‘I Bird NY’ initiative takes flight in New York state

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the launch of “I Bird NY,” an initiative to build on increasing access to the state’s vast natural resources and promote low-cost opportunities to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature.

The program launch took place at the Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Oneida County where DEC unveiled recent improvements at the marsh and the designs for a new observation viewing tower.

As announced under the 2017 State of the State, the program is one of several initiatives aimed at ensuring New Yorkers have access to green spaces, including focus on unique opportunities close to urban and suburban areas.

The announcement comes on the heels of International Migratory Bird Day, a day to celebrate the importance of stopover sites and their habitats to birds migrating between their nesting and wintering sites.

The announcement was made at the Utica Marsh WMA, a unique urban wetland in Oneida County. The mixture of cattail wetlands, wet meadows, open water pools and flooded willows create a diverse marsh habitat that harbors a tremendous variety of plants and animals, especially birds.

As part of “I Bird NY, the state launched a website portal, I Bird NY, with information on where and how to bird watch, including upcoming bird walks and additional resources.

More information on I Bird NY, including the Kids Beginners Birding Challenge, can be found online.

— New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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