In preparation for the arrival of breeding shorebirds and terns, ACAP Cape Breton is encouraging the public to help with a clean-up at Big Glace Bay Beach on Saturday, April 25 at 1:00PM with a rain date of Sunday, April 26 at 1:00PM.
The piping plover, an endangered shorebird, relies on sandy beaches to nest and raise young. They return to Nova Scotia in April and May and lay their eggs on the open dry sand between grassy dunes and the high-tide mark.
Garbage on the beach poses a hazard to birds and other wildlife and may attract predators. Clearing away what has accumulated over the winter months will help these endangered shorebirds and other beach wildlife. Bird Studies Canada will be joining the clean-up and providing opportunities for participants to see and learn about coastal birds and how to get involved.
"Last year one plover pair nested at Big Glace Bay beach and three out of their four young survived, which is a great outcome," says Sue Abbott, Program Coordinator for Bird Studies Canada. Less than 50 pairs breed in Nova Scotia, which remains below the population recovery goal of 60 pairs.
Clean-up supplies and light snacks will be provided for volunteers. Even though the temperatures are getting milder, participants are encouraged to dress warmly as the weather tends to be colder along the coast. If the beach access road is ice-covered, participants may need to walk in so waterproof footwear is recommended.
“There’s no better way to welcome spring than with a clean beach for both humans and animals to enjoy,” says Caitlin O’Brien, Education Coordinator for ACAP Cape Breton. “We hope that people come out and make a difference not only for endangered shorebirds, but the community as well.”
Pre-registration for the clean-up is recommended by phoning ACAP Cape Breton at 902-567-1628 or visiting www.acapcb.ns.ca. For more information about piping plovers, visit http://www.bsc-eoc.org/volunteer/nsplover/.
ACAP Cape Breton, located at 582 George Street in Sydney, is a non-profit, charitable community organization with a community vision in which local people are actively engaged, working, and learning together to build a healthy and sustainable Island.