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Sharing our Shores: Managing Municipal Coastal Resources for Birds and People

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds Provides Vital Training for Municipal Officials

September 17, 2015—Thirty-two representatives of municipalities and other local organizations attended a free half-day workshop for municipal officials and interested board and commission members facing the challenge of managing coastal resources for birds and people, on August 16, 2015, at the Margaret Eagan Center in Milford, Connecticut.

The workshop was offered by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, in cooperation with Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT-DEEP) Wildlife Division, and was designed to increase understanding and expertise regarding beach-nesting birds such as the Piping Plover and other coastal species; explain local responsibilities for protecting these birds; share strategies and best management practices with shoreline colleagues; and finish the day with a guided tour of beautiful Milford Point, a recognized Important Bird Area that provides habitat for several species of protected shorebirds and numerous other species.

The workshop was led by Audubon Connecticut’s Important Bird Area Coordinator, Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe, with presentations by Laura Saucier of DEEP Wildlife Division. Communities represented included West Haven, Westbrook, Stratford, Bridgeport, and Milford.

The workshop was free and included a morning classroom session followed by lunch (provided) and an afternoon guided beach walk at Milford Point. It is the hope of Alliance members that this training will introduce municipal officials to the problems and solutions Connecticut coastal communities face as they balance the needs of humans with coastal nesting birds. Many of these communities host significant numbers of coastal nesting species and protecting their habitat also will help protect their municipalities from current problems like storm surges and beach erosion.

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The Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds is a joint project of Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society in cooperation with CT-DEEP and USFWS. Learn more about our partnership and activities at ctwaterbirds.blogspot.com.

This workshop was made possible through the generous support of the Long Island Sound Study and Toyota TogetherGreen.

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