The parking lot at Milford Point Coastal Center will be closed this weekend in an effort to protect the birds that call it home, the Connecticut Audubon Society said Wednesday.
April through September is nesting season for shorebirds and wading birds. The coastal center is a nature preserve home to several vulnerable species, including piping plovers, least terns and American oystercatchers.
Environmental officials routinely warn beachgoers to look out for these nests along the shoreline, and caution that fireworks or kites could disturb both adult and young birds.
Audobon officials said that the Milford preserve is not appropriate for typical beach activities people may be seeking on the 4th of July weekend, and said the closure is meant to keep people off the beach to protect the birds. They will be closing the parking lot from 4 p.m. Thursday until 9 a.m. Monday.
They also noted that due to COVID-19 restrictions, staff and volunteers have had less time to put up fencing to protect the birds' nests from animals or people. While the last few years have seen good hatching numbers for piping plovers, they worry that this year will be less successful.