During a Capitol Hill reception held earlier this month, two U.S. Senators praised the extensive collaboration behind a newly launched Atlantic Flyways shorebird conservation plan.


More than 40 organizations worked together to develop the plan, which was launched at the May 10 event in the Russell Senate Office Building.


“I commend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, and the other conservation partners for their efforts in developing a comprehensive flyway approach to shorebird conservation,” Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) said in a statement after the event. “This comprehensive plan is the first of its kind nationally, and it has the potential to be an important model for other conservation efforts across the country and throughout the world.”


The plan is known formally as the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Conservation Business Strategy. At the reception, Cardin and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) praised the assembled conservation groups for coming together to work toward a common goal. Whitehouse and Cardin are members of the newly formed Senate Oceans Caucus.


Manomet and the Fish and Wildlife Service took a leading role in coordinating the groups and drafting the strategy.


Manomet President John Hagan told the crowd that conserving shorebirds across two continents “is a huge and complex challenge” but “collaboration and partnerships are allowing us to make progress.”


Stephen Brown, director of Manomet’s Shorebird Science Division, and Greg Siekaniec, FWS Deputy Director for Policy, also spoke at the event.


“Both senators commented on how unusual and encouraging it was to have all the major conservation partners working together on a shared strategy,” Brown said. “That is extremely encouraging because the project is much more likely to succeed if everyone is on board.”