New Orleans,
11:57 AM

Audubon Nature Institute Receives Everyday Hero Award

Audubon Nature Institute recently received the Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB) Everyday Hero Corporate Leadership Award. This award recognizes a business that demonstrates a consistent dedication to KLB’s mission, environmental stewardship, and community enrichment.

In recent years, Audubon has committed to eliminating plastic water bottles, bags, and straws from its facilities and phasing out plastic beverage bottles. Audubon now offers guests eco-friendly alternatives, such as paper straws and water in aluminum cans. These changes are keeping a quarter of a million pieces of plastic out of the waste stream each year.

In addition to implementing sustainable business practices and sharing plastic reduction messaging at its facilities, Audubon works with local businesses to encourage them to choose alternatives to single-use plastics and rallies individuals to join the fight by participating in plastic reduction initiatives.

“This award is a great recognition of our ongoing efforts to reduce plastic use at our facilities, one of the many ways Audubon is committed to leading our community by example when it comes to protecting the environment,” said Director of Sustainability and Coastal Conservation John Fallon.

These plastic-reduction efforts also earned Audubon Aquarium of the Americas the Regional Sustainability Committee's 2019 Love Your City Award for Resource Management.

In September, Audubon hosted the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association’s 2019 Annual Conference, showcasing its waste reduction efforts to nearly 3,000 professional colleagues from around the world. Food and drinks were primarily offered in compostable serverware with staff operating composting stations at events during the conference.

Audubon partnered with Schmelly’s, a local composting business, to make this initiative a success, and together, they kept over 5000 pounds of waste out of landfills, making this one of the largest known composting hauls ever in New Orleans. Audubon looks forward to forging innovative partnerships with Schmelly’s and other community organizations on waste reduction and green initiatives in the future.

Marine debris, especially plastic, tops the list of threats to marine wildlife today. Interactions can lead to serious injury, and even death, for many species, including marine mammals and sea turtles.

The Coastal Wildlife Network (CWN), coordinated by Audubon Nature Institute, serves as the primary responder for injured, ill, or displaced marine mammals (dolphins, whales, manatees) and sea turtles in Louisiana. CWN is committed to animal rescues, rehabilitation, and community outreach in its efforts to promote marine conservation.

The public can report siting an injured or stranded (live or dead) marine mammal or sea turtle by contacting Audubon’s Coastal Wildlife Network at (504) 235-3005.

Everyday Hero Awards:
Each year, Keep Louisiana Beautiful recognizes those that go the extra mile to keep our communities clean, beautiful, and litter-free. These are the men, women, children, businesses and organizations that are moving Louisiana towards a more sustainable future through innovative programming, hard work, and dedication to greener, cleaner communities. The award was presented to Audubon Nature Institute by David D’Aquin, manager of public affairs for Cox Communications at the Everyday Hero Awards Banquet.

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Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.