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Roosevelt students help campaign for endangered bird habitats

A pair of piping plover eggs.

A pair of piping plover eggs. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan, 2010

Elementary school students in Roosevelt designed posters for a campaign to raise awareness about endangered bird habitats on Hempstead Town beaches.

Fourth and fifth-graders from Washington Rose Elementary School entered their artwork in a contest decided by the New York Audubon Society. The winning posters have been made into signs and will be placed along dunes and other areas at Town of Hempstead beaches.

“Hurricane Sandy didn’t just destroy homes, but also damaged habitats,” Supervisor Kate Murray said Friday at the unveiling of the winners. “These birds rely on the beaches during the summer to nest. It is important to ensure that they are undisturbed so that they can nest, rest and refuel.”

In fourth-grader Ethan Obisesan’s poster, a bird chirps: “Help us increase our species!” In another winning drawing, by fourth-grader Anthony Bonilla, a bird with a thought bubble over his head thinks, “Don’t trash our beach.”

Migratory birds such as semipalmated sandpipers, red knots and sanderlings, and beach-nesting birds such as piping plovers, least terns and American oystercatchers, flock to New York and New Jersey’s shores.

But they are not the only ones at the beach as millions of people travel to Long Island’s coastline during the summer, said Erin Crotty, the executive director of Audubon New York. Many of the species have been declining in recent years due to human disturbance, predators and extreme weather conditions. “We all share the responsibility to preserve the habitat” the beaches provide, she added.

“Working together, we can protect this natural habitat and make certain that these birds have a nesting and resting place for many years to come,” Murray said.

Audubon New York will provide educational programs and beach tours on two Sundays this summer. One took place Sunday, and the other will be July 7.


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