one of the most important systems existing for wildlife conservation in America and the creation of a Wildlife Conservation Stamp will be a monumental step forward in protecting not only shorebirds but all North American wildlife and their habitats.

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