Coastal Solutions: Building a Bold New Community to Address the Shorebird Crisis

Show Transcript

NARRATOR: Each year, millions of shorebirds around the globe undertake epic long-distance migrations. Whimbrels, Dunlins, godwits, and others like them migrate thousands of miles, round-trip annually—from their breeding grounds in the Arctic to their wintering grounds along the coast in Latin America.

NARRATOR: But the coastal sites these migrations evolved to depend on are rapidly changing. As human development continues to expand, demands on coastal ecosystems for water, food, storm protection, and habitat are increasing. As a result, shorebird populations are declining worldwide.

NARRATOR: To balance the needs of natural systems and coastal developments, knowledge and ideas from multiple disciplines and sectors are needed in order to develop new solutions.

NARRATOR: The Coastal Solutions Fellows Program is building a community of early-career leaders, from the academic, private, and non-profit sectors, to work on new approaches to coastal development and ecosystem management. In this new initiative, planners, developers, and scientists will collaborate on crafting solutions to real-life problems facing our coasts.

NARRATOR: For the next decade, the program will support six fellows per year to focus on threats facing the Pacific Americas Flyway, a network of coastal sites that shorebirds use to rest, feed, and overwinter during their annual migration. Sites like Chiloé Island in southern Chile, where threatened species, tourism, development, and aquaculture coexist in complex ways—bringing both opportunities and challenges.

NARRATOR: The Coastal Solutions Fellows program will provide two years of funding and training for young professionals in Latin America, to learn and work with different perspectives and expertise as they co-design projects that test new solutions at coastal sites.

NARRATOR: Are you working on coastal environments in Latin America? We want you to be part of a new community that breaks down sector silos and supports emerging leaders working on critical ecological and economic issues. Learn how at

End of Transcript

Each year, millions of shorebirds undertake epic migrations to and from the Arctic and Latin America, but as human development expands, coastal habitats are vanishing. Shorebird populations are plummeting toward catastrophe, their declines representing the world’s number one conservation crisis facing birds today.

Our Coastal Solutions Fellows Program brings together early-career professionals in Latin America, including biologists, planners, and architects, to craft solutions for ecosystem management and coastal development. Over the course of six years, the program will fund 30 emerging leaders to work across sectors to develop conservation projects and put them into action at key sites that shorebirds need to rest, feed, and overwinter during their journeys across the Pacific Americas Flyway.

The Coastal Solutions program is made possible thanks to support from individual donors and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, which will provide matching funds if the Cornell Lab can raise $2.5 million for this groundbreaking initiative.

More Stories

Join Our Email List

The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Sign up for email and don’t miss a thing!

Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library