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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Chapter Seeks Protection for Western Snowy Plover

June 2013
Snowy Plover Federally listed threatened Pacific Coast Western snowy plover which nests locally on Marina and Sand City beaches (courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service).

By Rita Dalessio

Ventana Chapter will be working to protect the federally listed threatened Pacific Coast western snowy plover as plans are developed for a sustainable Monterey Peninsula desalination plant.

Proposals for a new Regional Water Project for Monterey Peninsula are currently undergoing review by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and other agencies. Next steps could be a search for a suitable location for desalination test wells along the coast. Under consideration is a portion of the Cemex sand mining property in Marina.

This area is habitat for the endangered Pacific Coast western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus).

The Chapter will be monitoring discussions to ensure the protection of this at-risk species. The Pacific Coast population of the western snowy plover (WSP) was federally listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as threatened in March, 1993. The WSP is also listed as a Bird Species of Special Concern in California.

We were encouraged last month when Congressman Sam Farr sent a letter to US Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of the western snowy plover and requesting protection of their nesting sites at the Cemex plant.

Marina Cemex plant Aerial Photo of Cemex sand mining plant in Marina, proposed site for Cal Am test well showing flocks of terns and gulls. Photograph: Steve Zmak


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