Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902, photos available.
Gordons Pond beach reopens, with piping plovers all fledged
LEWES (July 24, 2013) – A half-mile portion of ocean shoreline at Cape Henlopen State Park’s Gordons Pond is scheduled to open on Thursday morning, July 25. The shoreline was closed to vehicles and pedestrians on May 21 to protect nesting piping plovers, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, and other beach nesting birds from disturbance during their breeding period.
During the 2013 nesting season, one pair of piping plovers nested at Gordons Pond. As many as three pairs have nested there in past years. This year’s nesting pair produced two chicks. Other species that also nested at Gordons Pond this season were American oystercatchers and least terns, both species that are on Delaware’s endangered species list.
A rare plant species that is also regularly found at Gordons Pond is seabeach amaranth, which is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Seabeach amaranth grows in the same kinds of habitat where piping plovers nest and usually sprouts in late July in Delaware. This season, amaranth has already been found at Gordon’s Pond.
Each year, the ocean shoreline beach at Gordons Pond reopens when the last beachnesting bird has fledged there. The dunes and interdunal areas at Gordons Pond remain closed to the public year-round to protect seabeach amaranth plants and numerous other rare species and plant communities that exist in this area.
Vol. 43, No. 288