The birds could almost be heard chirping “Home Sweet Home” in Lido Beach today, as Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney and the New York Audubon Society saluted 14 local elementary school students for their efforts to protect the oceanfront bird sanctuaries that inhabit the township’s beaches that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy only two and half years ago.
By protecting their endangered friends, these students from Drexel Avenue Elementary School in Westbury are helping Hempstead Town continue ongoing work to rebuild the Sandy-battered shoreline by protecting their endangered feathered friends. The students are winners of the New York Audubon Society’s “Be a Good Egg” poster contest, where the youngsters crafted creative signs to bring awareness to visitors to share the beach with migratory and beach-nesting bird species.
“Preserving the nesting areas for our beach-dwelling birds is crucial for their species to survive and thrive,” Murray said. “Thank you to these wonderful students and the people at Audubon New York for helping us protect our feathered friends, and help them find their way to ‘Home Sweet Home’ here at our beautiful beaches.”
“New York’s beaches provide enjoyment for millions of people and offer critical breeding habitat for shorebirds,” said Erin Crotty, Executive Director of Audubon New York. “There is no better place to make a difference for the many endangered and threatened birds that rely on our shores during nesting season than on Long Island’s beaches. We’re honored to be working with the Town of Hempstead and our conservation heroes at the Drexel Avenue Elementary School to launch the Be A Good Egg campaign at a critical time in these birds’ life cycles.”
Their posters, which were on display at today’s event, will be posted at Town of Hempstead beaches along dunes and other bird habitat areas.
“I’m proud of these kids for dedicating their time and talents to protect the precious bird habitats along our shoreline,” King Sweeney said. “Thank you to our students and the New York Audubon Society for this wonderful initiative that benefits our beachside communities.”
The beaches of Hempstead Town, and across New York and New Jersey are key nesting sites for species of concern, including the Common Tern, Black Skimmer, Piping Plovers, Least Terns and American Oystercatchers. Predators, extreme weather conditions and human disturbance pose serious threats to these birds.
The New York Audubon Society has also scheduled several community outreach programs that focus on this “share the beach” effort. These educational events, open to the public, are scheduled for Lido Beach Town Park (May 24th and May 25th), Point Lookout Town Park (May 25th and July 12th) and Jones Beach State Park (July 4th and July 11th).
This Audubon project is supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. For more information, visit ny.audubon.org.
“Thanks to the New York Audubon Society for coordinating this wonderful contest, and to the students and staff at Drexel Avenue Elementary School for their hard work,” Murray said. “Their prominently displayed artwork will certainly help spread awareness and educate the public on the importance of preserving our oceanfront bird habitats.”