Yesterday morning representatives from America’s Cup teams, media and staff all came together here in Venice to help WWF protect a rare species of plover. This sea bird is an important species in the Dune Alberoni, a local marine protected area, and because it nests directly on the sand it is very vulnerable to human traffic.
The HOP group headed over to Lido, an island just off of Venice that is popular for its beaches, and learned about the importance of protecting these birds. As an umbrella species, their health is crucial for the health of the MPA as a whole. However, in recent years, the number of nesting birds has declined drastically because of heavy tourist traffic on the Lido beach. Last season, there were only 16 couples.
To help protect the birds and keep their nests safe from human activity, America’s Cup volunteers worked with the local Forest Service to build an enclosure around an area of beach. This enclosure will allow these plovers to build their nests on the sand and remain undisturbed throughout the nesting season.
We here at Sailors for the Sea are excited to continue working with the America’s Cup as they commit both to Clean Regattas and Healthy Ocean Project outreach, leaving a positive lasting legacy on our oceans.