Collin O’Mara to discuss biodiversity initiatives Jan. 17

Green Drinks will hear from special guest Collin O’Mara at its next virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 17.

President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, O’Mara will discuss what’s going on at the federal level regarding climate change and biodiversity, and what can be done in Delaware. O’Mara is the former secretary of Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control under Gov. Jack Markell, having served from 2009 through 2014.

The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest wildlife conservation organization, with 52 state and territorial affiliates and nearly 6 million hunters, anglers, birders, gardeners, hikers, paddlers and wildlife enthusiasts. Under O’Mara’s leadership, NWF is focused on recovering America’s wildlife, ranging from bison and bighorn sheep to pollinators like monarch butterflies and native bees, improving management of and access to public lands, restoring America’s water bodies, advancing environmental education including publishing Ranger Rick magazines, and connecting every American child with the great outdoors.

O’Mara represents the National Wildlife Federation as a member of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners and the Blue Green Alliance. He is regularly called before Congress to testify about wildlife, water, and sportsmen’s issues.

As Delaware’s top natural resource official, O’Mara led the state’s efforts to conserve and restore wildlife and fishery habitat, improve air quality and public health, ensure access to clean water, expand outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities, and enhance the state’s resilience to extreme weather and other climate impacts. O’Mara spearheaded a range of initiatives, including Delaware’s No Child Left Inside/Children In Nature campaign, a comprehensive strategy to introduce children to the outdoors; the First State Trails and Pathways Plan, a multi-year initiative to expand and connect the state’s trail systems; and the Delaware Bayshore Initiative, an effort to establish the region as a world-class conservation and outdoor recreation destination for hunting, birding, fishing, hiking, canoeing and kayaking.

Green Drinks is networking for those interested in learning more about environmental protection and sustainability. Meetings bring together a lively mix of people involved in environmental issues, including volunteer advocates, nonprofits, academia, government agencies and business. Participants learn about environmental issues, socialize, engage in advocacy and have a bit of fun.

Until further notice, Green Drinks meetings will be virtual and BYOB.

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