Piping Plover Nesting Habitat Management Program

This case study illustrates that even modest restoration projects can provide benefits to the environment and local economy. FWS provided $130,000 ($2011) over 2007–2011 to The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island (TNC, RI) to implement a nesting habitat management program for the federally threatened piping plover, a shorebird that nests along sandy beaches on the Atlantic coast. The source of the funds was the NRDAR settlement for the North Cape Oil Spill. In 1996, the oil spill adversely impacted piping plover nesting habitat, resulting in fewer chicks produced during the following nesting season. To compensate for these impacts, natural resource trustees (FWS, RI, and NOAA) sought to increase the number of chicks produced in RI ... Show More

This case study illustrates that even modest restoration projects can provide benefits to the environment and local economy.
 
FWS provided $130,000 ($2011) over 2007–2011 to The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island (TNC, RI) to implement a nesting habitat management program for the federally threatened piping plover, a shorebird that nests along sandy beaches on the Atlantic coast. The source of the funds was the NRDAR settlement for the North Cape Oil Spill. In 1996, the oil spill adversely impacted piping plover nesting habitat, resulting in fewer chicks produced during the following nesting season. To compensate for these impacts, natural resource trustees (FWS, RI, and NOAA) sought to increase the number of chicks produced in RI by providing funds to TNC to implement management actions aimed at reducing threats to piping plovers. At two nesting areas in Little Compton, RI, TNC staff conducted more than 70 public education programs to increase awareness about what people can do to reduce harm to piping plovers (e.g., keeping dogs off beaches, removing trash that attracts predators, staying out of nesting areas). Staff also monitored nesting beaches and informed recreational users about potential threats. Additionally, several predators (e.g., coyotes, skunks) known to consume adults and chicks, were removed from nesting areas. During five years with increased management efforts, piping plovers produced more chicks (108) than in the previous five years (80).
 
Economic Impacts of Restoration. The piping plover management program has supported three full-time seasonal positions in Little Compton, RI each summer between 2007 and 2011. These positions have provided employees with quality experience in natural resource management and public education and brought over $32,000 per year in direct labor income (salaries, wages, and benefits) to the local area. Much of this income was spent within the local economy and supported an additional $9,000 in labor income for local businesses. This case study demonstrates how even small investments in restoration can support jobs in local communities. The average yearly cost of the program was $32,000, and these expenditures supported over $41,000 per year in labor income in the local community.

This case study was first published in the FY2011 DOI Economic Contributions Report and is available at  https://www.fort.usgs.gov/sites/default/files/products/publications/23407/23407.pdf Show Less

Contact(s): Catherine M Cullinane Thomas, Christopher C Huber.

Overview

Project Period: 2007-2011

Location: Rhode Island

Restoration Type: Education and Community Use Project

Lead Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS),The Nature Conservancy

Economic Impacts
National Economic Impacts (2014 dollars):

Total Project Expenditures: $137,000


Job-Years: Not Available

Labor Income: Not Available

Value Added: Not Available

Economic Output: Not Available

Local Economic Impacts (2014 dollars):

Local Project Expenditures: $137,000

Percent of Project Expenditures Spent Locally: 100%

Local Job-Years: 1.2

Local Labor Income: $174,000

Local Value Added: Not Available

Local Economic Output: $244,000

Map
Images
Piping Plover nesting habitat.jpg
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