Two studies funded through Hurricane Sandy relief aid are helping land managers understand the importance of local nesting habitat within the broader range of the piping plover, which is on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List.
Salt marshes provide habitat for fish, birds, and invertebrates and purify water by taking up nutrients that can be harmful in excess. They help protect neighboring coastal communities by buffering against wind and waves and absorbing, then slowly releasing, floodwaters. Salt marshes are threatened by sea-level rise and their tendency to gradually sink. The Fish and Wildlife Service is using a process called thin-layer deposition to restore these valuable habitats.
Professors and students from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry work to conserve piping plovers along the shores of New Jersey and Lake Ontario.