Here is another crossover post I wrote moments ago to our Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds volunteers with an important request concerning the project and activities on eastern Connecticut beaches this weekend.
We are looking for some more volunteers to assist the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in monitoring at Bluff Point and Harkness Memorial State Park on Saturday, July 7. Opsail, a tall ship event, is happening on Saturday morning beginning at 9AM and Harkness has asked for help during this time. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend, and while they will certainly not all be viewing the ships from Harkness, they are expecting the park to reach capacity. Volunteers can aid AAfCW staff to cover the eastern and western boundaries of the Piping Plover nesting area to prevent visitors from using that beach. DEEP is working to allow any persons helping to enter the park free of charge (USFWS ID will likely be necessary). Park staff will be able to handle the afternoon on their own at Harkness.
However, during the afternoon and evening on July 7 we need assistance at nearby Bluff Point as there is a large fireworks display in the Groton/New London area on Saturday evening. The number of people expected to be viewing from Bluff Point is relatively small, but it is imperative to have enough staff and volunteers to keep people out of the fenced areas, prevent them from setting off their own fireworks, and prevent chicks from being stepped on. People will be needed (in addition to DEEP and AAfCW staff) in the afternoon to keep visitors from setting up in the wrong places and for all of the above in the evening throughout the display. Any extra monitoring that can be completed at Bluff Point during the week, with young Piping Plover and Least Tern chicks all over and additional nests, would be greatly appreciated as well. DEEP is very concerned about the large number of young birds in the area and the high traffic the beach will see the entire week. Any hour here or there to help them out would be fantastic, and our staff will be there as much as possible as well.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us you will be at either location Saturday or if you have any questions. You do not have to email us prior to extra time you spend at Bluff Point during the week to watch the chicks and nests. Thank you so much for the consideration and constant efforts!
Even if you are not a registered USFWS volunteer you can help out by emailing email@example.com or spend some time watching out for the birds on the beach this week on your own. We need all the assistance we can get to ensure the safety of the birds in what has been a very successful year thus far, especially for Piping Plovers.