Friday, October 10, 2014

Tiny Piping Plover holding up big beach project in NY

Piping Plover chick whose species is holding up a beach replenishment on Fire Island
— A court fight over a protected bird called the piping plover is holding up a $207 million plan to replenish the sand along a 19-mile stretch of New York's Fire Island , the Associated Press reports .
"The small, sparrow-like bird that lives on the island is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and, elsewhere in the country, is classified as endangered.
"Besides arguing that the bird's habitat is in jeopardy, critics say the project would be a huge waste of money.
"Elected officials have decried the delay, saying human lives are in danger if a repeat of 2012's Superstorm Sandy strikes the region and work is not completed to bulk up Fire Island as a barrier for heavily populated parts of Long Island.
"During the storm, dunes as high as 20 feet were credited with absorbing the brunt of Sandy's fury and preventing wider damage. Fire Island is a long, thin barrier island that runs parallel to the south shore of Long Island.
"A federal court conference on the dispute was held Wednesday in Central Islip. The judge refused to lift a temporary restraining order halting the Army Corps of Engineers project."

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