Students stump for endangered species

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Fourth grade students from The Brandeis School in Lawrence helped Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen and Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana, along with Audubon New York launch an awareness campaign about the endangered species that nest on Hempstead Town beaches.

“Hempstead’s beaches are among the most beautiful and most visited on Long Island,” Gillen said. “This is a great way to learn about coexisting, often literally side-by-side, with our endangered, feathered friends. We are thankful to these students, along with our friends at the Audubon Society, for their efforts to protect these birds.”

The students placed artistic billboards that they designed in class along sand dunes in Lido Beach to alert beachgoers to stay away from piping plover nesting areas. The town is home to more than a dozen nests belonging to the small, federally-protected birds.

“These billboards will serve as an important reminder throughout the entire summer season,” Cabana said.

Audubon New York Executive Director Ana Paula Tavares said the advocacy group for birds in New York state is “tremendously proud of these students for using their artwork to inspire beach-goers to ‘Share the Shore’ with nesting birds.” She noted the town’s beaches are appreciated by its residents and a valuable place for many at-risk birds.

“We encourage everyone to respect designated nesting areas and learn more about what beach-nesting birds need to safely and successfully fledge their young,” Tavares added.