Chevy Chase Audubon group chooses new name to distance itself from racist namesake

The word “Audubon” has long connoted birds, nature, and conservation. But in recent years, there’s been more attention to the man behind the name – John James Audubon – and his racist views and actions.

Now, the local nonprofit formerly known as the Audubon Naturalist Society has a new name: Nature Forward. Lisa Alexander, the group’s executive director, says Audubon, a lauded 19th century ornithologist and artist, was also an enslaver and a published white supremacist.

“That just didn’t seem like the kind of welcome we wanted to give to all people in our region,” Alexander says.

The organization, based in Chevy Chase, announced a year ago it would change its name, though discussions about the problematic aspects of the name started more than a decade ago. The new name was revealed late last week. [DCist]

Drought monitoring underway on Potomac River; water supply ‘not yet’ at risk


The streamflow of the Potomac River has been so low for the past five days that hourly drought monitoring has been required for the area’s prime drinking water supply.

However, the agency that implements coordination plans between the three local water supplies that rely upon the Potomac River told WTOP, “We’re not yet at a level where we’re risking not meeting water demands, or the needs of the river.” [WTOP]

Today’s weather: Increasing clouds, with a high near 59


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