EHRMERGERD! IT’S TODD POVER! BERCH NESRTING BERD DERECTER FER NEWR JERSEY! IT’S MAH FERVRIT BERCH NERSTERTING BERD ERXPERT! MAH HEROOOOOO!!!!!!!!
While the birds may not have the social graces to thank Todd gracefully, and without poop, we sure do (I hope). Todd Pover is the Beach Nesting Bird Director for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and is responsible for the health, happiness, and itty-bittiness of the shore’s greatest treasure, our adorable, itty-bitty beach nesting birds. And you can bet that your grandchildren will one day thank this man for the work he is doing amongst us.
Today was clearly worth leaving our beach chairs for as Todd shows off one of New Jersey’s most unbelievably & awesomely wild sites, The Skimmer Nation.
We once had a colony of Black Skimmers on the North End of LBI, for years, at Barnegat Light State Park. It is rare to see one the Island these days and now we know why: they’re down at Exit 30. While that’s not the real reason (too many predators attracted to and fed by our garbage is), a bit of good Skimmer-news for LBI: a small, itty-bitty colony is trying to form down at Holgate this season for the first time in a while. “Itty Bitty” and “Colony” go together about as well as milk & Coke(TM), so we’ll have to see what happens there.
The Skimmer Nation is a bizarre little place. It is not necessarily what you think of when you think of “wild beach” habitat, but hey; it’s working! Our little beach nesting friends are left with precious few places to go but still manage to find ways to squeeze themselves into our world and into our lives. Just like Tufters & family at Barnegat Light, these animals keep on fighting and keep on brightening our beaches despite our piss-poor stewardship of the amazing natural treasure that is the beach.
I asked Todd in all seriousness if his job was really just to manage to the decline and extinction of these animals that depend on our beaches for their survival. In what I am certain was an honest response, he said “No. We’re holding the line.” AWESOME!!11!!
If we can truly hold-the-line and prevent the extinction of the these animals, we can leave this treasure for the future generations that I really believe will see the folly of our “Pave The Beach!” mentality and value the shore for what it is before all else: a natural treasure. If the good guys like Todd continue to be willing to get sh%t all over, literally, as they swim against the tide of our current human culture of incredible cruelty to wild animals, the hope for a bright future of better beaches stays alive. Yeah!
That bright future exists only as long as Todd can hold-the-line. We’ve got to keep coming up with ways to help him. There are so many things we can do in addition to the obvious make-a-donation to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ. We can start by rallying around these weird little carved-out protected areas, like the Skimmer Nation, by showing our support, by respecting them, and by teaching our kids how important they are.
While many of us are probably too lazy and too selfish to really change, that’s OK. If we can make any small compromise between our own human comfort & pleasure, and the critical needs of the wild birds that need the beach, that’s a start… and then, we can just teach our kids to do better. They aren’t lazy and selfish yet!
While Todd Pover does the difficult work of holding that line, let’s get a jump start on building a new nation: The Wild Beach Nation.