Balancing Nature & Human Use at Pleasure Beach, CT
March 30, 2012
Audubon Magazine: On a May morning, a brilliant sun shines down on a Connecticut shoreline. Flocks of shorebirds, some of them state or federally threatened, swoop onto deserted beaches with few visible signs that humans were ever part of the picture. To the north, a salt marsh punctuated by the white dots of great egrets fishing in the tidal flats sustains the illusion of a place people somehow missed.
Welcome to Pleasure Beach, 77 acres at the tip of a small peninsula that boasts 1/5 of Connecticut’s undeveloped barrier beaches. The controversy surrounding this tiny slice of nature underscores the daunting political challenge of reconciling human interests with those of threatened and endangered species.