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Sanctuary Turns 90

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Theodore Roosevelt Audubon Sanctuary in Oyster Bay.  The Oyster Bay Historical Society hosted Ted Scherff, executive director of the Sanctuary, and Jennifer Zaso of Audubon New York who gave a presentation on the history of the Sanctuary, and the work the sanctuary is doing now to protect birds and advocate for conservation.  

The sanctuary is deeply embedded in the Oyster Bay community, both because of its historical association with Theodore Roosevelt, widely respected for his role as a protagonist of the conservation movement in the United States, and as a place so many residents have gone to learn not only about birds, but also about the local environment.   

One of the initiatives being undertaken at the sanctuary now is to restore the habitat using plant species that would have been present in the 1920s.  Coastal forests are becoming increasingly rare on Long Island due to habitat loss and development.   The National Wildlife Foundation is supporting this restoration effort.  Hicks Nurseries is assisting the Sanctuary in this effort by finding and supplying the plants.  This process is being done slowly, so as to avoid disruption to the birds and wildlife who live there now.   

Jennifer Zaso informed the attendees at the lecture that the 2013 Legacy of Conservation Gala will be held on May 4, at Piping Rock Club.  The sanctuary will be celebrating Audubon’s long history as a conservation leader on Long Island, and honoring the conservation efforts of the many organizations and individuals that restored and preserved Long Island’s shorelines, its Sound and its land.  The theme “1923,” the sanctuary’s inaugural year, marks the beginning of a significant chapter in Long Island conservation history and pays tribute to all that has been accomplished in Long Island’s rich preservation and conservation over the last century.