DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife sets Saturday, May 5 training in Lewes for volunteer beachnesting bird monitors

LEWES – Volunteers wanting to help protect Delaware’s endangered piping plovers and other beachnesting birds are invited to join DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife monitoring team and attend a training session held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 5, at Cape Henlopen State Park’s Biden Environmental Training Center, at 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes 19958.

The training session will begin with a slideshow followed by a discussion on the monitoring program, and how volunteers can help to ensure that beachnesting shorebirds are not disturbed while rearing their chicks.

Weather permitting, the group will finish the session by venturing out to the Point at Cape Henlopen to look for piping plovers and other shorebirds likely to be feeding on the tidal flats. Birding scopes and binoculars will be available for use, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own optics if they have them.

“Volunteers are critical to our protection efforts. When stationed on the boundaries of the nesting areas, volunteers can help explain to passersby the importance of closing these areas for breeding birds to prevent human disturbance,” said Joe Rogerson, program manager for Species Conservation and Research, Division of Fish & Wildlife. “Volunteers who help us cover these areas can give beachgoers a better understanding of how humans can make a difference in the breeding success of beachnesting birds.”

Pre-registration for the training is encouraged, but volunteers also will be accepted at the door. Park entrance fees will be waived for volunteers attending the training. For more information on the training, beachnesting birds or monitoring efforts, please contact Audrey DeRose-Wilson at 302-735-8667 or Audrey.DeRose-Wilson@delaware.gov.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 105


DNREC announces the Point at Cape Henlopen to close March 1 for 2018 beachnesting season

LEWES – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation today announced that the Point at Cape Henlopen State Park, including a stretch of ocean beach and dunes, and a half mile along the bay shoreline, will close beginning Thursday, March 1, for the benefit of threatened and endangered beachnesters and migratory shorebirds, including red knot, piping plovers, oystercatchers, least terns, and other species.

The nesting habitat on the ocean side will reopen Sept. 1. The bayside beach will remain closed until Oct. 1 for use by shorebirds migrating south for the winter.

DNREC’s Divisions of Parks & Recreation, Fish & Wildlife, and Watershed Stewardship have been working together since 1990 to implement a management plan to halt the decline of beachnester and migratory shorebird populations. The Point has been closed annually since 1993.

“We appreciate the public’s cooperation in this effort,” said Park Superintendent Grant Melville. “DNREC is committed to providing protection for these species, hopefully to prevent them from disappearing in Delaware.”

For more information, contact Cape Henlopen State Park at 302-645-8983.

Media Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


New DNREC YouTube Channel video tells story of Mispillion Harbor Restoration

NEAR SLAUGHTER BEACH – A new video premiering on DNREC’s YouTube Channel offers a look at ongoing beach restoration work to restore and protect vital wildlife habitat along the shoreline at Mispillion Harbor on Delaware’s Bayshore east of Milford.

The video tells of crucial ecological work done to perpetuate an annual internationally-known Delaware spectacle that also is unique to North America. Every spring, Delaware’s central Bayshore, with the Mispillion Harbor as its epicenter, hosts thousands of migrating shorebirds – including the threatened red knot – stopping to refuel on their long journey to their Arctic breeding grounds. Their arrival coincides with another annual rite of spring: thousands of spawning horseshoe crabs coming ashore to lay their eggs on Bayshore beaches. These eggs serve provide the feast for the hungry shorebirds before continuing their flight.

Hurricane Sandy and other coastal storms have taken a toll on the beaches where these two species meet, eroding away critical habitat. To rebuild these beaches at Mispillion Harbor and to protect this area from future storm events, DNREC’s restoration work includes construction of a 1,700-foot-long stone dike to absorb erosive wave action and adding 30,000 cubic yards of sand to restore the beaches tucked behind it.

View “Mispillion Harbor Restoration” and other DNREC videos on DNREC’s YouTube Channel.


Additional closure needed to assist beachnesters at the Point at Cape Henlopen State Park

LEWES – On March 1, the Point at Cape Henlopen State Park was closed for migratory and beach nesting shorebirds. The closed sections, including a stretch of ocean beach and dunes, and a half mile along the bay shoreline, were marked with PVC poles and twine with flagging for visibility.

The closure benefits threatened and endangered beachnesters and migratory shorebirds, including red knot, piping plovers, oystercatchers, least terns and other wildlife.

This week, the closure will be extended approximately 100 yards south toward the Point parking area crossing. In addition, another adjustment to the southern boundary may occur as early as May 14.

The nesting habitat on the ocean side will reopen on Sept. 1, while the bayside beach will remain closed until Oct. 1 for use by shorebirds migrating south for the winter.

DNREC’s Divisions of Parks and Recreation, Fish & Wildlife and Watershed Stewardship have been working together since 1990 to implement a management plan to halt the decline of beachnester and migratory shorebird populations. The Point has been closed annually since 1993.

Vol. 47, No. 80

-30-


The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park to close for 2017 beachnesting season

LEWES  – The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park, including a stretch of ocean beach and dunes, and a half mile along the bay shoreline, will close beginning Wednesday, March 1, for the benefit of threatened and endangered beachnesters and migratory shorebirds, including red knot, piping plovers, oystercatchers, least terns and other species.

The nesting habitat on the ocean side will reopen Sept. 1. The bayside beach will remain closed until Oct. 1 for use by shorebirds migrating south for the winter.

DNREC’s Divisions of Parks & Recreation, Fish & Wildlife and Watershed Stewardship have been working together since 1990 to implement a management plan to halt the decline of beachnester and migratory shorebird populations. The Point has been closed annually since 1993.

“We appreciate the public’s cooperation in this effort,” said Park Superintendent Paul Faircloth. “DNREC is committed to providing protection for these species, hopefully to prevent them from disappearing in Delaware.”

For more information, contact Cape Henlopen State Park at 302-645-8983.

Vol. 47, No. 44

-30-