Birds' nests sparks cancellation of popular New Jersey beach concert series

SANDY HOOK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Birds' nests found on a popular beach sparked the cancellation of a Jersey Shore summer concert series.

The Sandy Hook 2019 Summer Concert Series was canceled Thursday after a piping plover nest was discovered at Beach E, where the concerts are traditionally held. Since, around 20 nests were found.

Noise disturbs piping plovers, a threatened and federally-protected shorebird, and therefore US Fish and Wildlife Service mandates that no activity such as concerts take place within 1000 meters of the nest.

Along the Atlantic coast, there are fewer than 3000 nesting pairs of plovers. Sandy Hook has supported nearly half of New Jersey's plover pairs the last decade.

Sandy Hook is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, which encompasses parts of New York City and New Jersey.

"We want these special birds to thrive," said Jen Nersesian, superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area. "The park did try to find an alternative location, but could not identify anything that meets the Foundation's needs or the spirit of what this program has become. We are disappointed right alongside our visitors, but appreciate everyone's support in helping to save a species on the brink."

Each year, thousands of people attend the Sandy Hook summer concerts, according to the Sandy Hook Foundation. Normally, the free concerts take place every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. from June through August.

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