|East Beach ~ Barrier Beach|
Are there any unique threats to wildlife on the beach?
Some species, such as piping plovers, are threatened not by the harsh conditions of the habitat, but by an introduced species: MAN. Plovers nest in right in the sand on the beach and their precocious young run to the strand (wrack) line to feed. As a result, they are often stepped on and killed by unsuspecting people. In 1986, the plover was placed on the United States Endangered Species list. To protect nesting plovers and their eggs, wire cages are constructed around their nests to keep humans and predators away from the eggs. The cages have openings in the wire mesh that are large enough to allow the plovers to leave and forage for food but not large enough to allow predators entry.
Another threat to the beach's wildlife is the garbage humans leave behind after visiting the beach or that washes up with the tide. Plastic is one of the worst types of garbage because many animals mistake it for food. Plastic six-pack rings end up choking animals when the rings become lodged around the animals neck. Take everything home with you that you bring to the beach or throw it into a covered trash can. Don't throw anything into the water when you're boating or if you do, you may see it on the beach the next you go there swimming!