, Newburyport, MA


February 26, 2013

Plover deadline should be relaxed


For Plum Islanders who are hoping to see erosion curtailed, time is essential. These jetty repairs must be done as soon as possible in order to change the tidal and current dynamics that occur around the damaged jetty. It is clear from past experience that if the jetty is fully repaired, the beach will begin to mend.

Lastly, what would a plover think? Most likely, they would think and do what any other rational, reproducing and survival-minded critter would do — they would find a better place to make their nests and raise their young than next to an active construction site. Already we have more than 6 miles of Plum island beachfront that is set aside every year exclusively for plovers in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Along stretches of the beach that are not in the refuge, state wildlife officials set up fences around plover nests to protect them.

Losing a couple hundred yards of potential habitat is a grain in the sand compared to the 25-plus miles of beaches that are open to plover nests. Government officials ought to do what makes sense — get rid of the construction moratorium at the jetty site so that the work can progress smoothly and in a cost-efficient manner.

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