Preparing for Plovers

 Preparing for Plovers

This past weekend, March 18 and 19, nearly 100 NYC Plover Project volunteers from across the peninsula and city, assisted Gateway National Recreation Area staff to install miles of symbolic fencing and signage to protect nesting Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers.

Each year in March, federally-protected and endangered migratory shorebirds begin to arrive on our peninsula beaches. National Park Service staff and volunteers were ready, and braved the elements to install the protective measures.

“This year is the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act,” said Chris Allieri, founder, NYC Plover Project. “Now more than ever, we need to protect threatened and endangered species across our nation. We are so fortunate to have an endangered species – the Piping Plover– consistently nest in New York City. I think that sometimes people forget that they are a tiny intrepid species just trying to survive. A little bit of inconvenience for us, for a brief moment in our lifetimes, can actually have a huge difference on the survival of this species.”

While the fencing may seem minimal, the symbolic fencing (symbolic as it’s a visual barrier, not an actual physical one), along with signage, does help keep people out of closures, while informing them of the measures that agencies and volunteers are taking across the city to assure better breeding success.

“Protecting habitats is a must when it comes to protecting Plovers”, said Allieri. “Unfortunately, 2022 was a bad year for Piping Plover productivity. From predation to off-leash dogs, drones and nest vandalism, both Plovers and Oystercatchers got it from all sides. We can, should and will do more to protect them.”

To volunteer with NYC Plover Project this season, you can contact

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