One of the coolest aspects of on-the-ground Western Snowy Plover conservation in California is the terrific way that it integrates local communities into the effort. We’ve spoken elsewhere about the incredible value of local volunteers and Audubon chapters in monitoring the nests on beaches, conducting outreach, and taking part in local political advocacy. But perhaps the most exciting, and visible, elements of this community effort are the various Share the Shore programs organized by Audubon chapters. These programs typically go into schools to educate students about the birds, and then sponsor art contests where the children make beach signs to warn people not to disturb the nests. We’ve heard many reports that in places where the official signs have been stolen or defaced, the student signs remain untouched. When you support our Western Snowy Plover program, part of the funds raised go toward these great local programs. (Pictured above, volunteers with San Diego Audubon place a student sign in the sand.)
A student in the Ventura Audubon Society's Share the Shore program shows off his work.
The program got its start when Marla Morrissey brought the idea to the Morro Coast Audubon Society, where it was implemented in 2006 by Stephanie Little. Since then, at least nine other coastal chapters have launched some version of the program. Audubon California and the National Audubon Society has supported each of these, either by directly funding them, or helping find funding other funding sources.
A student with Los Angeles Audubon makes notes on the beach. Photo by Stacey Vigallon.
Another student sign on the beach in San Luis Obispo, sponsored by Morro Coast Audubon. Photo by Andrea Jones.
Students with San Diego Audubon pose with their signs.