Tag Archives: Good Harbor Beach
PIPING PLOVERS NESTING AT GOOD HARBOR BEACH
The City of Gloucester and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken will be working closely during the 2017 beach season at Good Harbor Beach with the Essex County Greenbelt Association and the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to manage Piping Plovers if they return again to nest on the beach.
“For generations, Gloucester’s citizens have existed in a delicate balance with our coastal ecosystem, from the open ocean, to the rocky shorelines and of course to our beaches,” Mayor Romeo Theken said. “We are committed to making every effort possible to protect nesting Piping Plovers at our beaches but we will do so while maintaining public access to these amazing areas. Please help me and the City by cooperating with any short-term restrictions imposed at our beaches in 2017.”
In 2016, Piping Plovers, a small shorebird, were observed nesting for the first time at GHB, and the City acted quickly and responsibly along with Greenbelt and MADFW to protect the birds and their nesting areas. The City is preparing more proactively now for the 2017 beach season.
Piping Plovers are a small shorebird that was placed on the US Endangered Species List in 1986 as a threatened species. Piping Plovers nest directly on the sand at beaches throughout MA, typically on the upper beach just below the outer dune edge. Statewide the Piping Plover population has been increasing over the past 20 years and the population reached about 650 pairs in MA in 2016.
In Gloucester in 2016, 4 pairs of Piping Plovers nested at Coffins Beach and fledged 10 young. A single pair of Piping Plovers nested at GHB, hatching 3 chicks but none survived to fledge. The Piping Plovers at GHB nested later than normal in the season which may have contributed to the lack of chick survival. Better early season protections could help eliminate this problem in 2017.
Good Harbor Beach Piping Plover making a nest scrape for his lady love to inspect
The US Endangered Species Act requires public and private landowners to take necessary measures to protect listed species like Piping Plovers. MA also has guidelines and laws for beach nesting bird management. The city is making every effort to be compliant with all regulatory guidelines.
Piping Plovers typically arrive from their southern wintering areas to our local beaches in late March or early April. Males and females quickly form breeding pairs that begin the process of courtship and nest site select throughout April and May. During April and May, it is important to limit disturbance to the birds and their habitats. Chicks can hatch from nests in late May and are immediately mobile and move out of the nest in search of food. As chicks grow older and larger, they will roam from the dunes to the water’s edge in search of food. Chicks are very vulnerable to human disturbance and are susceptible to predators like gulls and foxes.
One day old Piping Plover chick
PLAN OF ACTION FOR 2017:
Gloucester officials have directed City staff to collaborate with Greenbelt and MADFW to development management strategies to protect Piping Plovers found nesting on any Gloucester beaches.
Beach Scraping – Limiting beach cleaning activities like beach scraping with a tractor and mechanical rake is very important once Piping Plovers arrive at GHB. This could start in April and last though June in certain areas at GHB.
Fencing – It is also important to strategically select areas for temporary closure with single strand fencing and signs. These fenced areas allow a refuge for Piping Plovers to begin their nesting season normally in May, before the busy beach season. fences could be installed in April and be in place through June in certain areas at GHB.
Monitoring – Regular monitors from Greenbelt, MADFW and theCity will visit GHB in March/April to determine if PipingPlovers are present and to ensure that any nesting Piping Plovers are well protected. Monitoring will continue as long as Piping Plovers are present at the site.
Public Access – GHB will remain open to the public during the beach season. Only selected small areas may be closed to the public to protect Piping Plovers. Mayor Theken encourages all beachgoers to respect the closed areas and to consider Piping Plovers as an important part of Gloucester’s rich and healthy coastal ecosystem.
Dogs – Unleashed dogs can pose a very real threat to Piping Plover adults and chicks. Dogs owners are responsible for controlling their dogs and may be legally responsible for any adverse impacts to Piping Plovers and their habitats.
For more information, please contact Greenbelt Essex County Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org or (978) 768-7241 x14
Monday morning there was a seal hauled out at Good Harbor and folks were taking selfies with the worn out little feller. Here’s what do if you come upon a seal that appears to be stranded on the beach.
DOS and DON’TS of Interacting with Seals on the Beach
DO stay at least one hundred and fifty feet away from the seal.
DO observe (from a distance, with binoculars or camera lens) for any outward sign of injury, bleeding or net entanglement, for example. If the seal appears injured, call this number: 866-755-6622 at the Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding and Entanglement Hotline.
DON’T try to feed the seal.
DON’T try to cover up the seal with a blanket
DON’T pour water on the seal.
DON’T let your dog anywhere near the seal (dangerous for both animals).
DON’t try to help the seal back into the water.
DON’T take a selfie with the seal.
Harbor Seals are semi-aquatic and it is perfectly natural for a seal to beach themselves. Seals haul out all year round, and for a variety of reasons. They use rocks, reefs, and beaches. The seal may need to rest, for thermal regulation (to warm up), to molt, to give birth, to socialize with other seals, or are trying to escape danger, such as a shark. When you force the seal back into the water by getting too close and frightening the creature, before it is ready to return to the sea, you are potentially causing the seal a great deal of harm.
Good Harbor Beach police protective barrier that surrounded the seal.
Many Gloucester area businesses rotate exhibitions which can benefit local artists tremendously. The independent coffee stop nearest Good Harbor Beach Cape Ann Coffees at 86 Bass Avenue, Gloucester, MA, features art, stretching out show dates with 3-4 art exhibitions annually. There is also designated wall space set aside for business cards and community news.
Cape Ann Coffees has indoor and outdoor breakfast | lunch seating, and bakery goodies made fresh on the premises.
Currently on view: a solo exhibit of 10 paintings by Jay Brancaleone. There are also two works by Lynda Hyry Figurido .
Venturing out today around 1:00pm, I caught the tail end of the storm. The winds were still blizzarding and great gusts of snow made places like Brace Cove impossible to photograph. The tide was super high at Good Harbor Beach, but not as high as some recent storms. The waves were tremendous, although they weren’t the ginormous rollers of many nor’easters either.
Happily resigning myself in each season as it passes to the beauty and nature of Gloucester. At low tide, this vista has me at Oxbow.
High tide is scheduled for 9:30AM– winds picking up just now with small fluttered white caps on green grey sea. All a calm beauty before 7am this morning.
Work has begun in earnest sorting through all the Piping Plover footage and editing the documentary. In the mean time, I thought readers would enjoy this rare moment where we catch a glimpse of the new born chicks, with both mom and dad together.
Impossibly tiny—no larger than a marshmallow—moments after hatching a Piping Plover chick is on the move, running, tumbling, somersaulting, face-planting, and curious about every little thing in their brand new great big world. PuffPuff, FluffFluff, and TootsiePop are less than twenty-four hours old in this clip. Our East Gloucester neighborhood kids named the Plover family after spending an afternoon getting to know them, watching safely from outside the roped off area.
Dad Joe finds an impression in the sand and the chicks come running to warm under his protective wings. Piping Plover chicks can feed themselves at birth but can’t yet perfectly regulate their body temperature. They need Mom and Dad for protection and for the warmth they provide. After a few moments rest, Joe pops up and Joy zooms in to take his place. Watch how PuffPuff does a somersault and FluffFluff gives her a little bump out of their cozy nest. Mom runs off camera to create a new resting spot and the chicks are chided by piping calls to come join her.
In shades of bone and driftwood, note how beautifully the Plovers are camouflaged in the colors of the sand and dry beach grass. There isn’t a living thing that doesn’t pose a threat to these most vulnerable of creatures. For protection against predators they will soon learn how to stand perfectly still when Joe and Joy pipe commands, but for now, it’s willy-nilly around the beach, much to the parents great consternation.
Thanks to Esme, Lotus, Meadow, Frieda, and Ruby for naming the Piping Plover family!
ARTICLE IN THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES FEATURING CAPE ANN: Seafood and Dunes: New England’s Lesser-known Cape
In the distance is the glimmer of the Eastern Point lighthouse, the last sight of home for many Gloucester fishermen before they sailed into the vastness of the ocean. Dotted around the harbour are small wooden houses from which fishermen’s wives would look anxiously into the bay.
Fishing has run thick in the blood of Gloucester since English settlers arrived in 1623. The city — the oldest seaport in America — is on Cape Ann, which juts into the Atlantic just north of Boston. Across the Cape, stretched over some of the most beautiful coastline in America, are working fishing towns, beaches of white sand, marshes, old colonial buildings and, of course, bucket loads of fresh seafood.
In the winter, with the fishermen at rest, the pace of life slows to match the region’s calm, understated beauty. This is perhaps the reason that Manchester by the Sea, the brooding drama starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, was filmed here in the winter months. Although the movie (most of which was filmed in Gloucester) follows the lives of a working-class family, Manchester-by-the-Sea itself, which lies to the west of Gloucester, is unabashedly wealthy. Just off the main road are $14 million mansions with great sea views.
When we Brits think of the Massachusetts coastline, we think of the dreamy panoramas of Cape Cod. Indeed, most Bostonites head south to the sand dunes and salty air whenever they take a break from the city. If Cape Cod and its quaint little villages possess a special kind of serene beauty, so does the lesser-known Cape Ann. And with fewer tourists, Cape Ann — unlike Cape Cod — stays in character.
BEAUTIFUL BACKSHORE-BRACE COVE-GOOD HARBOR BEACH-TWIN LIGHTS BIG ROLLERS – and hello there fearless (crazy) person(s)
Pretty Spindrift Wave
Beautiful fifty degree weather today and happy to be home to Gloucester. Running errands this morning and just had to stop at the Jodrey Fish Pier for the view and take a walk on Good Harbor Beach on this glorious and unseasonably warm day.