Life for Connecticut’s beach-nesting birds gets a lot tougher over 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.
The Connecticut Audubon Society is going to try to minimize the harm where they can — by closing the parking lot at their 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 the Society has done this before. They know it might be an inconvenience bu 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.
The Connecticut Audubon Society Coastal Center at Milford Point is a nature center and bird sanctuary in Milford, Connecticut, established in 1995. Over 300 different species of bird have been observed at this location. Milford Point is located at 1 Milford Point Rd, Milford, CT 06460