Dear Friends of Gloucester’s Piping Plovers,
I hope everyone is doing well and taking good care. I am writing to let you know that our Piping Plover pair at area #3 will soon be hatching their chicks, possibly by June 23rd. This is super exciting but also somewhat worrisome because it is more than a month later than when the chicks hatched last year. As we all know, GHB only becomes busier and busier as the season progresses.
What can we do to help the chicks reach the fledging age? I am organizing a group of citizen Piping Plover Ambassadors. This will be a volunteer group, not connected with the City administration. Our main objective is to keep the Piping Plover chicks safe and by doing so, we will ensure our beloved beach stay open to the public.
Ambassadors will be at the beach observing as well as informing interested beach goers about Piping Plover behaviors.
I’d like to try something different with scheduling that I hope will make things much less complicated. Ambassadors are needed for approximately one month. I am asking people to commit one set hour a day for that month.
So for example, I will be at the beach every morning from approximately sunrise until 7:00am
We need volunteers every hour from 7am to sunset; the 7am to 8am shift, the 8am to 9am shift, the 9am to 10am shift, etc. If you know you can commit to one hour every day for a month, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we get a viable nest at Area #1, we will cross that bridge if and when we come to it.
This week I am ordering several coroplast signs, just like the ones we had last year. I wish I could afford to purchase many, but am asking volunteers to pay for and order the signs for yourself. The information to purchase signs will be at Seaside Graphics. During your shift, you would place the signs in the vicinity of where the chicks are located and then take your signs home with you at the end of your shift.
Ambassadors will wear a mask during their shift and maintain social distancing.
We will not be speaking directly with people regarding aberrant behavior, especially not to children. We can put ourselves between flying balls, runaway pets, joggers and children running towards the chicks, in a friendly manner. Especially with the global pandemic, many people are on edge. We do not want heated discussions taking place on the beach. We will not be taking photos of people’s behavior noticeably. If someone is acting badly, take a photo without them seeing you, and record any other information.
If someone is behaving very badly, ie. drunk and disorderly, or committing a crime, you are asked to stay clear, for your own personal safety, and to call the police. If there is a dog on the beach during your shift, it is imperative to call the dog officer. Without your calls, there is no record.
I am planning to make up data sheets where we can record our daily observations. And am happy to train anyone interested in lending a hand.
Please email and let me know if you would like to volunteer to be a Good Harbor Beach Piping Plover Ambassador. We would love, love to have your help! Thank you!
Take care and be well.