[CT Birds] Decisions on Silver Sands announced by DEEP

Mark Szantyr birdinggeek at gmail.com
Sat Dec 17 13:50:33 EST 2016

If anyone is waiting for me to comment on this continued attack on birding habitat in Connecticut, you will need to keep waiting. Maybe when the destruction gets to Seaside Park and then to Sherwood island, the future Coney Island of CT, others will go public and raise a visible and undeniable ruckus. Can 2016 get any worse?   I fear it can and after the 20th of January, 2017 will continue on this road to hell. 

Mark Szantyr

> On Dec 16, 2016, at 9:24 PM, Batsford, William via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
> Kathy,
> 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
>> the
>> full text of all the public concerns, click on the link.
>> *https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.ct.gov_deep_lib_d
>> eep_stateparks_parks_COMMENTS-5F-2D-5FSILVER-5FSANDS-5FPUBLIC-5FHEARING.pd
>> f&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=9KSE0Tb7hHKZYXJr5xh_Juh7DZUeTa4V_0Si
>> wgEsx00&m=D8doURHtPb6JA1GeD1kUSXQyYmjbxcVBUnWLErOr8lY&s=eyGZuSD00Mc_FsqJNU
>> Qg7Nhtob0fROzF-RAjpqAZnkM&e=
>> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.ct.gov_deep_lib_d
>> eep_stateparks_parks_COMMENTS-5F-2D-5FSILVER-5FSANDS-5FPUBLIC-5FHEARING.pd
>> f&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=9KSE0Tb7hHKZYXJr5xh_Juh7DZUeTa4V_0Si
>> wgEsx00&m=D8doURHtPb6JA1GeD1kUSXQyYmjbxcVBUnWLErOr8lY&s=eyGZuSD00Mc_FsqJNU
>> 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
>> further
>> control the Phragmites throughout the Park.  This would include managing
>> the Phragmites through a 3-successive-year herbiciding and mowing regime
>> in
>> 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
>> on
>> 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 
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__naturaliststable.wordp
>> ress.com&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=9KSE0Tb7hHKZYXJr5xh_Juh7DZUeT
>> a4V_0SiwgEsx00&m=D8doURHtPb6JA1GeD1kUSXQyYmjbxcVBUnWLErOr8lY&s=fqOgJqS4RqY
>> H8vYxXN9O6k5aajxTCVQ_9a1wvlhQbzA&e=
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