It seems that the real threat to these birds is continually overlooked. Every winter the heavy ocean winds drive the white beach sand up against the dunes, extending them closer and closer to the high tide line, as much as 100 feet over the past years. The aggressive dune grass continues to creep ever closer to this line and consequently these nesting birds, who seem to prefer the sparser, new grass, get swept away with the higher tides.
The actual beach is dwindling away. If in the off-season the dune grass was maintained and cut back somewhat away from the water, there would be safer areas for the birds to nest and the beachgoers would have ample area to enjoy the beach without endangering the birds.
Because the grass has narrowed the beach so much, it cannot be properly maintained by raking it from June to the middle of August (prime beach time) and is plagued by seaweed, and whatever else the ocean deposits.
We love our beach and respect our wildlife, but it’s time that the authorities stop the blame game and fix the real problem.