Storm-swept beach

“The wild wind raves, the tide runs high, as up and down the beach we flit, one little sandpiper and I.”
–Celia Laighton Thaxter
NJ beaches don’t look like this the weekend before the 4th of July. There’s little solitude now and very little protection for beach nesting birds. Despite the efforts of many to keep them safe, piping plovers face a multitude of dangers. Here’s the story of one of those dangers.

12 thoughts on “Storm-swept beach”

  1. Oh so sad. We haven’t been to NJ beaches for some time, but I always wished “they” would leave some of it natural. Why does every square inch of beach have to be developed?
    Or groomed?

  2. If the area was fenced or marked – as it should have been – there really is no excuse for raking there. I don’t really understand that practice anyway. It seems to me that part of the fun of going to the beach as a kid was being able to collect shells and the like. With a groomed beach, there is less of that to go around.

  3. That’s sad, Laura. They need protection… We can’t count on the general public to help, unfortunately.

    Nice beach photo, though :o)

  4. I’ve never understood why beaches have to be raked. I guess it’s just a quicker way of picking up trash that beach goers are too lazy to put in trash cans. For anyone who doesn’t understand why species need the protections from the ESA, this is a perfect example. It sounds as though this really may have been an accident; if you can call failure to brief employees on issues like this an accident. Can you imagine how many more times this would happen without protective measures? I’m sure piping plovers would have been gone a while ago without the ESA.

  5. Hi, Laura – I found your blog on the blogroll of several other blogs I read regularly, and I was right in thinking that was a good indication that I’d enjoy your words and pictures.

    It’s so sad about the plover; I hate reading stories like that. They leave me feeling angry and helpless at the same time. I think that may be why I’ve so enjoyed the nature blogs I’ve found. At least here I find other people who don’t want to sanitize and pave the entire world.

    –wren

  6. KGMom: I agree it’s silly. I think maybe Island Beach State Park is the only undeveloped stretch in NJ – that and Sandy Hook which they’re trying to turn into some sort of corporate park/convention center/bed and breakfast fiasco.

    John: There’s no excuse – someone made a mistake. I would like to know how though.

    Mary: Thanks!

    Jayne: Thanks! I think most peple don’t give a hoot anyway.

    rcwbiologist: Keeping people off beaches in summer for the sake of a few invisible birds doesn’t make sense to the average person at all. They only close half the beach anyway, but still people let their dogs run loose, fly kites over the nesting colonies, etc.

    DKM: I’ve been lax with the bunny pics lately – I know!

    Monarch: Thanks!

    wrenaissancewoman: Thanks for coming by! And yes – it’s good to be among kindred spirits.

    Cathy: lol! I have armloads of books! You’re not a coward, just too softhearted to take the everyday foolishness of the world. That’s a good thing, I think.

  7. I read somewhere (I’m great for partial information!) about the government paying farmers to postpone the first harvest of hay from their fields in an effort to protect nesting birds using the hay stands as nest sites.
    The first step to preservation is seeing the value.
    And although a clean beach would probably be preferred to a littered beach, wouldn’t a beach with native shore birds skittering across it be preferred to a beach void of all that?
    Sites like yours acquaint people with natural beauty–the value starts here.

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