HEADLINES

To protect young birds, Coastal Center lot closed for the weekend

To protect beach birds, the Coastal Center parking lot will be closed for the Fourth of July weekend. The gates will be locked from 4 p.m. Thursday, July 2, until 9 a.m. Monday, July 6
 
Life for Connecticut’s beach-nesting birds gets a lot tougher over the Fourth of July weekend.
 
Beaches tend to be gathering places for fireworks users and bigger crowds than usual on holidays. That's incredibly disruptive to adult birds and their chicks.
 
We’re going to try to minimize the harm where we can — by closing the parking lot at the Milford Point Coastal Center for the weekend.
 
Milford Point is of course a nature preserve and not appropriate for typical beach recreational activities.
 
The gates will be locked from 4 p.m. Thursday, July 2, until 9 a.m. Monday, July 6.
 
You may remember that we’ve done this before. We know it might be an inconvenience — thank you for understanding.
 
Piping Plovers are federally-threatened. Least Terns and American Oystercatchers are threatened in the state, and Common Terns are a species of special concern. They all nest at Milford Point and as it is 2020 is already a tough year for them.
 
Concerns for the safety of staff and volunteers has meant that the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds has spent less time putting up the fencing that helps keep animal predators away and warns visitors to keep their distance.
 
After several years when near-record numbers of Piping Plovers hatched, this year might not be as successful.
 
Keeping people off the beach for the Fourth of July weekend will help those birds survive.
 
P.S. Even when you're not visiting Milford Point you can enjoy some of the birds. Click here for live-streaming of a Purple Martin nest full of babies. And click here for the Osprey Cam (and two rapidly-growing young Ospreys).

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