Endangered bird prompts driving ban on Duxbury Beach

The endangered piping plover means DuxCredit: Don Freiday/USFWS

Duxbury Beach-goers are angry over new restrictions that prohibit driving onto the South Shore town’s beach.

As of Friday night, people who pay $300 for permits that normally allow them to drive on the beach won’t be able to because of a different breed of Duxbury beach-dwellers: the endangered piping plovers.

The small shorebirds nest on Duxbury Beach, and their booming presence on the scenic coastal town’s shoreline is expected to prohibit parking until possibly July 15, according to the Boston Globe.

Not everyone is thrilled with the plover population determining where they can park their cars.

One Abington resident who frequents Duxbury Beach told the Globe that for the last seven years, she’s paid to drive onto the beach to enjoy the sun and surf with friends.

“It’s ridiculous,” she told the Globe. “In this economy, you can’t be taking people’s money and not letting them do what they paid for.”

More than 4,800 people have joined a Facebook group for the cause named Duxbury Advocates. According to the group’s page, “the town knowingly withheld material information from over 9,000 sticker purchasers when it was known that the beach would be closing.”

“We all want to see nature thrive, and those who spend time at the beach appreciate it far more than those excluded,” said a message posted on the group’s page on Thursday.

Selectman Shawn Dahlen defended the town’s actions, telling the Globe that it is Duxbury’s duty to implement regulations regarding endangered species.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Atlantic Coast population of piping plovers consists of 1,372 breeding pairs. However, the population of the plovers is declining because of extensive shoreline development and recreation.


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