6/3 The plovers of Park Point: a case of mistaken identity - and of beer - dashes hopes

Jun 3, 2015

Credit Kaiti Titherington/USFWS

There was supposed to be a romance down on Park Point.  It was touted as the kind of love story that's not been seen in these parts for over 30 years, and the St. Louis River Alliance wanted the public to steer clear for a while and give the couple some space.

But it was a case of mistaken identity.

The Alliance believed they'd spotted a male and female critically endangered Piping Plover at Park Point.  So they asked people - and especially unleashed dogs - to stay away from certain areas on the Point in the hopes that the birds would be able to raise a family there this summer.

Alas, the birds turned out to be critically endangered Piping Plovers ... but two males, looking for females.  And despite the posted signs and the volunteers safeguarding that part of the beach, the Alliance found a campsite, remains of a campfire and plenty of beer bottles right in the middle of the area they'd been trying to protect.

Kris Eilers is the program manager of the St. Louis River Alliance, and despite the disappointment, she hasn't given up on plovers in the Twin Ports.