Block Island Times

North Light and Sandy Point closed to vehicles

Piping plovers have returned to Block Island for the first time in over a decade, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The USFWS, in cooperation with the Town of New Shoreham, has implemented a temporary closure of the beach beyond the North Light trail to off-road vehicles due to the impending hatch of piping plover chicks. Those with a Coastal Resources ManagementCouncil (CRMC) permit for beach driving are asked to park vehicles at the posted area near the trail to the North Light, and onlyproceed further on foot. This closure does not impact pedestrian traffic, though walkers are reminded to keep dogs on leashes and away from birds and other wildlife.Piping plovers are federally threatened and protected under the Endangered Species Act. Two pairs of piping plovers have nest-ed on Block Island in 2021, for the first time since 2009. After hatching, piping plover chicks are mobile and feed at the shorelinewith adults. However, they are very small, camouflaged, and often crouch and freeze when they sense danger. This makes them incredibly difficult to see, and puts them at risk for mortality from beach driving.Piping plover chicks are flightless for 25 to 30 days. The vehicle

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