Piping Plover Update July 2020


UPDATE August 3, 2020: All of our birds have fledged so all fencing and barricades are now down.




732 Main Street

Harwich, MA 02645

CONSERVATION COMMISSION                                       (508)-430-7538     FAX (508)430-7531



July 22, 2020


The Harwich Conservation Department has become aware of some conflicting reasons as to why the concrete barriers are in place at Red River Beach, and why the symbolic fencing for the Piping Plovers is still up at both Red River and Bank Street Beaches. 


The concrete barriers blocking cars from driving to the east end of Red River Beach are there because we still have unfledged (flightless) baby plovers there, and the state requires that no vehicles be allowed near unfledged chicks. These chicks have been seen numerous times in the parking area on the east end of Red River Beach.


The symbolic fencing (stakes and twine) will be kept in place until the plovers fledge, as also required by the state.  Myself, staff, and volunteers are monitoring these birds at both Bank Street and Red River Beaches daily, and as soon as they fly, the barricades and the fencing will come down.  Failure to comply with these regulations could result in closure of the entire beach. 


Many people have commented that the fencing and concrete barriers have been kept up later this year than normal, and they are correct.  This is because we have seen some of the plovers nest, and thus hatch, later than usual. 


The birds at both beaches are getting close to being able to fly.  We ask for and appreciate the public’s cooperation in being patient and leaving the birds and the fencing alone. 


For more information on plovers and management requirements for them, please visit




Amy Usowski

Conservation Administrator

Town of Harwich

Microsoft Office document icon july_2020_memo.doc514.5 KB