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Threatened bird’s nest found in the site proposed for the Monterey Bay Shores Resort

Audubon California opposes project located in a 15 mile stretch of Western Snowy Plover critical habitat

A critical habitat for Western Snowy Plovers is under attack. Today, the Coastal Commission is reviewing the proposed development of a large hotel and condominium complex sited on beach and dune habitat on Monterey Bay in Sand City. The developer calls this 360-unit complex, with parking for almost 1,000 cars, the “Monterey Shores Eco-resort.” Unfortunately this project will be sited inside formally recognized USFWS critical habitat for Western Snowy Plovers.

Western Snowy Plovers, a federally threatened species, nest and raise their broods here. In fact, yesterday a two egg plover nest was found in the area of the proposed resort.

“The scale of the hotel will not only remove critical habitat currently used for nesting and feeding and raising young but will also produce hundreds of beach residents and thousands of visitors and pets that could further disturb the birds in this region,” said Audubon California Coastal Stewardship Program Director Andrea Jones. “We hope the Coastal Commission makes the right decision today and denies the developers a permit.”

USFWS has determined that “take” of Snowy Plover will occur if this project is approved. “Take” is defined in the Endangered Species Act as harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect any threatened or endangered species. USFWS has advised the developer to apply for an “incidental take permit.”

“Despite repeated requests from USFWS and the Coastal Commission, the developer has refused to cooperate and apply for an “Incidental Take Permit” from the USFWS to address impacts to this species,” explained Jones. “With coastal Western Snowy Plover population barely holding on at roughly 2,300, there is no way this development makes any sense.”

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