Howard County, MD, For Immediate Release –

Members of the Howard County Council voted 4 to 1 last night to pass CB11-2020, an act that will require new construction projects to utilize bird-safe standards to prevent avian fatalities. An estimated 1 billion birds a year are lost to glass collisions in North America with numbers especially high during spring and fall migration. “This act will go a long way to ensure that both resident and migratory birds, that call beautiful Howard County home for all or part of the year, will be able to safely navigate amongst an ever growing number of glass buildings. It ensures that Howard County remains a leader in sustainability even while experiencing considerable growth and that is a good thing for both the citizens and the birds,” said Beth Decker, Director, Safe Skies Maryland.

Bird-Safe Building Standards, commonly referred to as LEED Credit 55, also mitigates the inherent energy inefficiency in the use of so much glass by reducing solar heat gain and that translates into substantial energy and cost savings at a time when energy usage and climate change are a rising concern. Howard County joins New York City who as recently as December voted overwhelmingly to pass similar legislation in an update to its building code. Add to that the recent passage of the Bird Safe Buildings Act of 2019 in the US House of Representatives just last week and it becomes clear that the natural evolution of what is sustainable, energy saving, protects our ecosystem services, and is ultimately healthier for us all is continuing to gain traction at many levels.

We thank Sponsor Councilmember Deb Jung, Co-Sponsors Councilmembers Liz Walsh and Christiana Rigby for their vision as well as Councilman Opel Jones for his support in this important step forward. Howard County will now be a much safer place along the Atlantic Flyway, an ancient migratory route, that sees countless species of neotropical migrants passing through from as far away as the rainforests of South America to the boreal forest of Canada.

Safe Skies Maryland

Safe Skies Maryland encourages all communities in Maryland to implement sound bird conservation practices by working to address anthropogenic factors of bird mortality toward a sustainable future.