Shorebird hatching will close off Cape Poge refuge

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The area in red shows what will be closed as of June 2 as a result of piping plovers nesting.

Cape Poge wildlife refuge and the area north of the Dike Bridge will be closed starting June 2 to accommodate the hatching of piping plovers, listed as a federally-threatened shorebird.

Under state shorebird laws, The Trustees of Reservations will close off the area to all oversand-vehicle access within 100 yards of the bird’s nesting grounds. The birds will be crossing from the oceanside to the bayside, closing off the entire Cape Poge area.

“You can still walk, you can fish, and lie on the beach, but you can’t drive along the beach or through the trails as of June 2,” Chris Kennedy, the Island’s superintendent of the Trustees, told The Times.

For the past two years, the Trustees have closed off the area. Last year, the closure lasted for six weeks, and the year before for three weeks. This year, Kennedy said the public should expect the closure to last five weeks as the birds make nests this spring, and wait for their offspring to hatch.

Kennedy urged anyone wanting to drive to the area to do so this weekend, as it will probably be the last time they are able to for several weeks.