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San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan
updated Mar. 24, 2002


Connecting People with Nature:  Our Strategic Vision


Sea and Sage Audubon Society is a leader in creating an understanding of nature in Orange County, through conservation, research and environmental education programs for children and adults.  This is accomplished with classes, field activities, publications and volunteer opportunities.


Sea and Sage Audubon Society has been and continues to be a leader in conservation by emphasizing the protection of birds, other wildlife, and their habitats.  In Orange County, Sea and Sage Audubon Society has been a leader in environmental causes and environmental education for many years and continues its innovative leadership.  Our many and varied educational programs for all ages are designed to give the citizens of our County a better awareness of our environment and the need to protect it for future generations.

Sea and Sage Audubon Society is part of a national network, which began over a century ago, of over 500,000 members, volunteers, local chapters, centers and sanctuaries, professional staff, and supporters.  This network is united in its efforts as a conservation organization that promotes protection for birds, endangered species, critical habitats, important ecosystems, and the science-based management and protection of wildlife.

Within California, a statewide membership of 66,000 within 51 local chapters, including Sea and Sage Audubon Society, is working together with Audubon California to build a stronger Audubon movement, more responsive to local conservation needs and opportunities.


We focus on people. Sea and Sage Audubon Society works to connect people with nature, daily in their homes and communities, and through larger environmental issues that unite us as citizens of Earth. We believe that a richer understanding and appreciation of the environment will inspire each of us to protect nature, and will enhance the enjoyment of our lives. From inner cities to suburbs to rural California, we engage people in conservation.

We engage all parts of our society. Sea and Sage Audubon Society, like many of its sister organizations, presents a membership profile that is predominantly white, older and upper middle-class, characteristics not in step with the emerging demographic trend in the nation, especially in Orange County. We need to address the imbalance between our composition today and the demography of tomorrow and actively become part of the newer communities of Orange County. We do this by going to new places, speaking the language that is spoken there, and incorporating the needs and values of new members into our goals.

We emphasize education at all levels. Education is cherished by all parts of our society. Literacy in all its forms is seen as the key to advancement. But true literacy requires that a love of learning be developed at an early age and be maintained throughout life. Engaging people in the study and appreciation of nature is both a product we can offer, and a tool with which we can affect a lasting impact on society.

We get our hands dirty. We are becoming a society largely detached from the natural world. The time children spend outdoors in nature can be measured in minutes per week. How can a generation that has never seen a butterfly, that has never planted a tree or flower, that has never walked along a beach or on a mountain trail, learn to value nature? We will find places where nature and people intersect, and develop our programs there, outside, in the soil.

We are experts on wildlife. Sea and Sage Audubon Society is respected for the role we have played in wildlife conservation. We will use new members, new organizational growth, and reaffirmed community support to strengthen and expand our conservation programs locally, regionally, and nationally.

We are credible. Sea and Sage Audubon Society's tradition of scientific research and Citizen Science confers authority and credibility. It is the cornerstone of our commitment to conservation and forms a basis for our publications, our advocacy and our mission.  Through our Partners In Flight program, we are united with many other organizations in ongoing bird conservation efforts, and we concentrate our attention on areas of high bird diversity or critical habitat.

We value partnerships. Sea and Sage Audubon Society will establish and nurture effective partnerships with other chapters and other organizations toward achieving our strategic vision. Our goals are large, but by strategically partnering with existing place-based projects and effective communication and networking, we can more quickly and effectively deliver important conservation results today, and build a stronger and diverse environmental constituency for tomorrow.


Sea and Sage Audubon Society is part of a network engaging people at all levels of society. All participants in Sea and Sage Audubon Society ---  members, volunteers, donors, and staff, in conjunction with other chapters --- are unified by a common philosophy, a commitment to shared conservation and educational goals and objectives, the collaboration of staff and volunteers, and mutual trust and respect.

Members.  Membership is the core mechanism for involving people in Sea and Sage Audubon Society's programs.  Our membership supports the Chapter's programs and philosophy. Our communication with members through chapter activities, our website, meetings, and targeted communications is the first step for involving people in nature.

Donors.  Donors contribute important resources for our programs. By creating an effective, efficient and focused organization, Sea and Sage Audubon gives donors the opportunity to contribute to programs that work in and partner with the communities of Orange County, accomplishing important conservation goals.

Chapter.  Sea and Sage Audubon Society is a leader on local conservation issues, an important partner with other chapters and Audubon California on regional conservation issues, and a key contributor to setting and accomplishing local conservation priorities. We provide local leadership and deliver programs emphasizing conservation, education, habitat restoration and recreation.

Sanctuaries. One of the keys to involving and motivating people is to work from the places where they live, the places that they knew as children, and the places where their children learn about the world.  Sanctuaries and parks, along with the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary where Sea and Sage is headquartered, offer contact with nature "from the inside" where birds and other wildlife can be experienced.  We nurture an awareness and appreciation for nature and create effective and involved leadership in environmental issues.  We concentrate efforts to help sanctuaries and parks interpret their surroundings.


We have identified six core strategies for Sea and Sage Audubon Society to implement in the next five years. These strategies and associated goals and objectives will result in Sea and Sage Audubon Society becoming the most effective Orange County environmental organization, fulfilling our mission and the missions of Audubon California and National Audubon Society.  We will deliver important conservation results today, while building for tomorrow a stronger and more diverse constituency for conservation.

Nature Education.  Sea and Sage Audubon Society continues to develop and promote nature education programs, connecting people to nature across Orange County, throughout the region, and beyond.

Conservation Action.  Restore and protect bird populations and important bird and wildlife habitats and build a permanent constituency for ongoing conservation of wildlife and habitat.

Strengthen the Chapter's Network.  Establish clear roles, responsibilities, and resources appropriate for all the parts of Sea and Sage Audubon Society, establishing a higher level of effective collaboration and accountability.

Communications and Outreach.  Increase awareness of Sea and Sage Audubon Society and its mission throughout Orange County and beyond, resulting in increased public support for our programs.

Board Development.   Diversify the composition of the Board of Sea and Sage Audubon Society.
Financial Resources Development.  Build the infrastructure necessary to significantly increase fund development revenue and to create and maintain strong relationships with donors and supporters.

Through the successful implementation of this Strategic Plan, we envision a Sea and Sage Audubon Society that in five years will:

Establish a nature education program that will reach all of the Orange County community;

Reach, through a combination of communication strategies, Orange County's population on a regular basis with a science-based message that advances our conservation and educational goals;

Lead key local efforts to conserve and restore much of the remaining undeveloped non-urban acreage in Orange County, focused on important bird and other wildlife habitats;

Triple our chapter membership to more accurately represent Orange County's diverse population; and

Increase our involvement in Orange County in support of key conservation project and policy goals around the County.

Sea & Sage Audubon Society
PO Box 5447 • Irvine, CA 92616 • 949-261-7963