Premise and Purpose
As a conservation and environmental organization, the New York City Audubon Society recognizes the need to understand and keep informed about the way our industrial culture disposes of its waste from all sources. Where there is a densely concentrated population in our cities and suburbs, a controlled waste disposal system becomes essential to health and the day-to-day functions of livable community.
Strides in the biological sciences over the past 60 years have allowed us to recognize that an uncontrolled or misdirected waste stream can cause environmental damage that threatens human health and the ecosystems that support all life. The science of epidemiology can help identify possible sources of chronic diseases in the effluent of our industrial culture. Because the correlation between environmental contaminants and an individual's clinical diseases is not often established definitively, environmental regulations often depend upon laboratory tests using animals.
As a wildlife conservation organization, we will tend to direct our attention toward the effects of our industrial culture on ecosystems and wildlife. Far from ignoring the environmental degradation that affects humans, close attention to the health of wildlife is analogous to the canary warning of poisonous air in the coalmine. A sick ecosystem is a warning that there is an unhealthy environment for us, but unlike the miners, we cannot escape the ecosystem.
It is the purpose of the Waste Stream Committee to research clean water and clean air issues and to keep the membership of our chapter informed about them as they relate to New York City. This committee will strive to educate our members about the science, technology, government agencies and politics that are essential to understanding waste stream/pollution issues.