Despite the extremely inflammatory posts you may have been reading elsewhere, the Piping Plover volunteer monitors and local wildlife experts are not in any way, shape, or form promoting the permanent ban of dogs from Good Harbor Beach.
Currently, dogs are not allowed on the beach from May 1st to September 30th. The PiPl volunteer monitor core group, Dave Rimmer from Greenbelt, Ken Whittaker, who is Gloucester’s conservation agent, and Mass Wildlife’s John Regosin all agree that dogs should not be allowed on Good Harbor Beach beginning April 1st, but that it would be safe for Piping Plover fledglings and other migrating shorebirds for dogs to return after September 15th.
This new suggested time frame will allow birds to nest with far less interruption, shorebirds will nest earlier in the season (which will help with the chicks survival rate), and the chicks will be stronger by the time Good Harbor fills with summer crowds. This is a very logical and simple solution. Disallowing dogs on Massachusetts coastal beaches where shorebirds are nesting, beginning April 1st, is quite common. Allowing them to return after September 15, and in many cases after September 30th, is also very common. For Piping Plovers and other nesting shorebirds, protecting their habitat and sharing the shore is a matter of life and death.
To be very, very clear, we Piping Plover volunteers do not wish to permanently and forever ban dogs off Good Harbor Beach, or any Gloucester beaches.
Please email or call Mayor Sefatia’s office and your City Councilors and let them know your thoughts about Piping Plovers, dogs, and all the wildlife that finds a home at Good Harbor Beach. We hope you agree that making this simple change in the ordinance from April 1st to September 15th is the best solution for all our wild and domestic creatures. This modification to the dog ordinance will also show the federal agents that the Gloucester community recognizes our responsibility and takes very seriously our commitment to protecting endangered and threatened species.
Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken: firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-281-9700
Councillors At Large
Paul Lundberg, President: email@example.com, 978-282-8871
Melissa Cox: firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-631-9015
Jamie O’Hara: email@example.com, 978-979-7533
Jen Holmgren: firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-335-4748
Ward 1 Councilor Scott Memhard: email@example.com, 978-283-1955
Ward II Councillor Ken Hecht: firstname.lastname@example.org, 617,755-9400
Ward III Councillor and Vice-president Steven LeBlanc: email@example.com, 978-283-3360
Ward IV Valerie Gilman: firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-621-4682
Ward V Councillor Sean Nolan: email@example.com, 978-375-8381