To Greener Pastures: Peter A.A. Berle of Audubon

Peter A. A. Berle was a longtime environmental champion.© National Audubon Society

Longtime environmental champion Peter A. A. Berle died last week at age 69 as a result of injuries sustained during the accidental collapse of a barn on his Stockbridge, Massachusetts property several months ago. Perhaps best known for his expert stewardship of the nonprofit National Audubon Society during one of the group’s fastest growing periods from 1985 to 1995, Berle oversaw the purchase and renovation of the group’s acclaimed Manhattan headquarters, an award-winning green building which still serves as a model for an energy-efficient, environmentally responsible workplace.

More recently, he was the voice and conscience behind radio’s "The Environment Show," which aired across six northeastern states from Albany-based WAMC. Prior to his death, Berle was running a small company producing educational environmental programming for public television.

Berle had distinguished himself previously as a three-term New York State Assembly Member and as commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In the latter role, he was instrumental in helping lead the state through the trials and tribulations of Hudson River PCB clean-up and dealing with toxic contamination at Love Canal. Berle’s support for environmental causes never wavered, and he will be sorely missed.

Sources: The Century Foundation; Environmental News Service