280 lbs. of Trash Removed from Sandy Point Important Bird Area, West Haven, CT
By Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe, Important Bird Area Program Coordinator, Audubon Connecticut
Saturday August 17th was the perfect day to visit the beach at Sandy Point Important Bird Area in West Haven, CT. At 2pm, approximately 20 people, bird watchers and members of the local community assembled at Sandy Point. But these folks did not come for a swim or to relax along the shore, instead they came to participate in a beach clean-up. Over the course of three hours, participants did an amazing job, removing a whopping 17 bags of trash, weighing a total of 280 lbs., from the beach. Commonly collect items included food wrappers, cigarette butts and packaging, and small pieces of plastic. Others items picked up in large quantities included plastic bags, beverage bottles, and caps. The most unusual item collect was what appeared to be a car muffler.
The clean-up was sponsored by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds with assistance from the City of West Haven. Trash, especially food waste, attracts predators to beaches. Carry-in/carry-out trash policies and periodic clean-ups helps prevent predators from visiting places like Sandy Point, that are important breeding sites for the federally threatened piping plovers and other beach nesting bird species.
Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the
Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal
waterbirds in Connecticut.