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WildLife Guards

RTPI teamed up with Audubon Connecticut and the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut to run the 2015 and 2016 WildLife Guards program. The WildLife Guards will continue once again at Bridgeport’s Pleasure Beach in 2017 and will now expand to Sandy Point beach Important Bird Area with the City of West Haven. The WildLife Guards trains, mentors, and employs 12 local high schools students and three crew leaders who monitor nesting birds and engage visitors, families, and friends about the beaches and their ecosystems. The WildLife Guards offer unique activities for children like making their own Piping Plover, learning how bird bills work, seine netting, and plant and animal identification. The program features education, conservation and advocacy in action five days a week, reaching thousands of visitors over the summer and making a difference for rare or endangered plants and wildlife at the shore while creating the next generation of environmentalists.

WildLife Guards PB-9131

Pleasure Beach Wildlife Guards August 15 2015-0182

Have you visited Pleasure Beach? If you are a birder, butterfly lover, or all-around naturalist, we encourage you to stop by in the summer via the water taxi! Getting there is easy with free parking at the water taxi pier lot, 91 Seaview Avenue, Bridgeport. The water taxi will bring visitors to and from Pleasure Beach, and is also free. Sandy Point is at the end of First Avenue as it becomes Beach Street with a parking lot for visitors that is often staffed by West Haven employees. You may need a resident sticker or to pay a small fee to park here. Fishing and wildlife watching are very popular here as it is one of the best birding locations in the state during the summer months.

WildLife Guards beach monitoring July 7 2016-7621-2

Pleasure Beach Wildlife Guards August 15 2015-0189

The WildLife Guards will be offering interactive activities for the general public Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from July 5 through August 19, 2017. We will be at the beach some Thursdays while also taking some educational field trips during other weeks. Bridgeport hours on duty are from 10:30am-4:30pm and West Haven hours on duty are from 9:00am-1:00pm.

WildLife Guards PB-9021

Pleasure Beach Wildlife Guards August 15 2015-0194

The rest of the WildLife Guards’ time on the beaches is filled with conducting monitoring for Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, Least Terns and Common Terns. They also complete additional avian site surveys as well as vegetation and insect surveys for butterflies and dragonflies, beach clean-ups, and general outreach efforts with visitors.

WildLife Guards Pleasure Beach July 16 2016-8259

WildLife Guards Pleasure Beach July 16 2016-8387

WildLife Guards Pleasure Beach July 9 2016-7779

WildLife Guards beach monitoring July 7 2016-7656-2

Pleasure Beach Wildlife Guards August 15 2015-0185

Be sure to follow the WildLife Guards page on Facebook and visit their own website which the Guards maintain. Audubon Connecticut Important Bird Area Program Coordinator Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe is heading up the program once again this year, and we thank her, the City of Bridgeport, the City of West Haven, and all of our friends on the beach for their continually great work. We hope you visit us at the shore this summer!