[CT Birds] Decisions on Silver Sands announced by DEEP

Batsford, William william.batsford at yale.edu
Fri Dec 16 21:24:32 EST 2016

Thank you for this update.
I think you have shown that respectful discussion is far superior to
confrontation to achieve our goals.
Thank you for your leadership and efforts.
Bill Batsford
New Haven

On 12/16/16, 3:06 PM, "CTBirds on behalf of Kathy Van Der Aue via CTBirds"
<ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org on behalf of
ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:

>A public hearing was held September 24th in Milford to discuss the changes
>planned for Silver Sands State Park. I testified at this hearing on behalf
>of COA. The main focus of that testimony was to voice objections by many
>birders to the paving of the overflow parking lots (known as the "Sparrow
>Lanes"). The final plans have just been released and *they have heard us
>and will not pave*. They will, however, regrade to alleviate drainage
>problems, which will of course cause great disturbance. Once the drainage
>problems have been addressed, the site will be allowed to regrow naturally
>and DEEP will plant additional native bird friendly plants. See below for
>the answers to some of the issues raised by birders at the hearing. For
>full text of all the public concerns, click on the link.
>Qg7Nhtob0fROzF-RAjpqAZnkM&e= >*
>Overflow parking area should be left in current state to maximize
>attractiveness to birds
>We have heard these concerns and have redesigned the project to only
>minimally reconfigure the overflow parking areas to achieve that goal.
>Furthermore, plans to pave the overflow parking area (some commenters
>referred to as the ŒSparrow Lanes¹) have been eliminated so that this area
>will principally remain natural sand and grasses.
>Support Great Creek improvements
>Improvements to Great Creek were not initially included in this project,
>but now improvements have been included in the final project design.
>As background, the State Parks Division proposed a plan to mitigate the
>potential adverse habitat impacts of the new ³short-cut² boardwalk at
>Silver Sands by creating new wetland habitat in the northern section of
>Fletcher¹s Creek, just west of the current boardwalk.  During the hearing
>on the permit for that boardwalk, concerns were raised about the
>compensatory value of the proposed wetland creation in that area.
>Additional discussions with the Wildlife Division have resulted in a
>revised mitigation plan that would shift the proposed habitat enhancement
>slightly to the east, in nearby Great Creek at Silver Sands State Park.
>The Wildlife Division has determined that habitat restoration and
>enhancement in the Great Creek area would be of better utility, as the
>tidal creeks and pannes with the marsh provide significant habitat for
>waterbirds and other wildlife with a minimum of human disturbance.
>A mitigation plan will be implemented in the Great Creek that has three
>elements. The first element is the creation of 5 new pools in the wetland
>to enhance habitat for foraging wildlife.  The pools would be created in
>the areas delineated by the 5 white circles on the attached map.  The
>second element of the mitigation plan would be the restoration or creation
>of approximately 2400 feet of tidal channel, which would be constructed to
>further enhance waterbird habitat in the Great Creek system. The proposed
>tidal creek creation/restoration would occur as depicted by the yellow
>lines on the attached map.   The third element of the plan would be
>control the Phragmites throughout the Park.  This would include managing
>the Phragmites through a 3-successive-year herbiciding and mowing regime
>an area of approximately 80 acres across Great Creek, Fletcher Creek, and
>Nettleton Creek systems throughout the Silver Sands State Park.
>Concern regarding impacts to piping plover
>The project will provide protection to the piping plover that might nest
>the beaches and is addressed in the seasonal work closure period between
>March 15th and September 1st.
>Kathy Van Der Aue
>Southport, Connecticut
>Visit my Blog at 
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