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Common Nighthawk

Improvements Coming to the Bolivar Flats Vehicular Barrier

Bolivar Flats Bollards

After over a year of navigating permitting red-tape, we finally received the green light to update the vehicular barrier at Bolivar Flats, and the first phase of the project is complete just in time for breeding season! Because the North Jetty stops sediment that is eroded from along the coast on its way southward, the flats are actually accreting sediment at a rate estimated to be ~45+ feet per year! While this is great for maintaining and growing the habitat used by tired shorebirds during their marathon migrations, it also makes it difficult to restrict vehicular access as eventually the flats grow outward beyond the reach of the bollards. This project will be completed in phases so as to reduce disturbance to migratory and nesting shorebirds. New bollards will replace the derelict ones and it will be extended seaward so as to prevent vehicles from driving around the barrier at low tide. Many thanks to the Susan Vaughan Foundation for support of Phase I of the vehicular barrier project.

As a reminder, pedestrian access is welcome, but all vehicles (including bicycles) are not allowed beyond the barrier. We also ask that visitors refrain from bringing dogs beyond the barrier as birds see them as predators and will flush accordingly (no matter how well-behaved our canine companions may be). Migratory birds will have to fly thousands of miles to reach their breeding grounds and don’t need the added energy expenditure. Nesting birds flushing off their nests will attract other predators which often leads to nest failure. March is also when we welcome our beach-nesting birds by setting up temporary, symbolic fencing at Bolivar Flats and a few other important sites on the Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island. Thank you for doing your part to help protect our beach-nesting birds.