The Town of East Hampton holds the responsibility to assist the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in their endangered species recovery goals in their New York/New Jersey unit as well as the protection of other protected beach-nesting birds and rare beach vegetation. We are entrusted with monitoring, collecting data and protecting Federal and New York State-protected breeding shorebirds, their nests and unfledged young on all of East Hampton’s beaches during the breeding season from March through August.
Protection measures are implemented for the federally threatened and New York State endangered piping plover (Charadrius melodus) and the NYS threatened least tern (Sterna antillarum). However, East Hampton has also historically been home to the federally and NYS endangered seabeach amaranth (Amaranthus pumilus) and is currently home to the NYS listed rare seabeach knotweed (Polygonum glaucum), both of which are protected plants found on our beaches. Additional protected species that are regularly observed in the area and have historically nested on East Hampton’s beaches and dune ecosystems include the federally endangered Roseate tern (Sterna dougallii), NYS threatened common tern (Sterna hirundo), federally threatened northeastern beach tiger beetle (Cicindela dorsalis), and NYS species of special concern: the osprey (Pandion haliaetus), black skimmer (Rynchops niger) and horned lark (Eromophila alpestris).
The goal of our program is to maintain appropriate public access while ensuring the required protection of these threatened and endangered species.