Donation Goal: $30,000

$6,533 Raised

22% Funded

About Our Campaign


Stop construction of an illegal wind turbine in one of the world’s most important bird migration corridors


$30,000 for legal suit against the Ohio Air National Guard


Ohio Air National Guard’s Camp Perry facility, Port Clinton, Ohio


Critical stopover grounds along southern shore of Lake Erie


Kirtland’s Warbler (Endangered) and Bald Eagles


The American Bird Conservancy
Black Swamp Bird Observatory

In 2014, ABC threatened to sue Ohio Air National Guard (ANG) over its flawed turbine proposal and successfully halted the project, but not before Camp Perry officials violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act by building a foundation for the proposed wind turbine—at a cost of $200,000 to taxpayers.

Now, the Ohio Air National Guard is trying again. Its new proposal still disregards the ESA and other bedrock environmental laws. It neglects bird-friendly energy alternatives and ignores overwhelming public opposition. And ANG has blatantly ignored federal wind energy guidelines: a clear case of the government failing to follow its own rules. Hence this illegal project would set a terrible precedent, opening the Lake Erie region to further wind energy development in bird-sensitive areas.

ABC and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) are going all out to fight this harmful project. Our legal team has brought a suit against Ohio Air National Guard—but going up against a powerful opponent is a major undertaking, and we need your support to defend birds.

We urgently need to raise $30,000 to cover our legal costs and win this fight. Every dollar counts.

Why Lake Erie and Camp Perry are so important to migratory birds

As millions of birds fly from Central and South America to breed in Canada's boreal forests, they pass over Camp Perry, an Ohio Air National Guard base, which sits along one of Lake Erie's narrowest points. This makes Camp Perry one of the worst possible locations for a wind turbine. The importance of this area—designated a Globally Important Bird Area—to migratory birds is well documented by BSBO's long-term research station located near Camp Perry.

Camp Perry Location

ABC's Wind Development Bird Risk Map shows Camp Perry in a "red zone," indicating an extreme risk to birds. The red area that crosses Lake Erie is a high-density migration corridor.

Wind Energy's Invisible Threat

Wind turbines are among the fastest-growing human-caused threats to our nation's birds. It's estimated that hundreds of thousands of migratory birds die each year from collisions with wind turbine blades—and that number is increasing. In fact, if we don't act, wind turbines could kill over 5 million birds annually by 2050.

A Dangerous Project

With proper siting, renewable energy can be generated without harming birds, and Camp Perry is already home to an array of bird-friendly solar panels, which could be expanded. But officials at the base have inexplicably failed to consider that option—despite repeated urging from ABC and other conservation groups. And that's not the only thing they've overlooked.

This project—which is located less than a mile from Lake Erie—violates the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) recommendation that no turbine be built within at least three miles of the Great Lakes' shoreline.

It gets worse. Ohio's Air National Guard has consistently disregarded the ESA by neglecting to consider how its proposed turbine would affect endangered species. Side-stepping the ESA and other critical environmental reviews is not just bad for birds—it's illegal; and until Camp Perry officials comply with federal guidelines, their turbine plans are unlawful, too.

And Ohio's Air National Guard's legal problems don't stop there. The harm to Bald Eagles caused by the turbine would violate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. In fact, Ohio Air National Guard's project presents such exceptionally high risk to federally protected wildlife that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the FWS have both expressed serious concerns.

Threat to Imperiled Birds

Wildlife officials are right to be alarmed. Camp Perry lies within one of the highest concentrations of nesting Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states, and long-term monitoring indicates extensive use of the turbine area by eagles. But Bald Eagles aren't the only species in danger.

The proposed turbine presents an extremely high risk to night-time migrating songbirds, especially the federally Endangered Kirtland's Warbler. Kirtland's Warbler was nearly extinct less than 40 years ago and, while rebounding due to costly and intensive management efforts, still numbers only in the low thousands.

And finally, the base is only a few miles from Magee Marsh Wildlife Areas and the Ottawa Wildlife Refuge—areas that provide critical stopover habitat for millions of migratory birds and is home to raptors and waterfowl.

Kirtland's Warber

Bald Eagles frequent Camp Perry. Kirtland's Warbler is a federally-protected Endangered species that was nearly extinct less than 40 years ago. Photos by Robert Royse (left) and Yarry/Shutterstock (right).

An Awful Precedent

The Camp Perry turbine would be the first wind energy development on public land in this ecologically sensitive area. Its construction would send an unmistakable signal to wind energy developers that this critically important migratory route is open for business—one that must we must now prevent. Please help us stop this unlawful and dangerous project by supporting our suit.

American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere’s bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory  is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit whose mission is to inspire the appreciation, enjoyment, and conservation of birds and their habitats through research, education, and outreach.