[CT Birds] Stratford IBA Annoucement Saturday Morning at Stratford Birding Festival

COMINS, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Thu Oct 2 12:29:06 EDT 2008

Please join us when we celebrate the recognition of Stratford Great Meadows, Long Beach and Pleasure Beach as an Important Bird Area on Saturday morning at 10:00 AM.  Please see the details below.  There will also be a display of Shang Wheeler waterfowl decoys and live birds from the Beardsley Zoo and New Canaan Nature Center.  I will be leading a bird walk afterwards at the Stratford Great Meadows Unit of the Stewart B. McKinney NWR at noon.

Stratford Great Meadows Marsh and Long Beach West/Pleasure Beach
To Be Recognized an Important Bird Area

WHO:            Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport
                        Mayor James Miron of Stratford
                        Gregg Dancho, Chairman, Stratford Conservation Commission
Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation, Audubon Connecticut
                        Chris Field, Important Bird Areas Coordinator, Audubon Connecticut

WHAT:          As part of the first annual Stratford Bird Fest, Audubon Connecticut will recognize Stratford Great Meadows marsh and Long Beach West/Pleasure Beach barrier beach complex as an Important Bird Area (IBA).
                        Audubon will also announce a $50,000 funding commitment to develop a conservation plan for the area.

WHEN:          Saturday, October 4, 2008
                        10:00 a.m.

WHERE:        Perry House
                        1128 West Broad Street, Stratford, CT

INFO: The Important Bird Areas Program (IBA) is a global effort to identify and conserve areas vital to birds and other biodiversity. By working with Audubon chapters, landowners, public agencies, and community groups, Audubon galvanizes a broad network of supporters to ensure that Important Bird Areas are managed and conserved. More at www.audubon.org/bird/iba/index.html<http://www.audubon.org/bird/iba/index.html>

                        The Stratford Great Meadows marsh and Long Beach West/Pleasure Beach barrier beach complex is recognized as an IBA because the marsh, dune, and barrier beach in this area provides wintering habitat for waterfowl, raptors, and songbirds; migratory stopover habitat for thousands of migratory shorebirds each year; and likely a continentally important area for nesting Piping Plovers and Least Terns during the breeding season. The Great Meadows contains the largest block of un-ditched salt marsh (about 225 acres) left in Connecticut. Long Beach West and Pleasure Beach are part of a two-mile coastal barrier beach system that contains sand dunes, tidal wetlands and sand flats.

The area will join only 26 other such sites identified in Connecticut by Audubon, 12 of which are within the boundaries of the Long Island Sound estuary. The IBA program is a voluntary, non-regulatory global effort coordinated in the U.S. by the National Audubon Society.  All IBAs must meet strict scientific criteria to qualify - e.g. the area must contain unique habitat, support exceptional concentrations of birds, or support species of high conservation priority.

Hope to see a lot of you there.



Patrick M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation
Audubon Connecticut
pcomins at audubon.org


Bent of the River Sanctuary
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury,  CT 06488
Phone:  (203)264-5098 x305
or (203)264-5180 x305
Fax: (203)264-6332

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