There are many ways to get involved. You can help:
- Survey beaches to determine presence of Piping Plovers.
- Protect nesting habitat using signs and fencing.
- Monitor Piping Plovers, nests and chicks.
- Conduct educational outreach to beach goers.
- Present at outreach events or school presentations.
- Provide boat access to remote beaches.
- Conduct or coordinate beach clean-ups before plovers arrive or after they depart.
- Enhance nesting habitat for plovers.
- Coordinate and train other volunteers.
- Monitor shorebird migration on beaches.
How does all this help Piping Plovers?
Reducing threats and making beaches safer and healthier for breeding Piping Plovers are among the most important ways to help. Disturbances from people and off-leash pets are among the main threats to Piping Plovers and other beach wildlife. Many beach visitors aren’t aware that people and pets can trample or cause abandonment of plover nests or chicks. Volunteers help reduce human disturbance by talking to other beach goers, sharing information about plovers, and letting people know simple ways they can help, such as walking on the wet sand (away from sensitive nesting areas). Volunteers also protect sensitive habitat by setting up and maintaining signs and rope fencing to prevent nests and nesting habitat from being trampled by beach goers. Information collected by volunteers also greatly contributes to our understanding of Piping Plover breeding success and levels of threats from recreational activities, off-leash dogs, and motorized vehicles. This data directly informs management decisions and enforcement efforts. Everyone can help. Whether you can volunteer daily, weekly, or a few times each summer, there are many opportunities to get involved. There are opportunities for families to volunteer together.
How do I become a volunteer?
Step 1. Get connected to your local plover program. Find the organization or agency coordinating Piping Plover conservation and recovery efforts near you. Explore your local plover program to find the contact for the area where you would like to volunteer.
Step 2. Explore our Piping Plover Training Manual. Learn more about the different volunteer opportunities by exploring our Piping Plover Training Guide. Talk to your local volunteer coordinator about your interests and skills and how you can get involved.
Step 3. Become a volunteer. Meet with your local volunteer coordinator or other volunteers to begin your training.
I can’t become a Piping Plover Volunteer right now, but I still want to help. If you can’t become a Piping Plover volunteer right now, there are still many ways you can contribute to conservation and recovery efforts across the region.
- Watch for signs marking sensitive nesting habitat on the beach.
- Walk on wet sand to avoid disturbing plovers.
- Keep pets on-leash.
- Carry out food waste and trash from the beach and avoid feeding wildlife.
- Report sightings of Piping Plovers to your local plover program.
- Share tips and information with other beach goers.
- Chat about plovers and the beach with your friends, family, neighbours, municipal councillor, other community members, and local media.
- Encourage others to get involved.