State officials will soon reopen beach buggy access in a portion of Island Beach State Park as the endangered piping plovers that have been nesting in the area will fledge.
Officials expect the nestlings to fly by tomorrow.
[Read about IBSP’s piping plovers here]
According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, vehicle access from A-23 to the Barnegat Inlet jetty will resume at 7 a.m. tomorrow.
The closure of four-and-a-half-miles of beach for vehicle access began on June 30 in accordance with federal law. Foot traffic, without dogs, has been permitted.
Protective fencing is around the nesting area — marked with warning signs and posts — to keep it safe from predators, such as seagulls and fox.
The piping plover population has been on the rise in New Jersey.
The population increased 17% to 108 pairs in 2015, as compared to 2014, according to an annual report from Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.
But the the population still remains below the long-term average (118 pairs) since it appeared on the federal threatened and endangered species list in 1986 and well below the peak population.