It is again migratory shorebird season here in the Twin Ports! The St. Louis River Alliance is monitoring the beaches on Wisconsin Point and Minnesota Point for the critically endangered shorebird, the Great Lakes Piping Plover. For more information on the Piping Plover visit https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/pipingplover/
The St. Louis River Alliance cautions the public to be aware of these vulnerable shorebirds when using local beaches during their nesting season. Loose dogs and human activity are the biggest deterrent to successful nests. On Minnesota Point, the public can help by avoiding the beach near the Airport, observing posted signs, leashing their dogs and cleaning up any garbage.
To aid in shorebird recovery and increase wildlife habitat, two beach projects were completed on Wisconsin Point last year. The Wisconsin DNR lead a successful Piping Plover habitat restoration project within the existing Wildlife Refuge property. This project increased the habitat of the site and enhanced critical features that are needed for piping plover to nest. The protected wildlife refuge is posted and is closed yearly to the public from April 1 – August 24. The site closure is monitored and enforced by Wisconsin DNR.
The Wisconsin Point dune restoration and access project was led by the City of Superior. This project includes enhanced parking, more accessible boardwalk to the beach and Lake Superior, enhanced boat and canoe landings, and restored eroded dunes. The recent Barker’s Island Beach restoration in Superior, WI has also provided a better public access place that does not interfere with Piping Plover nesting. The public is encouraged to use these enhanced access project locations for recreating and follow local ordinances to help maintain them for their intended use.
Partners and funding sources of these projects include: City of Superior, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, St. Louis River Alliance, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, University Wisconsin Sea Grant, University Wisconsin Superior- Lake Superior Research Institute, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the Wisconsin DNR.
About the St. Louis River Alliance
Since 2011 the St. Louis River Alliance has been working with partners to help restore nesting piping plover to the western shores of Lake Superior. For more info about the organization and to become a member visit https://www.stlouisriver.org/ or email@example.com.