Last night, the Plover Lovers and interested individuals from the community came together to celebrate the season we have had and reflect upon our experiences. After an introduction from Stewardship Grey Bruce and Piping Plover Committee Chair, Norah Toth, the Ministry of Natural Resources Plover Technician shared findings from the summer season. Plover Lovers were then very excited to announce that the Ontario Field Ornithologists are awarding Don Kennedy with a Certificate of Appreciation for his dedication to protecting Piping Plovers in Sauble Beach. Although Don is not an official volunteer, he is integral to the Plover Lovers program as he spends every morning of the spring and summer checking the beach and sending out emails to let everyone know what the plovers are up to. Don is always the first to find the spring arrivals, eggs, nests, and confirm the numbers of chicks on the beach, and we are inspired and grateful for his dedication.
Alicia Fortin, Outreach and Education Coordinator then shared some of the videos and experiences that Volunteer Monitors shared on the beach this summer. While the Plover Lovers are always looking for more Volunteer Monitors, we had an incredibly dedicated group this summer.
With only a small number of Volunteer Monitors, here are some of our statistics from this summer on the beach:
– 711 hours of official volunteer monitoring hours on the beach
– 1496-2662 people spoken with on the beach (Volunteer monitors have ranges to select on data sheets for number of people spoken to) and almost all were supportive of the recovery program
– 135 ecotourists visited Sauble Beach specifically to see the Piping Plovers this summer
– 3936 tattoos, stickers, brochures, information cards, postcards, colouring sheets and word searches were handed out
The successful outreach this summer would not have been possible without the dedication of all of the Volunteer Monitors and the unofficial volunteers who spend time on the beach. They continue each summer to encourage people to see the beauty and excitement in the beach and the diverse species that depend upon it. We also wish to thank the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Town of South Bruce Peninsula for their support and recognition of the importance of the endangered Piping Plovers on Sauble Beach. Thank you to Rev. Ted Creen and Huron Feathers Presbyterian Centre for generously allowing us to use the Centre for our Beach Talks, Volunteer Training, and Wrap-Up events. And finally, we wish to recognize Stewardship Grey-Bruce and the Piping Plover Committee for their dedication to creating a sustainable community and supporting local conservation and environmental outreach initiatives.
We hope everyone has a fantastic fall and we hope to see you again in the spring!