By Jessica Mueller
A host of factors are putting increasing pressure on shorebirds, including climate change in their Arctic breeding grounds and habitat loss worldwide (they make globe-spanning migrations). The Georgia Bight Shorebird Conservation Initiative aims to protect birds in the southeastern U.S. – stewards on public beaches educate visitors on bird-friendly practices, and hotels are helping too. In Georgia, naturalists for Sea Island Resort’s The Lodge and The Cloister offer birding tours and educational opportunities to guests. Two hours north of Sea Island, guests can tee off at Hilton Head Island’s Inn & Club at Harbour Town at Sea Pines Resort, whose three Lowcountry golf courses are certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries.
In a state where drought and fire have severely affected the environment and communities, Terranea Resort, just beyond L.A.’s sprawl, on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, is doing its part to make a difference. The property uses ponds and wetlands in a natural irrigation and water-treatment system, which improves water quality and creates natural habitats for native birds. When the hotel opened in 2009, it replaced many nonnative plants with indigenous species cultivated by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.