Roland Clement, former chairman of the board of Connecticut Audubon Society, passes away at age 102
Connecticut Audubon Society mourns the passing of Roland Clement, the former chairman of its Board of Directors, on Saturday, March 21, at age 102. Mr. Clement died at his home in Hamden.
Mr. Clement spent his life immersed in ornithology in New England and throughout North America, and his love of birds carried over to a deep commitment to the cause of conservation.
A true ornithologist at a very early age, after time in the army, Brown and Cornell Universities, he led Rhode Island Audubon, before moving on to the National Audubon Society. At National Audubon Society he had a distinguished career focusing on their sanctuaries and endangered species, and raising public awareness to the danger of pesticides.
After his retirement in 1977, as he came to appreciate the value of focus on local conservation efforts, he served as Chairman of the Board of the Connecticut Audubon Society, from 1980-1985. In his tenure he oversaw the establishment of the Milford Point Coastal Center, one of organization’s premiere facilities. Located on a barrier beach separating Long Island Sound from the 840-acre Wheeler salt marsh, the Coastal Center is now a wonderful environmental education center, and also a focal point for the study and observation of more than 300 species of birds.
Under his direction, Connecticut Audubon Society came to the rescue when an older building on the state-owned property at Milford Point fell into disrepair. Connecticut Audubon stepped forward and proposed creating an education center there and then, under Mr. Clement’s leadership, raised $2 million to construct the present building.
“Without Roland Clement, it is quite possible the Whooping Crane, California Condor and many other bird populations might no longer grace our skies,” said Alexander Brash, president of the Connecticut Audubon Society. “Roland was instrumental in pulling together the biological needs of a species with sound habitat management and a strong conservation ethic, and then conveying this understanding to the American public. He was also a very principled person, and later in life rose to the occasion on many challenges. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and loved ones.”