This year's fireworks displays are relatively spread out on various nights making CT DEEP and AAfCW staff coverage easier. However, we could still use volunteer assistance at Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven for the display at 9:15 on Monday, July 3 with a rain date of Wednesday, July 5. CT DEEP will be on hand to coordinate monitoring coverage. Volunteers should arrive at the parking lot by 6:30 to serve as educators and as an extra set of eyes and ears for the police officer who should be enforcing the closure of Sandy Point to protect the birds. The area should be cordoned off as usual. Once the event starts any volunteers can likely go home since spectators tend to settle in for the show. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, Laura.Saucier@ct.gov, and Rebecca.Foster@ct.gov if you can assist next Monday night in West Haven, and thank you!
Additionally, any extra monitoring that anyone can do at Bluff Point, Milford beaches, Long Beach, and Sandy/Morse Points on the Fourth of July holiday weekend would be a tremendous help. You do not need to schedule this monitoring or email us ahead of time, and please go when available. CT DEEP is particularly interested in receiving chick counts of the number of young birds you see when monitoring. Chick survival during the holiday weekend is problematic given all the beach parties and crowds. An additional presence on the beach educating people about the birds and getting us information on chick survival would be wonderful.
If the worst case happens and you find a dead chick that did not die from apparent natural causes...
Step 1. DON'T DISTURB THE SITE - only if the person who stepped on the chick is present and belligerent so that you feel unsafe - CALL 911 - otherwise
Step 2. Call Law Enforcement - DEEP 24hr Emergency Dispatcher 860-424-3333, USFWS Agent Tom Ricardi cell 860-280-4894 or USFWS Officer Doug Beaudreau cell 401-354-9329 (or all three if you get no response).
Step 3. Take a breath and fill out the Incident Observation Report. There are a lot of things to look around at to report on for this form, so take your time as it may be needed for the future. Try to keep other beachgoers away from the area if law enforcement is coming so that the scene remains as you found it. If you have a camera take photos. If law enforcement is NOT coming ask them how you should proceed, especially if there is a dead chick, otherwise DON'T TOUCH or PICK UP the chick - and don't let others touch it.
Please let Laura, Rebecca and us know about such incidents only after all of the above steps have been taken. We are the last people to contact because we do not have law enforcement powers. Thank you again for all your help!