New York Piping Plover Restoration and Management

State TrusteeNew York Department of Environmental Conservation

Case Name:


United States of America

Restoration Types:

Habitat Enhancement; Population Support


Affected DOI Resources:

Threatened and Endangered Species; Migratory Birds; DOI Managed Lands


Breezy Point



Project Description

On June 7, 1990, the oil tanker B.T. Nautilus grounded in the Kill Van Kull between Bayonne, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York, spilling approximately 267,000 gallons of fuel oil. Damages outside of the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary included the loss of recreational use of beaches and injuries to federally threatened piping plovers as the spill occurred during the nesting season. A settlement was reached in April 1994. The owner of the vessel, Nautilus Motor Tanker Company, paid $3.3 million in compensation for natural resource injuries. A major component of the damage claim were injuries to piping plovers. A five-year piping plover restoration and management project was implemented along nesting beaches on the South Shore of Long Island, NY from Breezy Point in Queens to Westhampton Beach in Suffolk County. The project's goal was to restore piping plover nesting sites through predator control and management of human use on beaches. The measures for this initiative included: the installation of string-and-post "symbolic" fencing to deter beachgoers from nesting areas and predator exclosures around nests; the preparation of educational displays; increased monitoring and wardening of nesting sites by employing beach stewards, National Park Service (NPS) volunteers and New York City Urban Park Rangers; and the identification of new nesting areas.

Restoration Land Ownership

County or Municipal; National Park Service; State

Parties Implementing Restoration

National Park Service; New York City Department of Parks & Recreation; New York Department of Environmental Conservation; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

DOI Project Representatives

Fish and Wildlife Service; National Park Service

Piping plovers are small, migratory shorebirds that nest on sand beaches along the Atlantic coast. They can be difficult to see when they are standing still as they easily blend into the sand., Credit: Steve Luell, NPS

The beach at Fort Tilden in the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area is an important nesting beach for piping plovers. Recreation use at many beaches overlap with the piping plover nesting season to a significant degree., Credit: Steve Luell, NPS

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Restoration Documents

Document NameDocument Date
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