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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Public Outcry Over Threats to Snowy Plover Nests at Sand City Project Site

May 2014

The California Coastal Commission’s recent conditional vote on April 10 for a mega condominium and resort project on the beach in Sand City has brought out protests from a wide range of community groups including school children. Just before the hearing, a new Western snowy plover nest with 2 eggs was found and identified by a wildlife biologist near the Project site. A few days later, the nest was reported to have 3 eggs and was being incubated. But by the first week in May, the Monterey County Weekly reported the nest, the 3 eggs and its stakes-and string-barrier around it had disappeared. Listed under the Endangered Species Act as Threatened, there is estimated to be only about 2200 birds remaining of this coastal population of Western snowy plover in California.

Here is a poem to the Snowy Plover written by fifth grader, Caroline:

Snowy Plover
By Caroline

The beach is Snowy Plover home,
The beach is where bulldozers will soon roam
Then away the Snowy Plover will be,
Never ever again will we see,
the small, harmless bird.

What did it ever do to you or me?
Us humans, we harm much living things,
bird, butterfly, worm and tree.
I tell you in the future our world will be,
A land with nothing that has wings.

Only 2,600 left on this coast,
Don’t boast,
about the resort,
The Snowy Plover habitat matters most,
Please build the resort some other place,
Don’t hurt the Snowy Plover and their space.

Snowy Plover - Steve Zmack
A tiny Western Snowy Plover in full breeding plumage at home on the Project site showing the large expanse of coastal dunes slated for demolition by SNG. (Photograph: Steve Zmak).

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